Owen Patrick Mellon passed away peacefully on Friday May 12, 2023 in his 88th year with family by his side. He will be greatly missed by his loving wife of 63 years, Carolyn (nee Tufford); children, Jim (Joanne), Michael (Alyson) , Lisa (Bruno) and his 10 beloved grandchildren whom he admired and adored ; Makenzi, Elysa, Lauren, Owen Jr , Quinton , Jessie , James, Ciara, Angelina & Andrea.
Owen Sr was the fourth of six children from parents, Michael and Margaret; Jack (Joan), Michael (Jeannine), Maureen (Bob), Helen and Jimmy. They were a loving and close family living in Toronto and Mount Albert. He is survived by his sister Helen, whom he was very close with his entire life.
Owen had a fascination with business from an early age. His father served in WWII when Owen was 5 years old and returned when he was 10. Owen helped his father on the weekends with a milk route and at age 12 purchased his own bicycle for $5.00 – a bike he put to good use working the milk route and delivering fish and chips part time in Toronto. Any other spare time would find him working for the local drug store and delicatessen. Owen was an ambitious boy even at a young age and pursued the almighty dollar with a hunger.
After attending Mount Albert High, Owen took a job with the TD Bank as a teller and in his words, “counting money and running the numbers”, making Owen feel right at home. He loved the allure of banking and as his annual pay was $1,250.00, was quickly lured away to IAC (now HSBC) for a starting wage of $3,000.00!
In 1957 Owen met his wife Carol while on a trip to Sauble Beach and they were married in 1959 when she was 18. It was not long after they had three children while Owen continued his ascension of the Corporate Finance ladder. Over the next 17 years the family moved numerous times (Kingston, Chatham, Cobourg, Ottawa, Markham ,Toronto and more), meeting and creating long lasting friendships wherever they planted roots.
In 1974 Owen and Carol decided to make a big change in their lives when he acquired a large Ford Lincoln Car Dealership in Ottawa. They remained there for six years until high interest rates, the onset of the recession and some tough lessons learned along the way about the hazards of business partnerships changed their destiny. Thus, at 44 years old, Owen found himself bankrupt and out of a job. Never to be dissuaded, Owen’s drive and determination brought him back to Toronto to start all over again. With lessons learned and with “the bit in his teeth”, Owen took on a sales role with a small housewares company – an industry and role completely foreign to him. However, the unfamiliarity was short lived as Owen’s pleasant demeanour, his special way with people and his financial acumen quickly led to success and promotion to General Manager of the company.
That move led him to eventually start his own importing housewares company and then with time and success it led to the acquisition and relocation of a domestic hanger manufacturer, relocating it to Ontario from Quebec. A short time later he uncovered another opportunity and acquired a third entity, a picnic disposables distribution company.
Within 12 years from the 1980 calamity, he had rebuilt his little empire with three thriving companies and all three of his children engaged in various facets of the businesses. Owen travelled the world sourcing and importing a vast array of products and teaching his kids the ropes along the way. He was a family man who loved watching his children grow and meet with success not only in business, but in their relationships with friends and most importantly with their young families.
When Owen retired, he and Carol spent more time at their Florida villa in Siesta Key. They also enjoyed many great years traveling Europe with good friends Jack and Nancy Haggerty, making many great memories from wonderful trips and fun in the sun. He loved his Irish cousins Marshall and the late Cyril Mellon and was so happy that the families reconnected and that the next generations will continue the close family connection .
Owen was a very generous man with his time, money or whatever he could give at the moment. He had a special gift of patience, able to listen to everyone who had a problem and thus became a mentor to many. His friends were true friends forever and especially long time buddies, Jim Somerville ,Nick Taylor and Pino Adamo.
It's time that we say farewell to Owen, not goodbye, as he will always be cherished and remembered.
You were a great Husband, Dad, Grandfather, Mentor and Friend.
God Bless, Rest in Peace, we love you!
Friends may call at the Turner & Porter Yorke Chapel, 2357 Bloor St. W., at Windermere, east of the Jane Subway on Monday May 22, 2023 from 5-8 p.m. A Funeral Service will take place in the Chapel on Tuesday May 23, 2023 at 12 p.m. Interment to follow at Evergreen Cemetery, 230 Ontario St. Milton ON L9T 2M9.