Ann P. "Nip" Melocik, a retired parochial school physical education instructor, died Wednesday of heart failure at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson.
The Loch Raven Village resident was 80.
The daughter of a restaurateur and a homemaker, the former Ann Palmisano was born in Shamokin, Pa. She moved to Hamilton with her family in 1940 when her father opened several Palmisano's Sub Shops in the area.
"She got her nickname 'Nip' from taking a little sip of her father's drink, so he named her 'Nipper,' and then everyone began calling her 'Nip,'" said a niece, Wendy Strassner of Atlanta.
When she was a teenager and attending Eastern High School, one of her favorite places was the Hamilton Recreation Center on Sefton Avenue, where she'd teach sports in the afternoon, work in the office and supervise the rolling rink.
In the early 1950s, she worked for several years as a collection manager for Remington Rand Corp. and then went to work for the city Department of Recreation and Parks after realizing she missed working with children.
She worked at the department's Patterson Park Recreation Center and later at Armistead Gardens. In the late 1950s, she was a YWCA summer camp director and sports instructor, and then established her own camp, Valleybrook Summer Day Camp.
In 1961, she began teaching physical education at St. Mary's parochial school in Govans.
She left St. Mary's in 1967 and began teaching at St. Francis of Assisi, where she remained until 1974.
Mrs. Melocik joined the faculty of St. Ursula parochial school, where she taught until 1979, when she left to teach at St. John the Evangelist in Hydes for the next four years.
She worked at the Loch Raven Recreation Center for six years until retiring in 1989.
Mrs. Melocik was a fan of "anything to do with the Kennedy family, for whom she had great love," said Ms. Strassner.
Mrs. Melocik was a saxophonist.
She also was a fan of Al Jolson and the von Trapp family.
"She loved playing her sax and when we were kids she began doing an imitation of Al Jolson," said her sister, Joanne Palmisano Strassner McClayton of Lutherville.
"Every night my father would ask her to do her Jolson imitation. They both loved the music and she'd even get down on her knee and do 'Swanee,'" her sister said. "She was still doing it but not getting down on her knees much these days."
In addition to being an admirer of Jolson's music, whose recording she enjoyed listening to, Mrs. Melocik was also a fan of the movies "The Jolson Story" and "The Sound of Music."
Mrs. Melocik was a friend of Agathe von Trapp, a member of the famed Trapp Family Singers who lived in Glyndon.
"Through Nip I got to meet Maria von Trapp. I was in the seventh grade and I had written to her telling her I was going to write a report about her. And Nip drove me to Stowe, Vermont, to meet her," said Ms. Strassner.
Mrs. Melocik was a communicant of Immaculate Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church, 8501 Loch Raven Blvd., Baynesville, where a memorial Mass will be offered at noon Sept. 23.
Also surviving is her husband of 46 years, Francis X. Melocik, a retired draftsman; a daughter, Donna Palermo of Abingdon; a brother, Joseph F. Palmisano of Ocean Pines; two grandsons; and three great-granddaughters.
Ann P. "Nip" Melocik, physical ed teacher, dies
Was a fan of Al Jolson and the movie "Sound of Music"
Ann Palmisano Melocik (Baltimore Sun / August 26, 2011)