Frank John Mello, 65, passed away peacefully at home in Victor, ID on August 23, 2023.
Frank was born to Angeline and Alfred Mello in Omaha, NE on November 5, 1957. Frank’s childhood home was located on the same street as many of his extended family, allowing him a loving, tight-knit, Italian childhood. Throughout Frank’s childhood and teenage years he excelled in academics and was a standout multi-sport athlete. He attended Augustana University on a football scholarship where he majored in Mathematics and Computer Science. Frank played middle linebacker for the Augustana Vikings and was captain his senior year. Frank met his wife Mary at Augustana University, and they were married in Casper, WY the summer of 1979, the summer before their senior year. They celebrated forty-four years of marriage this summer.
Upon graduation, Frank and Mary moved to Casper, WY (Mary’s hometown), where they started their careers in education. Frank began as a High School Math and Computer Science teacher, along with coaching football and track and field. After seven years as a teacher, and upon completing his master’s degree from Lesley University, he entered administration where he remained for the next thirty years. Frank served in several roles during those years, including: Assistant High School Principal, Elementary Principal, District Transportation and Athletic Director, High School Summer School Principal, and High School Principal. Upon retiring from Wyoming in 2012, Frank and Mary moved to Victor, Idaho, where Frank served as Principal of Teton High for five more years and retired again in 2017. It is hard to put in words the extent of love and acceptance Frank and Mary have felt upon arriving in Teton Valley eleven years ago. Frank often commented on what a loving and caring community he belonged to.
Frank and Mary have two children - Ryan and Danielle. Frank spent countless hours at his children’s sporting events and traveling throughout the Western United States for soccer tournaments and at times coaching both of their soccer teams. These frequent trips were mini family vacations. Frank took great pride in his children’s happiness and successes, as well as being there for the inevitable trials in this world. Ryan is currently a Nephrologist in Minnesota and Danielle is a Neuro ICU Nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland.
Additional passions in Frank’s life included spending time outdoors, cooking, and music. Before getting sick, twenty-three years ago, he loved hunting and cutting firewood in the mountains of Wyoming with his father-in-law, mountain biking, and skiing with his family in both Casper and Jackson. Frank also enjoyed golfing with friends and his son Ryan. As far as cooking, Frank’s expertise knew no bounds - including Italian, Norwegian, traditional midwestern (learning from his Mother-in-law), grilled, breakfast, and baking. Throughout the time his children were in high school, he would make them breakfast to order every morning. Frank’s passion for music was contagious. He often had an outstanding soundtrack playing in the background, enjoyed live concerts with friends and family, and introduced his Grandsons to classic music videos by artists such as Queen and Twisted Sister.
Over the past 11 years, Frank’s contagious joy, skills, and personality have selflessly extended to his daughter-in-law (Caili), son-in-law (Alex), a growing extended family, and his five Grandsons. His grandsons brought him palpable joy and they all adored “Poppa Frank.”
Frank wore many titles with grace, intelligence, and empathy: son, brother, husband, dad, grandpa, uncle, colleague, educator, coach, and friend. His passion for living continued during his battle with cancer over the past two years.
Frank was preceded by his mother Angeline Mello, father Alfred Mello, and older brother Ed Mello. Frank is survived by his wife Mary, brother John, sister Mary, son Ryan, daughter Danielle, daughter-in-law Caili, son-in-law Alex, and five grandsons Rignal, Maddox, Ty, Drake, and Tatum, along with numerous other extended family members. It was also a joy for Frank living "just over the hill" from Mary's sister and brother-in-law, Kari and Matt McCreedy and their children Meghan and William.
A Memorial Service will be held Thursday, August 31, 2023, at 4:30 pm in Driggs, Idaho at the Teton High School Auditorium, followed by a catered dinner in the cafeteria. All are highly encouraged to stay, eat, and celebrate Frank’s life after the service.
Frank was always concerned about food insecurity (hungry children and families), and the family has requested any remembrances be made in the form of a donation to the Teton Valley Food Pantry by going to www.tvfoodpantry.com/donate - under “comments” note “in memory of Frank Mello” or by dropping food off at the pantry.