Obituary: Melba Andrea Rossi Bernadette Membrino

Melba Andrea Rossi Bernadette Membrino

PROSPECT — Melba Andrea Rossi Bernadette Membrino died peacefully in her home on July 28, just 4 days short of her 100th birthday. She was the wife of the late Joseph Robert Membrino, her husband of 61 years.

Mrs. Membrino had a long and distinguished career as a teacher, starting in 1961 in Waterbury and then Naugatuck. For more than 2 decades after that she taught first grade in the Prospect school system.

Mrs. Membrino was a communicant of St Anthony’s Church in Prospect where she and her husband were founding members of the parish and where she served as a reader at the church for more than three decades.

Mrs. Membrino was elected Democratic town clerk in Prospect in 1954. She was presented with a lifetime achievement award in 2005 by Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell and Prospect Mayor Bob Chatfield for her dedicated service to the town of Prospect.

Other honors include a distinguished alumna award from St. Mary Grammar School, Waterbury where she established a scholarship for graduating students, and induction into the Books of Lives and Legacies at the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, N.Y.

Mrs. Membrino was born in Guilford, on Aug. 1, 1911, one of five children of Michela DeMatteo Rossi and Giovanni Rossi. She moved to Waterbury as a young girl, where she attended St. Mary’s Grammar School and Crosby High School. She continued her education at New Britain Teachers’ College from which she received her teaching credential.

In 1937 she married Joseph Membrino, a former principal of Wilby High School and moved to Prospect in 1938. Mrs. Membrino went on to receive her Master’s in education at Southern Connecticut State College.

Mrs. Membrino was active for many years in the American Association of University Women, The Girl Scouts of America as a troop leader, The March of Dimes, Waterbury United Hospital Campaign, and the United Way of the Greater Waterbury Area.

She is survived by her daughters Carol Membrino Nettelbeck of Melbourne, Australia; Marcia Membrino of Milford, N.Y. and Melba (Tweedles) Kline of Northbrook, Ill.; and her sons Joseph Membrino of Washington, D.C. and John Membrino of Bethesda, Md.

An infant son, Joseph Otto Membrino predeceased her.

Other survivors include 11 grandchildren, Alexander Nettelbeck of Melbourne, Australia; Jennifer Nettelbeck Yoteau of Noumea, New Caledonia, Bridget Nettelbeck of Melbourne, Australia; David Kline of Los Angeles, Calif.; Emily Kline of St Paul, Minn.; Peter Kline of West Hollywood, Calif.; Jennifer Kline of Chicago, Ill.; Anna Membrino, New York City; Michael Membrino, Washington, D.C.; Samuel Membrino, Bethesda, Md., and Polly Membrino of Bethesda, Md.

Her three great-grandchildren are Isabelle Nettelbeck Manetta of Melbourne, Australia; Laetitia Yoteau of Noumea, New Caledonia; and Cyrus Kline of West Hollywood, Calif.

Friends may call at the Buckmiller Brothers Funeral Home at 26 Waterbury Road, Prospect, on July 30 between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. The Requiem Mass will be celebrated immediately after the calling hours at 12:30 p.m. at St Anthony’s Church in Prospect, followed by her burial at the Prospect Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to a charity of one’s choice.