Joe Melillo


About Me

Joined UCH: December 1980

Born in Brooklyn, NYC and grew up in Lindenhurst, on Long Island's south shore. My paternal grandfather was an Italian immigrant and small cement business owner. My maternal grandma immigrated from France; her Mother had been a lion tamer in a French circus! 

After college, I searched diligently for a Social Studies teaching position but could not land one. I sought work in NYC but found that my history degree and teaching credentials did not prepare me for the business world, at least in the eyes of recruiters. I had always intended to attend law school eventually, so decided to apply the following year, and during the interim just work factory jobs. I labored at a vinyl fabrication plant as a machinist, and then for a lighting fixture company as its porter (a much more fulfilling position), and may still be carried on the rolls of the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers Union.

I started law school at SUNY Buffalo in 1974. (Not so sunny, believe me. 200 inches of snow one year.) I met my future wife, Kandy Foust, at an orientation party. We married in 1977 following graduation and located in very rural and tidy Hollidaysburg Pennsylvania, where she worked for Blair County Legal Services. 

Kandy is originally from Gettysburg, and (being lawyers), we had a deal coming out of law school that whoever obtained a position first could accept it, and the other would follow. She really moved on this, and I was soon committed to living in rural Pennsylvania. I eventually found employment as a judge's law clerk in an adjoining county. I was told that I was the only person ever hired in that county solely on the basis of merit (all in good fun, of course.) 

We moved to the state capital, Harrisburg, in 1980, where Kandy started working as a counsel to the Public Utility Commission, and I joined the civil litigation law firm of Angino and Rovner. I toiled there for the next 30 years, and switched to a new (and smaller) firm in January of '10. I firmly believe that every thirty years or so we should do something different in life. The Hon. Kandace Melillo served as a judge for the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission before retiring in late 2014.

Kandy and I have two adult children, Daniel (Ashley) and Amy (Seth). Amy and Seth have three daughters, and Dan and Ashley welcomed a healthy baby girl in December of 2017. Grandparenting is the best!

Kandy and I joined UCH in 1980, and raised the kids in the church’s RE program. We’ve both been very active in the church over the years. Kandy’s activities include the Board of Trustees, acting as Vice President, teaching RE, and serving on a search committee. I’ve now served on the Board of Trustees three times, including as Board President during the second stint. Other activities include choir, finance committee chair, RE teacher, and small group ministry facilitator.

I’m firmly committed to our denomination’s seven principles, but also adhere to two lesser known propositions, worth noting:  1. The N.Y. Yankees are a complete reason for living and  2. The Boston Red Sox are the root of most evil.  I do appreciate the diversity of thought and attitude which this church tolerates.

Joe Melillo