Staten Island 1982- My brother married Luz Reyes that summer day and I was happy to be part of his wedding party. The men of the party included 20 somethings and one little boy who was the ring bearer. We cut up with the photographs looking like a Beatle movie (we all had hair then.) The little boy who was the ring bearer was the cousin of the bride. In the years that followed the boy grew into a wonderful young man who had a fascination with architecture. As some of you know my father was a successful architect and college professor at New York Tech. At family get-togethers Jay would talk architecture with Dad and Dad would encourage Jay. When Dad passed away a couple of years ago Jay sent a card to my Mom. He called my father his “mentor” and the reason why he went into the field.
Jay received his Bachelor of Architecture Degree with honors from Pratt Institute where he was the recipient of a National Talent Search. After college Jay found his calling.
Jay has been with Michael Neuman Architects the famed Manhattan firm since since 1998. Their website writes that Jairo Carmelo “has been instrumental in moving the firm forward in both scale and scope of projects. For both Coach and Michael Kors, he helped to develop a new retail concept and then rolled out design to flagship stores in Japan (Coach) and Korea (Kors). His retail experience includes major stores for Polo Ralph Lauren in Georgetown, Korea, Singapore and Japan. Jay also has extensive experience in high end residential renovations, from an award-winning kitchen renovation to a duplex apartment with roof terrace in Manhattan.” The future looked bright for the young man including his marriage to Semra and now as a first time father to a son named Kaan. He was working on a project late Wednesday night and shortly after 9 he called Semra to tell her he was almost home. He stepped out of the Subway near his home in Jersey City before 9:30. When he didn’t make it home his wife frantically called relatives who found out about the accident that took Jairo away from Semra and Kaan. It was an unnecessary tragedy when a man with a history of DUI’s and driving with a suspended license crashed into the back of a taxi cab with such force that the cab exploded running into a pedestrian on his way home. That pedestrian was Jairo.
Pray for the Carmelo family tonight when you hit your knees. I pray that Jairo is shaking hands this very night with Robert Beattie (my father) and is in the arms of his Father in Heaven.