Clifford Melim Jr.

Clifford Melim, Jr.

A true gentleman,. passed away March 6th, 2013 at Healdsburg Hospital at the age of 87 from congestive heart failure.

Cliff was born June 24th,1925 in Honolulu Hawaii to Theodore Clifford Melim and Elsie Carraro. Cliff attended Punahou School in Hawaii until World War 2 closed the school. He then moved to Marin County and entered Tamalpais School in San Rafael, California. Cliff graduated in June 1943 valedictorian of his class.

After graduation, Cliff was inducted into the Army's 27th Infantry Division in August 1943 at the age of 17. Cliff served in combat where he was wounded at Saipan and Okinawa. Due to Cliff's outstanding service he was awarded two Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star, and distinguished Combat Award.

After the war, Cliff attended the University of California at Berkeley and graduated in 1949. Cliff was a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

Cliff returned to Honolulu where he began his successful career in real estate development. Cliff created and built Bishop Square in downtown Honolulu and he brought the first Henry Moore sculpture to Hawaii at Bishop Square. As the project director for North Western Mutual Life Insurance Company Cliff successfully directed the development of Wailea Resort in Maui. During his life, Cliff was an active and generous philanthropist. He was on the Board of the Honolulu Academy of Art and continued as an Honorary Trustee Emeritus.

Always the visionary, in 1971 Cliff bought land in Alexander Valley and realized his dream of building the Maacama Creek Winery in 1981. The Maacama Creek Cabernet won many gold medals. The winery was sold and became Lancaster Vineyards. Melim vineyards continues to produce world class cabernet grapes for Rodney Strong Vineyards.

Cliff married Patricia Mangan in December 1990. Locally in Healdsburg, Cliff made major contributions to the successful drive to save Healdsburg Hospital. He was a contributor to the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University, to the restoration of the historic Alexander Valley Community Hall, and was a member of the Alexander Valley Wine Growers Association. With his wife Patty, he traveled extensively throughout the United States and Europe during the 1990s to promote and increase the knowledge of Sonoma County wines. Cliff was also a member of the Pacific Union Club and the California Vintage Wine Society in San Francisco.

Cliff leaves his wife Patty, daughters Laura and Susan, three grandchildren, two great grandchildren, five step-children, and 13 step-grandchildren.

In Cliff's own words "I say goodbye and thanks to my many good friends in Healdsburg and those in Hawaii, Milwaukee, and a special thanks to my loving wife Patty. Aloha to all. It was a great ride".

A Memorial Service will be held at 2:30pm, Thursday, March 14th, 2013 at St. John's Catholic Church, 208 Matheson Street, Healdsburg. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Healdsburg District Hospital, 1375 University Avenue, Healdsburg California 95448 attention: Administration.

Windsor Healdsburg

Mortuary and Crematory


Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Mar. 10, 2013