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Reporter obituaries: Melanson, O’Neill


Margaret Melanson
Margaret Anne “Peg” McDermott Melanson, 97, a resident of Kirby Pines Nursing Home in Memphis, Tennessee, passed away peacefully on December 11, 2014.

Peg was preceded in death by her husband Frederick B. Melanson, sons William F. and Ronald P. Melanson, parents William F. and Anna M. McDermott, sister and brother-in-law Katherine T. and Thomas F. Brennan, nephews Thomas Brennan Jr. and Terrance Brennan and son-in-law LCDR Donald H. Huber.

Peg was born July 27, 1917 in Brooklyn and grew up on Shelter Island. She was the salutatorian of the Class of 1935 at Shelter Island High School and continued her education at Browne’s Business College. Most of her working career was in accounting and as an executive assistant and office manager. She was a talented ceramicist and for many years family and friends were the recipients of her artistic creations.

She is survived by her sister Lauretta M. King (Vincent) of Shelter Island; daughter Barbara Huber Connolly (Leo) of Memphis, Tennessee; daughter-in-law Mary P. Melanson of Blaine, Washington; grandchildren Patricia Melanson O’Brien of Southold, David L. Huber (Michelle) of Fairfax, Virginia, LCDR Donna L. Huber of Norfolk, Virginia, Deborah L. Huber of Norfolk, Virginia, Michelle Melanson Dunham (Keith) of Blaine, Washington, Danielle Melanson Reynolds (Steve) of Stanwood, Washington and Jodie Melanson Hallman (John) of Shelter Island; step-grandsons Matthew Connolly (Jolanda) of Ithaca, New York, Daniel Connolly of Memphis, Tennessee and Michael Connolly of Seattle, Washington; great-grandchildren Samantha and Alan Michael O’Brien, Andrew Poynor, Michael, John and Mark Huber, Malachi Dunham, Brandon, Blake and Brynn Reynolds, Brianna and Madison Hallman; great-great grandson Ethan O’Brien; nephew and nieces Wayne King (Donna) of Shelter Island, Patricia King Labrozzi of Herkimer, New York, Diane King Anderson (William) of Shelter Island and Kathleen Brennan Smith (Andrew) of Atlanta, Georgia.

Shelter Island was always “home” to Peg. Her father, Bill McDermott, operated a Mobil Oil Gas and Service Station in the Center at Route 114 and Jaspa Road. Peg has recalled helping to pump gas for customers when it cost 15 cents a gallon and riding in the fuel truck with her father as he delivered kerosene to his many Island customers. As a teenager, when she was not at Louie’s Beach, she and her sister Kay waitressed at the Ram’s Head Inn. She met her husband Fred on Shelter Island when he was a chauffeur for the Becker family who summered on the Island.

They were married in Our Lady of the Isle Church and lived on the Island for a few years, then moved off-Island after Fred returned from service during World War II. They built a summer cottage on Jaspa Road and many years later, made it their permanent residence.

After Fred passed away in 1971, Peg enjoyed traveling, with trips to Europe, cruises to the Caribbean and many trips around the U.S. and Canada visiting friends and family. She eventually moved to Leesburg, Florida where she resided for over 30 years. When she could no longer drive, she moved to Memphis, Tennessee to be near her daughter and son-in-law, Barbara and Leo Connolly.

Peg was a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Memphis. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Father Peter DeSanctis at Our Lady of the Isle on Friday, July 17, 2015 at 10:30 a.m., followed by interment of cremains in Our Lady of the Isle Cemetery.

Philip K. O’Neill
Philip K. O’Neill passed away on December 4, 2014 after a brief illness.

A resident of Shelter Island for the past 20 years, he enjoyed the Thursday afternoon poker games at the Senior Center as well as the Monday and Friday luncheons in the Presbyterian Church’s Fellowship Hall.

A proud member of the American Legion, he also enjoyed marching in the Memorial Day Parade.

Mass was offered at Our Lady of the Isle Roman Catholic Church on December 9, 2014. He is survived by his wife Rose; four children, Marie O’Neill, Julia Krug, Theresa Gonsalves and Philip M. O’Neill; and seven grandchildren.

He will be missed.