OBITUARY

Drew Mellen

March 15, 1954October 27, 2018
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Dr. Arthur “Drew” William Mellen, IV March 15, 1954 – October 27, 2018

Dr. Arthur “Drew” William Mellen, IV, beloved husband, adored brother, proud father, idolized grandfather, and devoted physician, passed away peacefully in the presence of his family on Saturday, October 27, 2018 at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. His passing came after a 12-year battle with myelofibrosis and leukemia, throughout which he demonstrated a level of soft-spoken determination and grit that his family will forever aspire to emulate.

Drew was born March 15, 1954 to the late Mary “Mare” Jane Lind Mellen and Arthur “Andy” William Mellen, III. The eldest of 6 children who grew up together in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, he attended Phillips Exeter Academy (’72) before matriculating to Harvard College (’76). He then studied medicine at Jefferson Medical College (’80), after which he completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Pennsylvania Hospital, where he went on to practice as a physician for 33 years. Over the course of his career he delivered more than 7,000 babies and mentored hundreds of residents and fellows. He was adored by his patients, who appreciated his calming presence, and was deeply respected by his colleagues and peers, who valued his mentorship and friendship.

On August 21, 1982 he married Jennifer Ann Metzler, also of Bethlehem. They settled in the Barclay Farms neighborhood of Cherry Hill, NJ, where within a close community of dear friends they raised four children, Peter (1984), Gregory (1986), Phoebe (1989), and Matthew (1991).

An avid athlete throughout his youth, he took to running in medical school. In total, he completed 17 marathons, with a personal best of 2:48. His standing offer of $100 to any friend of his children who can beat his best time will continue to be honored by his family. He later took to golf, a passion he shared with his brothers and his dear Cherry Hill friends. A true sports enthusiast, he was a lifelong New York Giants fan and cherished decades of friendly banter with his friends, patients, and coworkers - even the Eagles fans among them.

His favorite place in the world was Avalon, NJ where he had vacationed with his family as a child, and where he and Jenn have continued to vacation with their family to this day. Some of his family’s fondest and purest memories of Drew involve summers at the beach with cousins, friends, and most recently grandchildren.

A man of few words, he had a realistic yet positive outlook on life: there’s a lot you can’t control, so don’t dwell on it, and go do what you can with what you’ve got. Common manifestations of his perspective were phrases like, “What’re you gonna do?”, “Suck it up”, and “Figure it out”- refrains that he would repeat throughout his fight with cancer. Never one to complain, when asked how he was doing throughout his treatment, even in the harshest phases, he would reliably reply, “Good.”

His family, friends, coworkers and patients all absorbed his resilience, as well as his appreciation for the fact that the most important things in life are the simple ones right in front of you – loving family, dear friends, fulfilling work, and good jokes (and of course the New York Football Giants). His was a gentle presence that made those around him feel appreciated and at ease, and he will be sorely missed by all.

Drew is survived by his wife, Jennifer Metzler Mellen, of Cherry Hill, NJ; son and daughter-in-law, Peter and Laura Mellen, and grandchildren, Benjamin and Tessa Mellen, of Wayland, MA; son, Gregory Mellen, of Cambridge, MA; daughter and son-in-law, Dr. Phoebe Mellen and Dr. Ryan Watson, of Philadelphia, PA; and son, Matthew Mellen, of San Francisco, CA. He is predeceased by his sister, Susan Mellen Hahn, and survived by his 4 living siblings: Lynn Mellen Wendell of San Francisco, CA; Robert Lind Mellen of Duxbury, MA; M. Scott Mellen of Boston, MA; Christopher Mellen of Lynnfield, MA; as well as their spouses and his 16 beloved nieces and nephews.

Drew and his family would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to the hospital staff that supported him throughout his treatment – particularly the transfusion and bone marrow transplant staff at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Family and friends are invited to a Visitation Thursday, November 1st from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at BLAKE-DOYLE Funeral Home, 226 W. Collings Ave, Collingswood, NJ. A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, November 2nd at 11:00 am at Grace Episcopal Church in Haddonfield, NJ.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to The Drew Mellen Fund c/o Dr. Steven Ralston, Department of OB/GYN at Pennsylvania Hospital at 2 Pine East, 800 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, or to the National Marrow Donor Registry at www.bethematch.org. Please also consider joining the marrow donor registry.

  • FAMILY

  • Jennifer Mellen, Wife
  • Peter Mellen, Son
  • Laura Mellen, Daughter-in-law
  • Gregory Mellen, Son
  • Dr. Phoebe Mellen, Daughter
  • Dr. Ryan Watson, Son-in-law
  • Matthew Mellen, Son
  • Benjamin Mellen, Grandson
  • Tessa Mellen, Granddaughter
  • Susan Hahn, Sister
  • Lynn Wendell, Sister
  • Robert Lind Mellen, Brother
  • M. Scott Mellen, Brother
  • Christopher Mellen, Brother
  • Drew also leaves behind 16 beloved nieces and nephews.

Services

  • Visitation Thursday, November 1, 2018
  • Memorial Service Friday, November 2, 2018
REMEMBERING

Drew Mellen

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Mchele Freiberg

November 9, 2018

Ever since I learned of Dr. Mellen’s passing, I have struggled to come up with the words that would describe how much he meant to me - not only as my doctor, but as a caring, supportive and incredibly sensitive and trusted human being. Even now, it is hard to express how appreciative I am to have known this man with great talent, intelligence, and medical expertise tempered with his extraordinary humanity.

