Melvin L. Jarman
Melvin Leon Jarman, known fondly as “Mel,” age 89, of New Castle, DE, passed away on Tuesday, September 4, 2012 at Christiana Hospital surrounded by his family.
Melvin was born in Wilmington, Delaware on October 26, 1922 and was planning on celebrating his 90th birthday with his friends and family. When asked whether he would like a 90th birthday party, Melvin replied well 100 is really more of a milestone but I’ll take a party any day. Melvin was a true hero who gave willingly of himself and never sought recognition. Melvin was a remarkable and humble man whose footprint in life touched so many. He was devoted to both his family and his Country, was a loving husband and father, patriot, veteran, volunteer, public servant, and a gentle, kind, and generous father, grandfather, great grandfather, and great-great grandfather. Melvin was a resilient and trustworthy man, with great character, strength, and perseverance.
On November 9, 1941, Melvin married the love of his life, Emma Elizabeth Doberstein. Melvin was married to Emma for 55 years before she passed away in July 1997. Melvin passed away just one day after what would have been Emma’s 87th birthday. He missed Emma dearly and thought of her often.
At 19, Melvin joined the Army and was part of the elite “Battling Buzzards” of the 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Battalion – G Company. Melvin served during World War II in Europe, spending time in Italy, France, Belgium, and Germany, was in 5 major Campaigns, and more than 150 combat days including jumping into the south of France for Operation Dragoon and the Battle of the Bulge. Melvin broke his back while parachuting into South France behind enemy lines and was hidden from German soldiers by brave French citizens in a small town. During the day, Melvin lay buried in a potato-bin in the cellar while the German soldiers raided the town daily. An injured Melvin was only able to come out at night for food, exercise, and to tend to his injuries. For his service, injuries sustained in battle, and courage under fire, Melvin was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
Melvin had a way of touching the lives of others and selflessly stepped in to assist without hesitation. As just a young man, Melvin saved the life of an unidentified boy who had fallen and become impaled on a fence outside of Saint Paul’s Church in Wilmington, DE. Many, many years later Melvin discovered that the young man he saved had become his son-in-law. Melvin’s selfless act was rewarded with a loving son-in-law for his daughter, Melva and an abundance of grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren.
Melvin retired from Amtrak after more than 40 years as an electrician. He was a long time member of Pike Creek Baptist Church and took several mission trips to Brazil to aid children in an orphanage. At Church, Melvin was known as “the candy man” and always had a seemingly endless supply of treats to hand out to the children. Melvin was a long-time volunteer of the Prison Ministry and regularly provided hope and outreach to incarcerated men. Melvin was also a member of the Knights of Magic where he was known as “Magic Mel”, and his grandchildren and great grandchildren lovingly called him, “Magic Poppy”. He was a longtime member of Fraim Senior Center in Wilmington. Melvin was also a proud member of the group Survivors of the Battle of the Bugle. He loved nature and would often take trips to enjoy the local geese resting on the grounds of Christiana Hospital.
Melvin’s grandparents John Fennell Holmes and Patsy Mason Payne Holmes were from East Lake, NC. After they were first married, Melvin’s parents lived in a now abandoned logging town, Buffalo City, NC. Melvin’s family donated six acres for a church, cemetery, and school, now East Lake Methodist Church, which is Melvin’s grandparent’s resting place. Melvin was preceded in death by his parents Charles Kendall Jarman (originally from Berlin, MD) and Mittie Mae (Holmes), 12 siblings; brother, John Francis Jarman; brother and wife, Burval and Jean Jarman; brother, Thelbert Jarman; Sister and husband, Cecelia(Sis) and Jim Maloney; sister and husband, Ina and Bill Reed of Townsend; brother, Charles Lloyd Jarman; brother, Raymond Stewart Jarman, brother, Robert Jarman; and 4 siblings that passed during childhood; and daughter, Julie Jarman.
Melvin is survived by his seven children: daughter, Florence Jarman of New Castle; daughter and husband, Melva and Paul Fontello of Dover; son and wife, Charles and Mary Anne Jarman of Webster, NY; daughter, Linda Jarman of Bear; daughter and husband, Nancy and Charles Micsko of Mays Landing, NJ; son, Stephen Jarman of New Castle; and son and wife, John and Pam Jarman of Lynchburg, VA.
Melvin is also survived by his 16 grandchildren: granddaughter and husband Cindy and Mike Atallian of Smyrna; granddaughter and husband, Donna and James Dowd of Townsend; granddaughter and husband, Paula Fontello and Michael Van Orden of Dover; granddaughter Melissa Fontello of Marydel; grandson and long-time girlfriend, Paul Fontello, II and Sonia DeGuesman of Dover; granddaughter and husband, Suzanne and Timothy Urick of Dover; grandson and fiancÃ©, Joshua Fontello and Chiexyle Martin of Dover; grandson and wife Matthew and Janet Jarman of Rochester, NY; granddaughter and husband, Lisa and Dave McLaughlin of Rochester, NY; grandson Bradley Jarman of New Castle; grandson Brandon Jarman of New Castle, grandson Derrick Jarman of New Castle; grandson, Anthony Jarman of Lynchburg, VA, Brooke Jarman of Lynchburg, VA, Kaitlyn Jarman of Lynchburg, VA; and grandson, Hunter Jarman of Lynchburg, VA.
He is also survived by 17 great grandchildren, Christopher Atallian, Bryan Atallian and his wife Stacie; Amber Atallian, Ashley Dowd, Courtney Dowd, Caroline Dowd, Emma Van Orden, Luke Van Orden, Elizabeth Van Orden, Emily Fontello, Juliea Fontello, Madison Fontello, Josh DeGuesman, Anthony Urick, Xylord Martin, Emma Elizabeth Jarman, Abigail Jarman and 2 great-great grandchildren, Haley Atallian and Jayson Atallian.
Melvin is also survived by his sister-in-law, Pauline Jarman, five nieces, Kay McElwee, Jeanette Ciecaglione, Judy Domanski, Connie Doris, and Barbara Yarnell; five nephews, Robbie Jarman, Stanley Jarman, Jim Maloney, Bobby Maloney, and Michael Maloney; and more than 18 great nieces and nephews and 10 great-great nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held from 6 pm to 8 pm on Friday, September 7, 2012, at the Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 1000 N. DuPont Parkway, New Castle. A funeral service will be held at 10 am on Saturday, September 8, 2012, at Pike Creek Bible Church, 199 Polly Drummond Hill Road, Newark, where a second visitation will be held from 9 am to 9:45 am. Interment will follow in Gracelawn Memorial Park, 2220 N. DuPont Parkway, New Castle.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Mr. Jarman may be made to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 7023, Merrifield, VA 22116-7023.