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Samuel Francis Melcher Jr.

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Samuel Francis Melcher, Jr. Samuel Francis Melcher, Jr. of South Hero and Hilton Head, South Carolina, passed away on April 24, 2014 at Hilton Head Hospital. He was 92 years old, and had been ill for just one month. Sam was born in 1921, the son of Miriam Hillman Melcher and Samuel Francis Melcher of Montclair New Jersey. Graduated in 1939 from Montclair High School he went on to Dickinson College Carlisle, PA where he graduated in 1943 with a B.A in psychology. While there he pledged Phi Kappa Psi, and was very active in this social fraternity. As a member of "The Greatest Generation", he waited in line to enlist in the V7 NavalTraining Program during World War II.After successful completion of this Program at Columbia University, he was assigned to The USS Shelter AM301, a mine sweeper. As a Gunnery Officer and anti-submarine Officer, and finally as a First Lieutenant, as acting Captain,he brought the Shelter and her crew back to the States from The Pacific. He helped clear the Mines at Iwo Jima, before the invasion; at Nagasaki, just after the bomb; and at Okinawa and other harbors of importance the Pacific Theater. He received six battle stars for his service. Returning to civilian life, he studied marketing and advertising at New York University. In 1949 he married Carolyn Morris Kempton of Fairfield, Connecticut, and they raised five wonderful children. Sam worked at various advertising and marketing jobs for Colgate-Palmolive-Peet and The Mennen Company. Later he joined Lehn and Finkas a product manager. When Sterling Drug acquired L&F he stayed with the new company. He served as a corporate Vice President at Sterling Drug, and was President of two of Sterling Divisions, L&F. and Glenbrook Labs, responsible for the Lysol and Bayer Aspirinbrands, among others. Heretired from Sterling in 1984. Sam volunteered for multiple service organizations throughout college, was a volunteer ambulance driver and auxiliary policeman, and was always very active in his church, volunteering anyplace he could help. He is a member of "The Dish Scraper's Hall of Fame," in South Hero Vermont for decades of service scraping dishes at church suppers. He also served on The Board of The Northern Vermont Red Cross, The Board of The Amateur Horseman's Association, the board of three different Handicapped Horseback Riding programs: STEED in New Jersey, CHAMP in Vermont, and Heroes On Horseback in Hilton Head active in several churches including St James Episcopal Church in Montclair, where he served on the Vestry, The South Hero Congregational Church, where he was Chairman of the Trustees; and St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Hilton Head, where he was a Lay Eucharistic Minister, and chairman of the Part-timers. He was a member of the Dr. George Mosse Chapter of the SAR and VFW Post 10854. He will be remembered by his family and friends for his quick wit and humor, his commitment to his Church, Community and Family. Sam is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Carolyn Kempton Melcher, his children, Dorothy Hillman Melcher of Marshfield MA;Robert Pearce Melcher and wife Susan of Fairfield, CT; Samuel Andrew Ward Melcher and wife Lori of Purcellville, VA; and Douglas Melcher and fiancée Maura Nicholson of Boston, MA. He was predeceased by his son Bruce Dickinson Melcher. Sam leaves four grandchildren and six step-grandchildren. Sam resided in Montclair, New Jersey;Cedar Grove, New Jersey and Upper Saddle River, New Jersey; he retired to his beloved vacation home in South Hero, Vermont, and wintered in Hilton Head, South Carolina. A memorial service was held at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Hilton Head. A memorial service and interment will take place in South Hero at a later date. Donations may be made to St. Luke's Episcopal Church. The Island Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.

Published in The Island Packet from May 14 to June 14, 2014
Funeral Home
Island Funeral Home & Crematory
4 Cardinal Road Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
(843) 681-4400
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