Leonard Allen MeltonJune 19, 1943 ~ May 19, 2017 (age 73)
Leonard Allen Melton
June 19th, 1943 - May 19, 2017
Leonard passed away on Friday, May 19 at Samaritan Evergreen Hospice House in Albany, Oregon.
He was born in Tallulah, Louisiana to Robert and Pearl Melton, the second youngest of their 11 children. The son of a sharecropper, he picked cotton until his brother Willie sent money for a bus ticket and at the age of 16, never having been more than 20 miles from his home, he came to Oregon.
In 1962, he married Judy Holt (deceased 1967) mother of Leonard Melton Jr. and Tina Melton.
In 1968, he was drafted into the Navy (Seabees) and was sent to Vietnam. He was Honorably Discharged in 1974 and the recipient of two Bronze Stars. He was wounded and suffered much of his life from the effects of Agent Orange and his injury, but he never let his pain hold him back from anything.
Leonard was the only person sent from basic training in Mississippi to Port Hueneme, CA where he met April Qualls in September 1968. He had a date with destiny. He asked her to marry him on November 5th and upon his return they were married September 27, 1969. Shortly after, he brought April to Oregon with him.
Leonard worked for Corvallis Sand and Gravel as Paving superintendent, then for Green and White Rock Products with his backhoe, and later on as Leonard Melton Trucking Inc. He got his private pilot's license and flew everywhere, sometimes just for a cup of coffee.
Leonard enjoyed hunting, fishing, and traveling, saying he had to get up and go when he had the chance.
While going through chemotherapy for colon cancer in 2003, Leonard brainstormed a design for a motorcycle trike, and he later built that trike from the ground up. He always enjoyed coming up with projects and things to do in his workshop because he couldn't stand not staying busy.
One of his favorite pastimes was playing craps in Reno, Las Vegas, Louisiana, and Spirit Mountain Casino. No matter where he played they always remembered who he was. Leonard ran into someone he knew everywhere he went. People of all ages were drawn to him because of his sense of humor, quick wit, and he genuinely cared. His honesty and straightforwardness often made people feel comfortable talking to him about anything.
He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
Leonard is preceded in death by his parents; brothers Willie, Pat, Marzell, and Bill; and sisters Ruby, Bell, and Ann.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 48 years, April; brothers Robert, ML, and Mickey; children Leonard Jr., Tina, and Michele (Salvador); and granddaughters Tatiana (Patrick), and Stephanie and her 3 children.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Samaritan Evergreen Hospice House.
A graveside service will take place on Monday, June 19 at 11:00 a.m. at Twin Oaks Memorial Gardens, 34275 Riverside Drive, Albany. A Celebration of Life will follow the service at the Riverside Community Hall, 35293 Riverside Drive, Albany. Everyone is welcome at both the service and Celebration of Life.