GOWANDA - Mel LeBar, 70, of Broadway Road passed away Friday (June 14, 2013) at the Hospice Buffalo Palative Care Facility in Cheektowaga, surrounded by family.
Mel was born March 18, 1943, in Olean, the son of Melvin M. and Mildred A. Taggerty LeBar.
He was a 1961 graduate of the Olean City School District. A Boy Scout in his younger years, Mel and his family were very proud of the fact that he became an Eagle Scout, the highest rank. Mel took his Eagle Scout teachings to enhance his life and instill the values of its rankings with his everyday living and raising his family.
After graduating, he enlisted with the U.S. Air Force
, and he was released from active duty Feb. 4, 1966.
Shortly after honorably serving his country, Mel married his high school sweetheart, the former Elizabeth "Betty" Mater, on July 16, 1966, in the Transfiguration Roman Catholic Church in Olean.
Mel and Betty moved to Gowanda after he took a job with the Gowanda Electronics. He started with the electronics as a material manager, and at the time of his retirement he was vice president of material operations. Mel worked for more than 35 years with Gowanda Electronics before retiring.
Mel was elected town of Persia supervisor in 2002. He had been the town's fiscal manager for more than 10 years and planned on seeking re-election this fall. Not only did Mel hold the supervisor position for the town, but he also was a former councilman.
An avid outdoorsman, Mel enjoyed all outdoor sports, especially hunting and fishing. He also was a Civil War buff and would plan family vacations that would include war's history.
A family man, Mel enjoyed events that involved the kids and grandkids. He also enjoyed watching the Buffalo Bills; Buffalo Sabres; and, of course, the New York Yankees. Mel was a member of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Gowanda. He also was the adjutant for American Legion Post 409.
Mel was involved with just about everything one could be. His family, at one point, felt it would be easier to list the things he wasn't involved with, as it would make for a shorter story. Mel enjoyed this little town we all call home and served on many committees and boards, helping when it was needed.
He was a past commander for American Legion Post 409 and chairman for Boys State, along with serving on the post's board of directors. He was past president of the Gowanda Lions Club and was involved with the Torch Fund. He also was on the board of the former Tri-County Memorial Hospital and was a member of the Slovenian Club. Mel will be missed not only by his family but also by the community.
Surviving besides his wife of nearly 47 years are three daughters, Denise (Tim) Wisely of Syracuse, Michelle (Brian) Feldman of Eden and Aimee (Justin) Calhoun of Honeoye Falls; along with seven grandchildren, Heather, A.J., Jason, Rachel, Adam, Melanie and Jacob.
Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday at the Schindler Funeral Home, 44 Center St., Gowanda. Mel's funeral will be held at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday (June 19, 2013), when a Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, 90 E. Main St., Gowanda. Father Joseph Porpiglia will be celebrant. Interment will follow in Holy Cross Cemetery, Gowanda.
Memorials in Mel's name may be made to Hospice Buffalo (Ralph and Mary Wilson Jr. Inpatient Unit), 225 Como Park Blvd., Cheektowaga, NY 14227.