Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Michael A. Melvin, U.S. Air Force, died on July 21, 2018 after a long illness. He was 86 years old.
Mike was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts on March 31, 1932 to Pauline and Edward Melvin. He grew up in Methuen, where he played Football in High School and enlisted in the US Air Force in 1952. He served three years as a Radar Operator before earning his commission as a Second Lieutenant on March 4, 1955. Mike served in various roles during his Air Force career beginning as a Weapons Officer in the 57th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, “The Black Knights of Keflavik,” to his final assignment as Master Navigator and Commanding Officer of the 709th Military Airlift Squadron at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. A true Patriot, Mike served 30 years and 7 months in the US Air Force, defending the Constitution through the Vietnam Era and the Cold War.
While Mike loved the Air Force, he loved God and his family even more. An active member of St Mary’s of the Assumption Catholic Parrish in Dedham, Mike served in the Choir, and loved religious and classical music, so much so that Sundays at the Melvin House were dedicated to attending Mass, classical music and intellectual reading pursuits.
Mike attended Merrimac College where he met his beloved wife, Joan Marie Echteler, whom he married on March 12, 1955. They have been married for over 63 years and have six wonderful children, Patricia, Michael, Clare Hughes, John, Katie Fitzsimmons, and Deirdre. Mike was always welcoming of his children’s friends, like Brian Falvey, whom he considered family.
As wonderful as Mike was as a father, he was an even more accomplished grandfather. He has six grandchildren that he loved deeply, including Erik Melvin, Scotty Hughes, Michael Melvin, Shannon Hughes, Patrick Melvin and his beloved granddaughter Samantha Melvin. He was a gracious and loving father-in-law to Maria Serio-Melvin and Christopher Sean Hughes. Mike also loved Loretta and Brian Herman who raised his wonderful grandson Erik.
Mike is also survived by his sister, Joanne Lambdin, of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Mike set the example for his family’s service to the Nation. His son John and three of his grandsons serve in the US Army, and his daughter Clare has spent many years in Government Service.
After retirement from the Air Force, Mike taught Electrical Engineering Technology and Computer Science at Massasoit Community College, where he challenged his students to reach for excellence in all they do. Mike was a fashion trendsetter, combining shorts, red suspenders, socks and sandals, and a pocket protector for a unique look. He was a great do-it-your-selfer, as he started many home improvement projects. A plant lover, Mike was an avid horticultural hobbyist. He loved tinkering and fixing things and was an accomplished backyard auto mechanic. A talented cook, his favorite culinary creations included linguine and clam sauce and beef bourguignon. Mike enjoyed visiting with family, talking politics, listening to classical music, and watching British Television on PBS. He had a positive impact on his family, his friends, and his students, making the world a better place. Mike will be greatly missed.
Visiting hours will be held Thursday, August 9th from 4-8 pm at the Folsom Funeral Home, 87 Milton St., Dedham. Relatives and friends are invited to go directly to St. Mary’s Church, 420 High St., Dedham for his Mass of Christian Burial on Friday, August 10th at 9 o’clock. Interment with military honors will take place at 12:30 pm at the MA National Cemetery, Bourne. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Mike’s honor to the Fisher House Foundation at www.FisherHouse.org. The Fisher House Foundation provides lodging near Military and Veterans Administration Hospitals, where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while their loved ones are receiving treatment.