Mr. Jim F. Melton, 69, passed away unexpectedly on February 4, 2014. He was born in Lakeland, Florida on May 3, 1944, the son of the late Jim and Alma Melton. Jimmy was a life long resident of Lake City and graduated from Columbia County High School in 1962 before going on to attend Marion Military Institute and Virginia Tech University. He graduated with a degree in business administration from Virginia Tech in 1967. He went on to begin his military career in 1967 with the United States Army and continued on to serve his country through the Florida Army National Guard as commanding officer of the 153rd Engineer Unit in Lake City and the 153rd Finance Support Group out of St. Augustine. He was called into active duty during the Miami riots and Desert Storm. He retired as a full Colonel from the military in May, 2004.
He spent the majority of his professional career in banking and finance. Mr. Melton was a past member of the Rotary Club
of Lake City and has served in various positions on the board of Bethel United Methodist Church. "Papa" loved spending time with his family, enjoyed the Ichetucknee River, trips to the mountains, and boating. He lived by the creed "Above all else, faith, family, and country."
He is survived by his wife and the love of his life of 46 years, Suzanne Colley Melton, daughter Keri (John) Melton Siler; son, Alan (Renee) Melton, four grandchildren, Ethan & Emily Melton and Hayden & Alexander Siler; sister, Mary Jim (Bill) Campbell and his father in law and fishing buddy, Raymond Colley; sister in law, Carolyn Miller; nephews, Bart (Rhonda) Miller, Brett Miller, Garet Miller, Brad (Mica) Campbell, Delvin Campbell and niece, Chris Holland, and very special life long friends, Morris & Linda Sue Felder.
Graveside funeral services will be conducted at 11:00a.m. on Friday, February 7, 2014 , in Bethel United Methodist Church Cemetery with Rev. Deborah McKown, Rev. Ken Hamilton and Pastor Bill Campbell officiating. Visitation with the family will be held Thursday evening, February 6, 2014, from (5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.) at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Bethel Cemetery Fund, 4843 South U.S. Hwy 441, Lake City, FL 32025, or the Wounded Warrior Project, woundedwarriorproject.org
GATEWAY-FOREST LAWN FUNERAL HOME, 3596 South U.S. Hwy 441, Lake City, FL. 32025. (386) 752-1954. Please leave words of comfort for the family online at www.gatewayforestlawn.com