He worked for 19 years at RCC, ultimately retiring as the president in 1985.
Fellow former RCC President Dr. Diane Honeycutt said she recalls Melvin as “my boss, my friend and my confidante.”
“He was a wonderful person, and a friend to everyone who knew him,” she said. “I knew him from 1968 until he passed away, and that makes 41 years. During my time as president of the college, there were many times when I called him to ask his advice.”
Honeycutt said Melvin’s mark on RCC was in creating and expanding vocational programs to train the workers of Richmond County.
“In all the years I knew him, I never heard him say a word against anybody ... that takes a special person,” she said. “He was a wonderful Christian, and people don’t know all the good things he did for the college and for the community.”
Former RCC Head of the Business Department Abbie Covington said Melvin hired her when he was the Dean of Instruction for the school.
“He served Richmond Community College very faithfully until his retirement, and I’m sure he served his community equally as well,” Covington said.
“He always impressed as someone who had the best interest of RCC in mind, and I know his wife and children and the community will miss him,” she said.
According to his obituary, Melvin was born Sept. 2, 1931 in Bladen County, a son of the late Erma Singletary Melvin Allen and Charles Wayman Melvin. He was a graduate of Tar Heel High School and North Carolina State University, where he received his Doctorate in Education.
He served his country in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.
He was a teacher with Whiteville City Schools and Sampson County Schools. He joined the staff of Richmond Technical College in 1966 as Evening Director, served as Director of Instruction, Dean of Instruction and retired in 1985 as President of the College. Following his retirement he worked with Farm Bureau for 11 years.
Most recently, Melvin was awarded the Rockingham Civitan Club’s “Civitan of the Year” award earlier this year.
His church membership was at First Baptist of Rockingham, where finance secretary Linda Clifton recalls him as “a kind and gentle soul.”
“He was very active in the church choir, and served as a member of the building maintenance committee,” she recalled.
A service to celebrate his life will be held at First Baptist of Rockingham Sunday at 2 p.m., and memorials may be made to the church’s Kitchen Renovation Fund.
Visitation is from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Carter Funeral Home in Rockingham, and at the family’s home at other times.