Melvin White, age 80, passed away on Friday, September 3, 2021 at the VA Medical Center with his family by his side.
Melvin was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1941. The first-born son of the late Ola Mae Range and Arthur White. His siblings in birth order were George Clarence (RIP), Arthur (RIP) and Andrew (RIP).
Melvin attended P.S. 5 (George Westinghouse) and Williamsburg Vocational High School in downtown Brooklyn and enlisted in the U.S. Army where he was a map draftsman. In 1958 he was honorably discharged from service and returned to Brooklyn.
In 1954, his family relocated to Saratoga Springs, to join, 2 aunts who moved there years before. His cousin Fannie Mae Bailey (nee Range) operated a restaurant on the track during the racing seasons. She offered employment opportunities for many of the family. Aunt Leola Gooden (nee Range) was the pioneer and led the family to that area. Melvin stayed with her from time to time. Melvin was a Gap Attendant in the morning and manually operating the Scratch Board in the afternoon at the racetrack for 37 years. He also contracts out to revitalize the beautiful Victorian homes in the city. In his spare time, he designed T-shirts, did string art and entertained others by playing conga drums with a group in Congress Park and on Broadway. He earned the nickname “Bow” because he used his elbow when playing the drums. His favorite saying to young people was "STAY IN SCHOOL! “A MIND IS A TERRIBLE THING TO WASTE.”
Melvin is survived by his three children, Ronald King (Debbie), Robert King (Cheryl), daughter, Renalda King-Board; grandchildren, Chonte King – Paradise, Jasmin Saffold, Candice Board, Robert King, Jr., Donte King, Dianne King, Malik King, Fredina Davis, Collette Davis, Aquana Davis, Bree Caan (Rip), a host of great-grandchilden, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his companion, Dianne King.
A funeral service will be held at 12 noon, on Wednesday, September 15, 2021 at Compassionate Funeral Care, 402 Maple ave., Saratoga Springs, NY. Family and friends may call from 11 am – 12 noon prior to the service at the funeral home.
Interment with military honors will be held at 2 pm following the service at the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery, 200 Duell Road, Schuylerville, NY 12871
Due to the ongoing public health concerns of COVID-19 social distancing as well as mandatory wearing of a face mask is required.
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