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Thomas A. Melfe, a senior counsel at the law firm of Piper Rudnick LLP, NYC, and longtime Port Washington resident, has died at age 70.

Mr. Melfe, co-author of the 1999 book, Investing and Managing Trusts, died of cancer on Sept. 8, 2002 at North Shore University Hospital, LIJ Medical Center, Manhasset, surrounded by his wife and three daughters.

Mr. Melfe graduated from Notre Dame University and Georgetown Law School. After law school, he joined the US Marine Corps, where he attained the rank of captain. Following the Marine Corps, he joined the US Trust Company in NYC in 1960 and was a member of the board of trustees when he left to practice law in 1981.

Mr. Melfe has written and lectured extensively on trusts, wills, taxes and estate planning. He was a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and an academician of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law. He was also a fellow of the NYS Bar Foundation and was chairman of the NYS Bar Association investment committee.

Mr. Melfe has served as chairman of the board of the municipal fund for NY Investors, Inc., sponsored by PNC Institutional Management Corporation, and as a director of the family of 24 mutual funds sponsored by Warburg, Pincus & Co. He was secretary of the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation and a member of the Links Club and University Club in Manhattan and past president of North Hempstead Country Club here in Port Washington.

His life in Port Washington began in 1966 when he brought his family from Fresh Meadows, Queens. It is here where he was involved in the early development of Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington with other longtime resident and friend, Myron Blumenfeld. In 1972 the Melfes moved to Flower Hill Port Washington where they have lived ever since. He was a regular sight for parishioners of St. Peter of Alcantara RC Church where he served as an usher at the 12:15 mass. His love of this town passed on to his three daughters, two who reside in Port Washington and one who visits regularly.

Tom Melfe is survived by his wife, Opal; brother Francis; three daughters, Sheila Vestergom, Sharon Kuehn and Andrea Walsh; their spouses; and five grandchildren. His family dearly loved "Tom," "Daddy," "Grandpa" and miss him more than words can say.

Grace W. Gerken died on Sept. 26, 2002, just two weeks before her 103rd birthday. She was born in Brooklyn, Oct. 10, 1899, moved to Port Washington with her family in 1909 and continued to reside here for the remainder of her life. She married the late John Arthur Gerken in 1927. She is survived by her daughter, Joan Gerken; her sisters, Charlotte Stove and Edna Thomas Dalton, all of Port Washington. She was predeceased by her sisters, Elsie Cornelius and Mildred Jacobsen Lunde. She was the oldest member (both in age and years of membership) of the United Methodist Church. Arrangements were handled by the Austin F. Knowles Funeral Home, Port Washington. Interment Nassau Knolls Cemetery. Donations can be made to the United Methodist Church. Logo
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