Jack Morelli, a musician and cook who lived in Amagansett and East Hampton for four decades, died on Saturday at Stony Brook University Hospital of complications from a stroke. He was 61.
Mr. Morelli had worked as a property caretaker and, most recently, as a private chef. “He loved to cook for people,” his daughter, Janae Anderson of Nashville, said.
A regular every morning at the One Stop Market in East Hampton, where he would always get a roll with peanut butter and butter to have with his tea, Mr. Morelli was remembered by friends and family as a caring, selfless, and gentle man.
“There aren’t many people like Jack,” said Steve Thorsen of East Hampton. “He was the salt of the earth . . . a sweetheart of a person. You could only hope to be half the caring person he was. He just loved people, and people loved him.”
Mr. Morelli was an exceptional guitar player, his family said, and could sing and play any Harry Chapin song perfectly. He moved to the East End in his 20s and lived for a time on Main Street in Amagansett, where he would perform at McKendry’s Pub with his brother, Joe Morelli.
He was born on Aug. 7, 1953, in Monroe, Michigan, a son of Armond and Genevieve Poskey Morelli, and graduated from Monroe Catholic Central High School in 1971.
He was adored by his three granddaughters, his daughter said, and lit up every time he saw them. He loved teaching jokes and riddles to his oldest granddaughter, who is preschool age.
Besides his daughter and granddaughters, Mr. Morelli is survived by his brother Joe Morelli, of Nashville, and two other brothers, Matt Morelli of Arizona, and Tom Morelli of Toledo, Ohio, and by an aunt and uncle. His parents died him. Mr. Morelli’s longtime companion, Leslie Epstein, died in 2012.
Mr. Morelli was cremated. A memorial celebration of his life will be held at the Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett from 6:30 to 10 p.m. on Dec. 11. Donations to the Long Island Cares Harry Chapin Food Bank, either monetary or of nonperishable food items, have been requested in his memory, and will be collected at the event. Monetary contributions may be sent to the food bank at 10 David’s Drive, Hauppauge 11788, and should be earmarked in Mr. Morelli’s honor.
The East Hampton Star, November 6, 2014
Link to Obituary
The Monroe Evening News, November 25, 2014
Monroe County Museum – Morelli, Jack – 11/1/2014