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Howard R. Gmelch Sr.

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Gmelch, Howard R. Sr. DELMAR Retired Army Col. Howard Robert Gmelch Sr., 96, died on Thursday, July 24, 2014, at Danbury (Conn.) Hospital, where he lived to be near his daughter. Born in Ridgewood, Queens, he lived on Long Island and in Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma and Delmar since 1957. His career assignments included service in the United States Army, where he retired in 1964 having attained the rank of colonel. During World War II, he served as a combat intelligence officer in the European theater of operations with the 12th Armored Division. Col. Gmelch attended most military service schools and was a graduate of the command and general staff college and the adjutant generals school. Later assignments were with the chief of staff to the governor's office, division of Military and Naval Affairs; he served as director of logistics (G-4) and later as director of personnel and administration. After retirement from active service in 1964 assignments were in a reserve status. Beginning in February 1965 he attended the institutional management course at Michigan State University leading to a position at Albany Medical Center Hospital. While employed there as a department head, he served two terms as the governor of the Eastern International District of the National Executive Housekeepers Association. After spending 16 years at AMCH, he retired in February 1981 and since engaged in various volunteer services. Col. Gmelch served on the board of directors of the Albany YMCA and of the Albany Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, where his assignments included that of Red Cross representative at the Stratton V.A. Medical Center. He served as master, chaplain and trustee of Masters Lodge 5, Free and Accepted Masons. He was a past president of the "Second Milers," voluntarily served more than 20 years as advisory committeeman, chairman and manager of the Tri-Village Area Directory Association and was a member of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church. Col. Gmelch was married since 1942 to the late Doris B. Gmelch, who died in 2009. He is survived by his daughter Linda A. (George) Guidera of Newtown, Conn., and a son Howard R. Gmelch Jr. of New Mexico. He is also survived by four grandchildren, Karen Magee of Weston, Conn., George Guidera Jr. of Redding, Conn., and Barbara Guidera and Suzanne Guidera, both of Newtown, and seven great-grandchildren. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, July 29, 2014, at 11 a.m., in Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 85 Elm Ave., Delmar. The family will receive relatives and friends at the church beginning at 10 a.m. Interment will be in Bethlehem Cemetery, Delmar. Those who wish may make memorial donations to Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 85 Elm Ave., Delmar, NY 12054, or the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517 Topeka, KS 66675.


Funeral Home
Applebee Funeral Home
403 Kenwood Ave. Delmar, NY 12054
518- 439-2715
Published in Albany Times Union from July 27 to July 28, 2014
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