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Stephen C. Melnyck

February 11, 1919 January 29, 2011
Stephen C. Melnyck
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Obituary for Stephen C. Melnyck

Stephen C. Melnyck, 91, of Ludlow, passed away peacefully on January 29, 2011. Born in Olean, NY, son of the late John and Anna Melnyck, he lived most of his life in Ludlow where he was a faithful communicant of the former St. Mary of the Assumption Church and presently The Catholic Community of St. Elizabeth. He worked for over 40 years at Smith and Wesson before retiring.  Stephen was a United States Marine Corps Veteran proudly serving his country during WWII. He enlisted into the Corps on July 14, 1942 in Springfield specializing as a Paratrooper Rifleman, a Rifle-03-Marksman, and a Pistol Sharpshooter. He graduated from the US Marine Corps Parachute School on Feb. 5, 1943. He shipped out from the west coast and was organized into the 1st Parachute Battalion 1st Division. He then was deployed to Guadacanal before moving onto Vella Lavella from Oct. 8, 1943 to Oct. 16, 1943. He participated in action against the enemy at Bougainville from Nov. 29,1943 to Jan. 11,1944. After Bougainville, the battalion became part of the 5th Marine Division. Stephen then served in Iwo Jima from Feb. 19, 1945 to March 8, 1945 where he was awarded the Purple Heart Medal by the commanding general of the Fleet Marine Forces, Pacific, for wounds received as a result of enemy action in the Asiatic-Pacific Area. He was also presented with the Bronze Star Medal with Vallor Device in the name of the President of the United States, in recognition of his heroic achievement against the enemy in Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, Wake Island, and New Caldonia on Feb. 28, 1945.  His platoon had been pinned down by enemy fire while attacking pillboxes and caves. When his platoon leader was wounded and evacuated, he assumed command of the platoon while in full view of the enemy and during this intense mortar barrage, he reorganized the platoon and effected a successful assault against enemy positions. After fighting and serving for his country, Stephen was honorably discharged on November 22, 1945.  He returned home to the United States and was reunited with his beloved sweetheart Myrtice Brinn and they were married 5 days later on November 27, 1945 in Oakridge Tennesse.  Stephen was an active member of the Ludlow American Legion Post 52 and the Disabled American Veterans of Ludlow Chapter 94, also serving as their chaplain for many years. He and his wife, Myrtice, actively volunteered at the Holyoke Soldiers home for decades. Stephen was the beloved husband of the late Myrtice (Brinn) Melnyck, who predeceased him in 2003; loving father to Stephen C. Melnyck Jr., of Feeding Hills, and Cynthia Blatt, of Ludlow; a cherished grandfather to Kara Kolodziey Sawa and Cortney Kolodziey; a devoted great-grandfather to Ella Dae Sawa whom he adored; dear brother to Michael Melnyck, of Ludlow, and Rose Clayson, Helen Soltys and Phyllis Kot, all of CT; he also leaves many nieces, nephews, extended family members and dear friends. . Funeral services are on Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 9am from Ludlow Funeral Home with Liturgy of Christian Burial at 10am in St. Elizabeth Parish followed by burial with Military Honors in Island Pond Cemetery. Visiting hours are on Friday evening from 5-8pm.  

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Stephens memory to the Holyoke Soldiers Home 110 Cherry St. Holyoke, Ma. 01040.

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