His people skills were such that for years he became the department's unofficial designated celebrity handler for the annual Hero Scholarship Thrill Show. He was especially good at putting celebrities at ease, from Bob Hope to rock stars. Years after his appearance Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits was staying in touch, and Don Rickles still sends a Christmas card.
``He always was my hero,'' said his son, retired Philadelphia police sergeant Anthony J. Melchiorre, now an insurance-fraud private investigator. ``I always admired Dad's being a gentleman, always finding peaceful solutions to any problem. I carried those traits into my own police career and they were extremely helpful. Even though he had a lot of power, he chose to resolve problems in a peaceful, gentleman-like way.''
Formerly of Roxborough and South Philadelphia, Melchiorre served in the South Pacific as a Navy Seabee during World War II.
Survivors also include his wife of 58 years, the former Rita Sica; another son, John A.; a daughter, Harriet L. Ricchini; a sister, Caroline Amoroso; a brother, Joseph; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
A Funeral Liturgy will be celebrated at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, 1630 Marne Highway, Hainesport, N.J. Burial will be in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Mount Holly.
Friends may call from 7 to 9 tonight and at 8:15 a.m. tomorrow at Mount Laurel Home for Funerals, 212 Ark Road, Mount Laurel, N.J.
ROBERT LEE SR. Robert Lee Sr., a retired deputy warden for the Philadelphia prisons and employee of the U.S. Marshal Service, died Wednesday. He was 70 and lived in Mayfair.
Lee began as a correctional officer in 1958. During his 31-year career he progressed to sergeant, lieutenant, captain, major and finally deputy warden. Retiring in 1989, he went to work as a guard for the U.S. Marshal Service.
He was active in Episcopal churches as a lay reader, vestry, and choir member, most recently at St. John in Kensington. Lee was a former resident of Richmond and Kensington.
``Dad was an excellent husband, father and provider for his family,'' said Bob Lee Jr. ``He and mom taught us right from wrong, and instilled in us children the importance of education, hard work and family. He lived his religion, treating everyone with care and respect, as he would have them treat him.
``He was slow to criticize and quick in forgiving others. Dad liked his work, always had a funny story to tell, and enjoyed his time with family and friends. He was very content with life.''
Survivors also include his wife, the former Irene E. Margerum; four other sons, Warren, James, David and Steven; a daughter, Cheryl; 15 grandchildren; and a sister, Alice.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. today at the Free Church of St. John, Emerald and Elkhart streets. Burial will be in All Saints Torresdale Churchyard. Contributions may be made to the Free Church of St. John.
GORDY J. DASHIELL JR. Gordy J. Dashiell Jr., a computer consultant and retired federal employee, died Tuesday of a stroke. He was 56 and lived in Upper Darby.
Dashiell worked for 20 years at the Defense Personnel Support Center and did computer consulting after he retired. A 1960 graduate of Edison High School, Dashiell received an associate's degree in engineering from Temple University in 1975. He had served in the Marine Corps.
A retired sergeant in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, he belonged to the Veteran Corps 1st Regiment, Infantry, the Washington Grays and had been a member of the 103rd Engineer Battalion.
Survivors include his wife, the former Eleanor L. Fisher; a son, Vaughn Henry; two daughters, Crystal and Rochelle Teague; his mother, Alice Dashiell; a brother, Charles DeShields; and three sisters, Barbara Jean Murray, Arlene Thomas and Marlene Spells.
Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at St. Matthew's AME Church, 57th and Summer streets, where friends may call one hour earlier. Burial will be in Indiantown Gap National Cemetery.