BANGOR – Ernest “Tinker” Stephen Melvin, 93, passed away peacefully in the company of loving family on April 14th, 2014. Ernest was born on February 13th, 1921, in Lewiston, Maine, the third of nine children of Floyd Wilson Melvin and Mildred Nickerson Melvin.
Ernest attended Bangor High School and graduated from Lawrence High School, Fairfield, Maine, in 1939. After graduation, he worked on various construction projects that included a major expansion of former Dow Air Force Base in Bangor, and Houlton Air Force Base in Houlton, Maine. In 1942, he enlisted in the Navy, and served with the Seabees (Construction Battalion) through the duration of World War II. During the war, he was stationed at Eastport, Maine, the island of Trinidad, the Philippines, and briefly in China. After the conclusion of the war, he returned to the United States aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hornet. He was discharged from military service in December of 1945 with the rank of Chief Petty Officer. He was married to Marjorie Hester Merrill on January 26th, 1946 in Waterville, Maine. They had two children: Scott, born in 1953, and Suanne, born in 1956. Between 1946 and 1960, he worked on a variety of construction jobs as Carpenter Foreman and General Superintendent for T. W. Cunningham, Inc., as well as in partnership with his father, Floyd W. Melvin, and brother Walter B. Melvin. From 1961 to 1986, he worked for the University of Maine at Orono, first as Superintendent of the Carpenter Shop, and then as Assistant Superintendent of Building and Trades, overseeing Carpentry, Paint, Plumbing, Heating and Grounds shops. After his retirement, he and Marjorie had the opportunity to travel to various parts of the United States and Canada. Ernest was a long-time member of Hammond Street Congregational Church of Bangor, where he served as Deacon, Trustee, Chairman of Trustees, and Treasurer. He also served on multiple pastoral search committees and was a member of the Men’s Club. He was a member of St. Andrew’s Masonic Lodge No. 83 in Bangor. He adored his family and was always supportive of their endeavors. He was an avid reader and enjoyed golf, fishing, camping, and hiking; he climbed Katahdin numerous times. He had a great sense of humor and loved to retell stories of his life experiences. To the frequent dismay of friends and family, he remained a loyal life-long Yankees fan.
Ernest was predeceased by his loving wife Marjorie in 2006. He is survived by his son Scott Merrill Melvin and wife Alison Leslie Whitlock of Petersham, Massachusetts; his daughter Suanne Melvin Johnson and husband David Sheffield Johnson of Buxton, Maine; his granddaughter Kristin Nealley Johnson and fiancé Brian James Traniello of Clinton, Massachusetts; and his granddaughter Kelly Erin Johnson of Menlo Park, California. His surviving siblings include Florence Ross of Bangor; Ruby Driscoll of Gorham, Maine; Floyd Melvin, Jr. of Bangor; and Robert Melvin of Belfast, Maine. He was predeceased by brothers Walter Melvin and Richard Melvin, and sisters Carolyn Sadlowski and Virginia Rice. The family would like to thank the staffs of Winterberry Heights, of Bangor, and Maine Veteran Homes in Bangor and Scarborough, for the care given to Tinker.
Friends may call from 6 – 8 p.m. on Friday, April 18th at Brookings-Smith, 133 Center Street, Bangor. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 19th at Hammond Street Congregational Church, 28 High Street, Bangor, with Rev. Dr. Mark Doty, officiating. A reception will follow. Interment will be at Oak Hill Cemetery, Winterport. Donations may be made in Ernest’s name to Hammond Street Congregational Church, P.O. Box 1106, Bangor, Maine, 04401. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.