Leslie Soares Mello left home at the age of 92 to be with The Lord, on March 27th, 2023, with his loved ones by his side.
He was born on August 9,1930 in Visalia, California, to Manuel L. Mello and Dulce Soares Mello. Les attended Union Elementary and Visalia High School. Already working when he graduated high school in 1949, he continued working on the family farm with his dad and brother John. The farm grew after they purchased more acreage and became Manuel Mello and Sons. After his father retired, the business was renamed the Mello Brothers. A hardworking man, Les took side jobs during off seasons, working at Visalia Livestock Sales Yard, and at harvests, drove a cotton picker for Manuel Olivera. Les always made sure his family was taken care of.
In 1950 he took interest in a neighbor girl, Beverly Leal. They dated and on October 6th, 1952, were married and raised three children. The very definition of a family man, Les taught his kids how to be decent, hardworking, kind and above all, devoted to family.
Les was an active member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Visalia for 92 yrs. His religion was of great importance, and he spoke often of how his faith got him through life. He was a member of the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus and Color Guard, as well as a member of Carrillo Civic Club #12. Beside community work, Les loved one-liners, tractors (especially John Deere) and the many, many farm cats that roamed their farm during his 70-year marriage to his sweetheart, Bev. He was the mayor at every family or friends gathering he attended.
He is survived by his wife, Beverly of 70 years, and their three children, Gregory (Gary) Mello, Cynthia McGee and Brian Mello as well as their spouses, Kymberly, Mike and Sandra and his honorary daughter, Shereen Brown. Les’s grandchildren are Amanda and Jeremy Fox, Ryan and Joanna Lee, Bethany and Jacob Guerra, Bryanna and Brandon Parkey, Amanda and Matt Lebo, Sara and Caleb Savala, and Michael McGee. Les has eleven Great Grandchildren: Aubrey, Teddy, Grant, Owen, Luca, Katie & Ella, Savannah, Rilynn, Calvin and Cruz.
Les Mello was preceded in death by his parents and brother John.
Sunday, April 2 – Smith Family Chapel location: 505 East Pine Street, Exeter, CA
2:00 PM Viewing
4:00 PM Rosary recitation
Monday, April 3 – 9:00 AM Mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Visalia
Directly followed by burial at 10:30 AM at the Visalia Cemetery
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Good Shepherd Catholic Church building fund for St. Charles.
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