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International Women’s Day: My Grandmother, Nancy Mello

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Lasell chapter.

Everyone claims that they have the best grandma, but I know for a fact that I really do. My grandmother, Nancy Mello, is quite easily the best person I know. She is hardworking, caring, and also makes the best bacon and egg sandwiches you will ever eat. I am so thankful for her and all that she does for our family, so she was the perfect choice for my interview for Women’s Month. 

My grandmother was born in 1950 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. She was the sixth girl in her family, and was one of nine children. The neighborhood that they lived in had ten houses with many other kids, so it was both easy and fun to head to the school yard across the street and spend hours playing outside. Her family has always been close, and that is something that Nancy has carried through to her own family. 

When Nancy was a junior in high school, she babysat her sister’s children. Through babysitting them, she met her future husband, Steve, who lived next door. The pair were married when she was 21 and together they have three children. They bought their first house together when she was 22, which was located in Tiverton, Rhode Island. Throughout their lives together, they have been able to enjoy many things. They were part of a golf club when they were younger, have traveled to multiple countries together, and enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren, all of which live a neighborhood away. Nancy and Steve spent a lot of time coaching their children’s sports teams, and Nancy was a teacher in the church’s CCD program. We spend every holiday together, and always come over Sunday mornings for breakfast after church. Nancy and Steve have strong family values, and also love to help others. Both of them are amazing role models, and I hope to support and encourage my family in the same ways they have for us. 

Nancy has held many different jobs throughout the years. After completing some college courses in Accounting at UMass Dartmouth and BCC, she had her first job as a Supervisor for an insurance firm in Fall River, Massachusetts. In this role she would travel to Connecticut and learn about data processing so that she could come back and teach her firm. Following that position, she became a stenographer at a finance company in Newport, Rhode Island. 

During the 1980’s, she started working in the Town Hall of Tiverton, RI. In 1992, she became the Treasurer of the town, and in 1998, she was chosen for the Tax Collector position. Nancy was elected as the Town Clerk in 2008, and throughout her time there, also took over the Town Administrator role six times, when they needed someone to fill the role. She was the first woman in the administration in the town. Due to this, it made the position somewhat challenging. Most of the department heads were male, which meant that she had to work twice as hard to get the same amount of recognition from those around her. However, she was strongly appreciated and respected by the town, and their support, along with her incredible work ethic, helped to prove how capable she was to serve the town in the position. 

Throughout her time there, she was able to do so much for the community. She ran elections, was on the Board of Canvas, ran Probate Court, and more. Throughout the holiday season, she would run gift and food drives for those in need within the community, and during Thanksgiving she co-ran a Thanksgiving Soup Kitchen six times! My grandmother’s selflessness amazes me, and proves how great of a person she truly is.

She retired from her position with the town in 2021, at the age of 70. The town threw a large parade for her as a sendoff, and it was so clear to see how much the town cares about her and respects her. Even in retirement she remains part of various committees within the town. They include the Housing Authority, Knights of Columbus, Secretary of the Democratic Committee, Church Finance Committee, Newport County Women’s Club, and the yearly Thanksgiving Soup Kitchen. She loves that she can still be a huge part of the community through these committees. Nancy also enjoys that through them she is able to connect with community members and friends on a weekly basis. When she is not doing committee work, she enjoys a multitude of other activities. She is a diamond art master, loves to knit and crochet, cook, garden, partakes in close travel with friends, and spends lots of time with her family. Her bucket list includes traveling to the Grand Canyon and driving through the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

My grandmother is truly remarkable, and her constant drive and hard-working energy proves that she deserves to be highlighted for Women’s Month. I cannot wait to make more memories with her, because she is an inspiration and her amazing light and nature is an amazing influence and truly deserves to be celebrated.

Anna Wall

Lasell '22

Lasell University Event Management Student, Class of 2022. She loves llamas, event planning, and country music :)