John Marshall Melvin, 79, of Gainesville, Ga., passed away Sunday, June 9, 2019.
A celebration of his life will be held at 2:00 p.m. this Saturday, June 15, at First Presbyterian Church of Gainesville. A reception at the church will follow.
John was a well-respected attorney and name partner with Stewart Melvin & Frost, where he retired in 2009 after a distinguished career in real estate law that spanned over 40 years. His legal profession, however, was only one facet of a diversely talented man who in many ways was larger than life, due in part to his robust acting and singing in local theater productions such as his role of Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks in the musical “Annie.” No matter the stage -- whether the theater, Rotary Club, or church – John Melvin always stood out in character, leadership and a 6-foot 5-inch frame.
The son of Jacob Marshall Melvin and Francis Turner Melvin, John was born on December 19, 1939, in Baltimore, Maryland. He grew up in Jefferson, Ga., where he attended Jefferson High School and was a member of the school band. A trumpet player, he eventually marched with the University of Georgia’s famed Dixie Redcoat Band. John received a finance degree at UGA in 1962 and, three years later, graduated from the UGA School of Law.
During his last semester of law school, he married Mary Louise Greer of Tifton, Ga. After graduation, John and Mary Lou moved to South Dakota, where he began his military service at Ellsworth Air Force Base, working in the Judge Advocates office.
Discharged from the Air Force in 1968 as a captain, he returned to Georgia to join his hometown friend Woody Stewart as an attorney in Gainesville with Telford, Wayne & Stewart, which one day would add “Melvin” to the firm name. John practiced his entire law career there until retirement.
An Eagle Scout in 1955 and a member of the 1978 class of Leadership Georgia, John lived a lifetime of leadership. He was known statewide for his support of the Georgia Rotary Student program and as a dedicated member of the Gainesville Rotary Club. During his service as president in 1988-89, the Gainesville civic organization was recognized as Club of the Year for Rotary District 6910. He later was honored as Gainesville Rotary’s Man of the Year in 1999.
John was a deacon and elder at First Presbyterian Church of Gainesville, where he taught Sunday School and sang for over 40 years in the Chancel Choir.
A tremendous supporter of Gainesville theater and the arts, John and his musical talents were on display in numerous local plays, including “Hello, Dolly!” and “Annie.” He also was a trumpet player with the Believer’s Concert Band, a Christian music group.
Above all, John deeply loved and enjoyed his family and friends. He is survived by his wife of nearly 55 years, Mary Louise Greer Melvin; daughter Meredith Melvin Weaver of Atlanta, Ga.; son John Marshall Melvin, Jr. (Sara Moss Melvin) of Atlanta, GA; grandchildren John Frederick Weaver, John Marshall Melvin, III, and Virginia Windham Melvin; sister Jane Melvin Eberhart (Frank Eberhart) of Athens, GA; sister Ann Melvin Tatum (John Tatum) of Savannah, GA; brother-in-law T.C. Greer (Marty Greer) of Chula, GA; and a number of nieces and nephews.
The family is especially grateful to Carolyn Young, Shirley Stotts/Helping Hand and the Northeast Georgia Hospice for their loving and compassionate care throughout his time of need.
In lieu of flowers, the family request Memorials to honor John's memory should be made to First Presbyterian Church, 800 Enota Ave, Gainesville, Ga 30501.
Those wishing to send online condolences to the family may do so at littledavenport.com
Little & Davenport Funeral Home and Crematory, 355 Dawsonville Highway, SW, Gainesville, Ga. 30501 is in charge of arrangements.