PVT. MELVIN JAY SETZER USMC
Many hearts were broken when Melvin J. Setzer, 94, a lifelong resident of Coudersport, PA, fell asleep in Jesus on Friday, September 9, 2016, at Elternhaus Assisted Living Facility in Dayton, MD, where he had resided near his granddaughter Amber and family, since July, 2012.
He was born in Dry Run in Hebron Center, near Coudersport, PA on November 20, 1921, the third child of Harry Virgil Setzer Sr. and Alice Bertha (Wilburn) Setzer. Melvin was one of 13 brothers and sisters. While living in Baker Creek on the farm, he attended the one room Harvey School on Rt. 49 where he would go early each morning to build a fire to warm it up for the teacher and students.
On October 2, 1940, he married the late Virginia G. Beach in Warren, Ohio. He worked at the former Coudersport Silk Mill for a time and after work ... would clean other worker's machines for a little extra money to help support his family.
Melvin proudly served as a rifleman/sharpshooter on Iwo Jima, when he was wounded, & then taken to Saipan on a hospital ship, where he was hospitalized for 87 days. In just "36 days" of fighting: 6821 US Marines were killed in action and 20,000 were wounded. The bloodiest battle in Marine Corp history. He served from June 1, 1944 - March 2, 1946 when he was honorably discharged.
Upon returning home, he worked as a self-employed Building Contractor/Carpenter/Plumber/and Electrician building homes in Potter County and surrounding areas.
Melvin loved being a father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. He loved getting in his pickup to ride around the dirt roads of Potter County hoping to spot a few deer, turkey or bear. He always was willing to help anyone at anytime. He'd leave before dawn with his "old silver lunch pail" to work all day before returning for supper, well after dark so many times... If anyone called him for help in the evenings, he'd head back out again with his cheerful attitude. He served his country, his family, his community, his church and his friends and always with a happy disposition and smile. His hearty Setzer belly laugh would make YOU laugh too.
Melvin was also honored to serve as Commander of the Coudersport American Legion Post 192 in 1958, 1965, 1966 & 1967.
Melvin was pre-deceased by his parents, his infant daughter, Sharon Kay Setzer, his wife, Virginia, and his oldest daughter, Lois Carol (Setzer) Hubbard, 4 sisters, Mildred Hardengrader, Sylvia Haskins, Inez Nelson, Eula Jean Setzer, and 7 brothers, Harry Jr., Clarence, Lawrence, Clifford, Robert, Kenneth, William and half sister, Anna (Setzer) Wahl of Meyersdale, PA.
He is survived by his daughter, Linda (Ronald "Archie") Lohr, of Coudersport, his youngest brother, David (Marcia) Setzer of Yreka, CA, six grandchildren & 13 great grandchildren, Timothy J. (Julia) Jackson, Loveland, OH, Jennifer (Jim) Fielder, Anchorage, AK, Amber (Tim) Mayer, Dayton, MD, Jay (Connie) Cole, Dayton, OH, Corbett (Dina) Cole, Harrison, TN, Nathanial (Cara) Cole, Bel Air, MD, sisters in law Yvonne (Bonnie) Setzer, Shirley (Guenther) Schnell and many nieces and nephews.
Melvin was a long time member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church where he served as Usher, Deacon, and all-around Handyman, Snow Shovel-er, and Mr. Fixit.
A memorial service with Military Honors will be held "Friday, November 25, at 1:00 PM" at the Seventh Day Adventist Church followed by a luncheon graciously provided by Ladies Auxiliary of the American Legion Post 192.