James H. (Mike) Melancon, 90, a native of St. James, La., and a resident of Gloucester, Va., since 1988, died peacefully at home on Nov. 25, 2012.
He was the son of Claude and Amelie (Poirrier) Melancon, one of 13 children.
Mike was a 1947 graduate of Louisiana State University. He retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1978, with more than 30 years of service.
In retirement, Mike was involved in several business ventures, first in Louisiana, then in Gloucester. From 1989 to 2001, he was affiliated with Bill Healy’s Second Nature landscaping service, gardening having been Mike’s first love.
Mike was a World War II veteran, serving as an infantry officer with the Army in the European Theater of Operations. He participated in the first wave of the Normandy D-Day landings and was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action and the Purple Heart with two Oak Leaf Clusters. Mike was an active parishioner of the Church of St. Therese in Gloucester and a member of the Disabled American Veterans and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
He is survived by Doris Roy Melancon, his devoted wife of 64 years, and six children, Lynne Richardson of Hartfield, Va., spouse of Gary; Meredith Bell of Hayes, Va., spouse of Lee; Jim Melancon of Monte Rio, Cal., partner of Gary Lissow; Claude Melancon of Summerville, S.C., spouse of Debbie; Rob Melancon of Virginia Beach, Va., spouse of Leisa; and Phillip Melancon of Flemington, N.J., spouse of Nita. Mike also leaves 10 grandchildren, Cory Richardson-Lauve, spouse of John; Sarah Whelan, spouse of Pete; Micah Melancon, Alison Foley, spouse of Jake; Kara Hymas, Aaron Melancon, Steven Melancon, spouse of Stephanie; Aimee Melancon, Drew Melancon, and Leo Melancon. Additional survivors include five great-grandchildren, Jack, Katy, and Leah Hymas, Noah Richardson-Lauve, and Sophie Whelan, as well as five sisters, Yolande Bolline, Betty Haydel, Lucille Dolbear, Corinne Bouquet, spouse of Melvin; and Mildred Lands, and a brother, Gerald. Mike was predeceased by brothers, Claude, Raymond, Edward, Eugene, and Roy, and sister, Gertrude.
Visitation will take place on Thursday, Nov. 29 from 6-8 p.m. at Hogg Funeral Home, Gloucester Point, Va. A Memorial Mass conducted by the Rev. James Cowles will be celebrated at the Church of St. Therese at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 30.
The family requests that donations be made in Mike’s name to a favorite charity, or to Riverside Walter Reed Hospice, P.O. Box 1130, Gloucester, Va. 23061, or the Church of St. Therese Growth Fund, 6262 Main Street, Gloucester, Va. 23061.
The family also expresses its deep thanks to his special caregivers Anne, Terry, Moneesa, Debra, Tina, and Emma, and to the Hospice team, for their loving support to Mike and Doris during his final months.