Sami Zierler

November 8, 2018

I have been going to Dr. Mellen since I was 12 years old and I am now 37. He watched over my 4 amazing pregnancies and gave me all kinds of amazing life advice along the way. Through each pregnancy he would calm me, and he has played a big part in who I am today. He would even try to convince me to name a baby Phoebe when I asked "what names do you like?" It was always, "Phoebe!" I am so, so, sorry for the family's loss and so terribly sorry for all of humanity's loss. He was one of a kind, and I will miss him greatly!
-Sami

Margie Sullivan

November 6, 2018

Dear Family of Dr Mellen,
I agree with all that has been said about him. He was truly an extraordinary man. I was his patient for 27 years. He delivered my one and only child in 1993. He did every ultrasound himself. He was just as excited as my husband and I to tell us it was a boy. He called me on a Sunday morning to tell me that I had gestational diabetes. He answered every question that I had. I had no worries, because he was delivering my baby. He was also my first call of what to do when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. He was always there for me.
I looked forward to seeing him every year for my annual exam. I liked to joke with my friends that I would have another baby just so I could see Dr Mellen more often. Anyone that knew him could relate to that statement . I also felt that I was his favorite.
I feel bad that I had no idea how sick he really was. My heart is broken, and still can’t believe that he is gone. There will never be anyone that has touched so many lives. May he Rest In Peace.

Robin Levine

November 6, 2018

Dear Mellen Family
I want to extend my most sincere and deepest condolences on the loss of Dr. Mellen. I am truly pained by his passing. I was his patient for thirty years and even after moving to Bucks Co twenty years ago there still was only ONE person that could deliver my babies and see me for annual visits. He was beyond worth the drive to Phila. Over the past several years it was Dr. Mellen who would reassure ME that he was doing GOOD! Year after year since his diagnosis I would ask how he’s doing and he always said....”I’m doing good babe...all good” I too thought that I was Dr. Mellen’s favorite patient.... how could he possibly treat everyone as special as he treats me? Now the truth has been exposed...it was EVERYONE. He was truly an extraordinary man with a gift of making patients feel comfortable, reassured and cared for. I am heartbroken. I hope that the love and support of family and close friends can bring you some comfort at this most difficult time.

Jennifer Mullen

November 6, 2018

Beth Lutz, a long time patient of Dr Mellen's, brought this potted plant Mellen to our office yesterday. Just a little reminder that Dr Mellen will always be with us... XO

Rebecca Ranieri

November 6, 2018

My sincere condolences to the Mellen family, thank you so much for sharing your husband/father with his patients through the years, he was an extraordinary person and left his mark on everyone he met. I came to Dr Mellen 26 years ago, a teen pregnancy, needless to say I was terrified… Within minutes of meeting him, I felt a sense of calm come over me. He told my mother “I could be sitting here telling you that your daughter is sick.. she’s not.. she is having a baby, babies bring JOY, your going to be fine" He was RIGHT! Each visit he hugged my mom and reassured her we would all be ok.. I swear I couldn’t have gotten through L+D without him(he even stayed after his “on call” shift was over so he could be there with me for delivery, which I am sure he did for a lot of people) Like someone else mentioned, he made all his patients feel like you were his favorite patient.. People could never understand how I could look forward to my annual visit... my reply, I have the BEST Dr, with the BEST bedside manor, you wouldn't understand unless you met him.
My heart is broken for your family, Dr. Mellen will always hold a special place in my heart.

Carol Hagan

November 6, 2018

Dr. Mellen became my doctor in 2001 and saw me through two pregnancies and the loss of my husband to brain cancer shortly after the birth of my second child in 2006. He was incredibly empathetic and supportive at that difficult time. At the end of my appointment last year, he offered an unsolicited pep talk on raising teenagers, parent to parent. Stay calm! I remember this conversation, and others, frequently. Dr. Mellen will always be a source of strength for me and my family.

Blair Manus

November 5, 2018

Dr. Mellen was my gynecologist for the last 10 years. I’ve never had a doctor handle me so well, especially since I’m a bit of a hypochondriac. He knew how to calm me down in moments of confusion while putting me in my place to stop worrying so much. He was always there to answer any question, concern or overreaction. My heart is broken that he’s gone but I know he will always be looking over me and all his other patients, family and friends. My thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Mellon’s family.

Dr Damone Jones

November 3, 2018

I’m just grateful that 3 of my 4 children were delivered by Dr. Mellen! The absolute best doctor ever. My wife and I will never, ever forget him!

Marisa Cohen

November 3, 2018

The world lost a great man in Dr. Mellen. Choosing a Doctor to see you through pregnancy is one of the most intimate relationships formed. When I was pregnant for the first time and I asked my gyn for ob recommendations he didnt even hesitate when he said “no question Dr. Mellen.” When I moved to the suburbs, I continued to drive to Pennsylvania Hospital to to see Dr. Mellen for my 3 babies. I wouldn’t have trusted anyone else to see me through. His demeanor, sense of humor, “Babe,” and his smile and handshake at each appointment calmed me down and helped me enjoy my pregnancies. With my third baby in 2017, I called him in tears on my due date so uncomfortable. It was the end of the day, I am sure he was done with patients and when he called me back all he said was “come down let’s see what’s going on.” He was just the best. Everyone and anyone who knew him knows this. I am so sad he had to suffer at all and that he is no longer here. It’s fitting he left such a legacy through bringing life into this world.