C. PREMO, 90

HAINES CITY - Commander Melvin (Mel) C. Premo died December 9, 2012 at age 90. He was born on November 13, 1922 in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin to Kenneth and Dora Premo. Mel spent his childhood on the family farm and joined the U.S. Navy with his brother, Rodney after graduating from high school in 1940. Mel served as an aviation mechanic in the South Pacific during WW II and remained in the Navy for 30 years. He and a small group of enlisted service men were appointed and commissioned by the President to the rank of Ensign. Mel continued to be promoted and achieved the highest rank possible under this program, Commander. He retired in 1971 after serving in WW II, Korea, and on several aircraft carriers during the Vietnam War.
Mel married Mildred (Millie) McNeil in 1941 and raised three children: Virginia (Ginny), Kenneth (Ken), and Randy. The family was based in Florida, although Mel served on ship duty often. After retirement from the military, Mel started a recreational boat business with Ken and Millie, in the Tampa FL area. Mel and Millie retired to Lake Alfred, FL, where Millie passed away in 1999.
Mel married Sally Howard in 2000 and has been a resident of Canisteo, NY and Haines City, FL since that time. Recently, Mel enjoyed family, traveling, home improvement projects, tending his citrus trees, and gardening. He loved football and was an avid fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Florida college teams. He was an active volunteer with Meals on Wheels and a member of the Canisteo Wesleyan Church. Mel remained a "Navy Man" throughout his life and will be remembered for his honorable service, warm personality, sense of humor, generosity, and ability to keep everything in "ship shape."
Mel was predeceased by his parents (Kenneth and Dora), brother Rodney and Sister-in-Law Joan, sisters Bonita and Sylvia, and first wife, Mildred (Millie) Premo. He is survived by his wife, Sally Premo; daughter Ginny Wollitz (Lake Wales, FL), and sons, Kenneth Premo (Kim) of Nashville, TN; and Randy Premo (Dee) of Zephyr Hills, FL.; four grandchildren (James, LeBraun, Cameron, and Chandler); and, great grandchildren (Robin and Daniel). He is also survived by Sally's family, Stephen (Diane) Truscott of Fayetteville, GA; Daniel Truscott of Boise, ID; Tricia (Michael) Williams, Champagne, IL; Kristi Truscott of Minturn, CO; and two grandchildren (Caleb and Ruby).
Mel will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Feeding America ( and the Wounded Warrior Project (

Published in Ledger from Dec. 30 to Dec. 31, 2012