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Irene Bernice Melov

December 18, 2010

Kill Devil Hills- Irene Bernice Melov, 91, a longtime resident of Takoma Park, Maryland died Saturday December 18, 2010 at Spring Arbor Assisted Living, of complications of dementia. Bernice was born in Boston, Massachusetts. She graduated from Teachers College of the City of Boston in 1940. Bernice was an elementary school teacher, first in Boston before World War II and then in public schools in Brooklyn, New York from 1946 until her retirement in 1976. She moved to Silver Spring, Maryland in 1980 and subsequently to Takoma Park in 1986. She was a member of and volunteer with Equality Maryland, Metro DC and National PFLAG, and the Takoma Park House and Garden Tour Committee. Other memberships included Montgomery County ORT, Montgomery County NOW, and Bet Mispachah of Washington, DC. Bernice’s weekly volunteer work with Equality Maryland continued through her 90th birthday.

In 2007, 2008, and 2009 Bernice testified before the Maryland General Assembly’s Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and the House of Delegates Judiciary Committee in favor of the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act. As reported in the Baltimore Sun on February 15, 2008, she completed her testimony in favor of civil marriage equality for same gender couples by saying: “Before I leave this earth, I want to celebrate fully equal civil marriage rights in Maryland. My time is short and I’m in a hurry. Please don’t make me come back another year.” Bernice’s marriage to Alfred Melov ended in divorce.

Bernice Melov is survived by her son, Steven Melov of Takoma Park and Kill Devil Hills and her niece, Hannah Rosinsky of Torrance, California. The family will hold a celebration of her life in Maryland at a later date. In accordance with Irene’s wishes, she has been bequeathed to science in furtherance of medical research. The family suggests that memorial donations in Bernice’s memory be forwarded to The Equality Maryland Foundation at 1201 S. Sharp St. Suite 109 Baltimore, MD 21230, PFLAG National 1828 L Street, NW Suite 660 Washington, DC 20036, and/or Dare Home Health and Hospice PO Box 1000 Manteo, NC 27954. Condolences to the family may be expressed via the on-line register at www.gallopfuneralservices.com. Gallop Funeral Services, Inc. was entrusted with arrangements.