Stephen D. “Steve” Melamed

Stephen D. “Steve” Melamed

Birth
Brockton, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, USA
Death 6 Dec 2010 (aged 66–67)
Provincetown, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Provincetown, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA
Plot Melamed
Memorial ID 62735843 · View Source
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PROVINCETOWN — The former chair of Provincetown's visitor services board and economic development council died peacefully at home early Monday, Dec. 6, with his family and friends surrounding him. His death leaves a profound hollow in a community that reaches to Boston and beyond.

Melamed, 67, who was co-owner of the restaurant Bayside Betsy's with his wife, Betsy, had been ill for several months. He only recently had stepped down as treasurer of the Provincetown Business Guild but was instrumental in helping promote Provincetown as a tourism destination.

"He's been a wonderful asset to Provincetown and the tourism industry," said Candy Collins-Boden, executive director of the Provincetown Chamber of Commerce. "He always fought so hard and devoted so many hours to tourism."

Steve Tait, former president of the PBG board of directors, worked closely with Melamed, often adjourning to a nearby bar after a board of directors meeting to "debate the issues in town."

"We didn't always agree but I enjoyed those conversations. At times he drove people crazy, but people looked beyond that and appreciated his dedication to the town. If the town had more Steve Melameds, it would be better off," said Tait.

The PBG presented Melamed with a special achievement award at its annual meeting on Oct. 20. And selectmen issued a proclamation the same day — declaring Oct. 20 "Stephen D. Melamed Day" — citing his numerous achievements and dedication to Provincetown.

"He tried his very best to make the town a better place. I didn't always agree with him but he was robust in trying to get something done," said board of selectmen chair Michele Couture.

"Steve was a great friend to so many of us and to Provincetown as well," said Alix Ritchie, Banner founder and former publisher who served with Melamed on the town's EDC. "He was the energy behind many tourism initiatives that we now take for granted, and he gave unstintingly of his time to make Provincetown a visitor destination, all with good humor, a big smile and rollicking laughter. We will all miss him and the town will, too."

He was a self-made man who came from very modest means, and he managed to propel himself to success at all he endeavored. And just as he was helped as a struggling young man, he was well known for taking others under his wing, helping to foster their success.

He aimed his considerable generosity at many of the local nonprofits, for example he and Betsy often played hosts for special events during the Provincetown International Film Festival.

"Steve's heart was as big as the man. Whatever you needed, he was right there to help," said Gabby Hanna, PIFF executive director. "He was generous — both with his time and his support of friends and community."

Good friend Michelle Haynes said though Melamed sometimes came off as a bear, he truly was a "total marshmallow." And, she said, "he knew everything, from how to make the best crème brulée to good places in Boston to go for a rendezvous." He was particularly insightful about the service industry, "understanding what you needed to do as a successful business person."

She added, "He gave me invaluable advice about keeping the message straight about [promoting Provincetown]."

His son, Bruce Arbit agreed. "He was inspiration to a lot of people. I can't go a day without being reminded of his help."
His mother died when he was eight years old, and he took care of his mentally challenged brother. He knew what it was like to have someone give him a chance, said Arbit, so he worked hard to pass along that favor to others.

He was, added Arbit, a "relentless optimist," adding, "It's a great quality."

Born in Brockton, he was the son of the late Samuel and Miriam (Suissman) Melamed. He graduated from English High School in Boston and worked in the food industry for several years. He served in the Army during the Viet Nam era. Although he refused to discuss his military experience, he was a strong defender of American values. Two sentiments he would never tolerate were discrimination of any kind and disparaging remarks about this country.

In 1981 he married his wife Betsy (Rosenberg). They lived in the North End of Boston and would spend weekends in Provincetown. They moved to Provincetown on a part-time basis in 1988 and full time in 1996.

The couple owned and ran Stormy Harbor Restaurant from 1995 until 2000. In 1998 he purchased the former Town House on Commercial Street, renaming it Steve's Alibi, which he owned until 2002. In 2000, he and Betsy started Bayside Betsy's restaurant at 177 Commercial St.

Steve used a combination of his keen business sense, enthusiasm and love of the town as a basis for his service on various town boards and committees. He was a member of the Provincetown Visitor Services Board for nine years, from 1997 to 2006, serving as its first chairperson. He also was chair of the town's economic development council, treasurer of the Provincetown Business Guild, a member of the zoning board in Provincetown, and for several years he served as the chair of the annual Carnival event.

In the late 90s, he even managed to arrange to have the Budweiser Clydesdales parade through town during Carnival.
He will be remembered mostly for the strength of his convictions but for those who knew him best, his generosity of spirit and resources, coupled with his loyalty to family and friends, will be a fond memory.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his two daughters, Lori Melamed of Ipswich and Tracy Baker and her husband Blake of East Longmeadow; his son, Bruce Arbit and his partner Marcos Pichardo of New Jersey; his three grandchildren, Max Perreault, Kate Baker and Brooke Baker. He was the brother of the late Paul Melamed. He is also survived by countless extended family members, most especially, his two close friends and colleagues George Myers and Nicholas Barbuto.

A non-denominational funeral service in celebration of his life will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Dec, 10, in Provincetown United Methodist Church, 10 Shank Painter Road. Retired Rev. Jim Cox will lead the service. Burial will follow in the town cemetery. In fulfillment of one of his last requests, following burial, an informal gathering of his family and friends will be held at Bayside Betsy's, 177 Commercial St. In keeping with the spirit of Steve's generosity, memorial contributions in his honor may be made to Harbor to the Bay at http://www.harbortothebay.org or to AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod at www.ASGCC.org. Expressions of support may be conveyed by visiting gatelyfuneralservice.com.


Inscription

A GENEROUS SPIRIT
AN INDEPENDENT THINKER
A RELENTLESS OPTIMIST
WE ARE ALL THE BETTER
FOR KNOWING HIM

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  • Maintained by: Mayflower Pilgrim 332
  • Originally Created by: Butterfly Rose
  • Added: 9 Dec 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 62735843
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Stephen D. “Steve” Melamed (1943–6 Dec 2010), Find a Grave Memorial no. 62735843, citing Provincetown Cemetery, Provincetown, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Mayflower Pilgrim 332 (contributor 47081711) .