John R. Mellin

April  5th, 1929 December  27th, 2023
Littleton, CO
John R. Mellin

Those who touch our lives, stay in our hearts forever.

Obituary

In Loving Memory of John R. Mellin

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of John R. Mellin, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and cherished member of our community on December 27, 2023, at the age of 94.

Born April 5, 1929 in New Albany, Indiana, John brought immeasurable joy and love to those fortunate enough to have known him. He dedicated his life to his family and his passions, leaving behind a legacy that will be remembered and cherished by all who had the pleasure of crossing his path.

John attended Purdue University and completed his Bachelor's Degree in Engineering in 1951. After the war, John returned to Purdue and obtained his Master's Degree in Engineering in 1955.

John served with the Army Corps of Engineers during the Korean War, obtaining the rank of First Lieutenant. He proudly served his country with honor, receiving the Bronze Star Medal for "Meritorious achievement in ground operations against the enemy."

John worked nearly 40 years in the aerospace industry for Martin Marietta. He participated in many notable ventures including the Titan Project during the height of the Cold War, and the Viking Mars Lander Mission. John was adept at explaining complex ideas in layman’s terms and shared many fascinating stories over the years.

John was a devoted husband to his beloved wife Joanne, who he married in 1959. They created a lifetime of cherished memories and celebrated 62 years of marriage together. Their bond was one that epitomized love and companionship throughout the years. Joanne passed away March 26, 2021 at the age of 89.

A proud father, John along with Joanne raised two remarkable children, Scott Mellin and Amy Mellin (Dughman).  They also had two grandchildren they absolutely adored, Merak Mellin and Maxine Mellin. John and Joanne loved them all unconditionally and took great pride in their accomplishments and growth. They provided unwavering support and were a constant source of guidance, always encouraging them to pursue their dreams and never settle for less.

John had a great passion for sports and was very competitive, well into his golden years. He experienced immense joy in skiing and tennis, but playing badminton was his favorite. He found both challenge and camaraderie through badminton and won numerous singles and doubles titles, culminating in his induction into the Colorado Badminton Hall of Fame in 2013. No matter the sport, John played with fervor, grace, and good sportsmanship, inspiring others to do the same.

An inquisitive soul, John had a thirst for knowledge. He was always eager to explore new ideas and experiences, never shying away from questioning the world around him. His intellectual curiosity shone brightly, inspiring those who knew him to embrace their own inquisitive nature. John frequently found irony and humor in everyday events, and expressed it eloquently through his own unique cartoons.

Music was a tremendous source of happiness for John and in particular, classic country music. Of the many artists he listened to he particularly enjoyed Anne Murray, Jim Reeves, and Johnny Cash. The powerful lyrics and emotive melodies of timeless country songs and ballads held a special place in his heart, providing solace and reflection during both good times and bad.

John was a man of many admirable qualities. He possessed a kind and gentle spirit, always extending a helping hand to anyone in need. His work ethic was unparalleled, as he approached every task with determination and a commitment to excellence. His sense of humor and storytelling brightened the lives of those around him, leaving us with treasured memories and laughter.

Though we mourn the loss of John, his spirit lives on through his family and the countless memories he shared with all of us. He leaves behind a void that can never be filled, but we find comfort in the knowledge that his legacy will continue to shine brightly.

John will forever be missed and dearly remembered. May he find eternal peace and rest alongside Joanne, where the slopes are always groomed, the courts always reserved, and the sweet melodies of Jim Reeves forever play.

Rest in peace, dear John.

Timeline

1929
April 5th
John R. Mellin is born
John was born to George and Mary Katherine Mellin.  John's elder sister Joyce Ann sadly died at the age 19 of Leukemia. 
New Albany, Indiana
1939
June
Started playing badminton at age 10 
Left his racquet outside overnight, dew warped it badly, straightened it with a letter press
New Albany, IN
1943
July
Worked on farm at age 14
Set up a court and played with munitions workers who boarded there
New Albany, IN
1947
May
Graduated High School
His first sports’ love was high school basketball, but badminton, tennis and skiing became his favorites. 
New Albany, IN
1951
May
Graduated College - Bachelor's Degree
Graduated from Purdue University with a BS in Engineering
West Lafayette, IN
1953
October
Korean War - Bronze Star Medal 
First Lieutenant John R. Mellin, Army Corps of Engineers, is awarded the Bronze Star Medal for "Meritorious achievement in ground operations against the enemy."
Korea
1955
May
Graduated College - Master's Degree
Graduated from Purdue University with a MS in Engineering
West Lafayette, IN
1957
Hired by Glenn L. Martin Aviation Company (became Martin Marietta Corporation in 1961)
Started career with Glenn L. Martin Aviation Company. 
Baltimore, MD
1957
Resumed Playing Badminton
Resumed playing badminton after college and the war with Gilman Badminton Club and nationally ranked players like Judy Devlin, 13-time All England champion.  Assisted Grace Devlin (Judy Devlin's mother), conducting badminton classes for 8-12 year old
Baltimore, MD
1959
May 16th
John and Joanne are married
Married Joanne Potter, a member of another badminton club, and had a social life associated with badminton playing in Philadelphia, Boston and Washington, DC tournaments.
Baltimore, MD
1962
January
President of Maryland State Badminton Association
Elected President of Maryland State Badminton Association and hosted Club Open Tournament. The World Champion, Edward Kops of Denmark played, as did top players from USA, Sweden, Scotland, Canada and Mexico.
Baltimore, MD
1965
May
Scott Is adopted
Scott is adopted by John and Joanne
Baltimore, MD
1967
May
Amy is adopted
Amy is adopted by John and Joanne
Baltimore, MD
1967
August
Family moves to Colorado
John, Joanne, Scott, and Amy move from Maryland to Colorado
Littleton, CO
1993
John Retires
John retires from Martin Marietta Corporation after 39 years of service
Littleton, CO
1996
July
Rocky Mountain Senior Games
Rocky Mountain Senior Games Singles Badminton GOLD
Greeley, CO
1997
March
U.S. Senior National Badminton Championships 
National Senior Games Men’s Doubles Badminton 60-64 GOLD with Ka Lun Fogg
Tucson, AZ
1998
July
Rocky Mountain Senior Games
Rocky Mountain Senior Games Badminton Singles GOLD
Greeley, CO
2000
July
Merak Mellin is born 
John and Joanne's grandson is born to Scott and Heidi Mellin
Littleton, CO
2001
March
Whitlock Center design
John is instrumental in designing a two court, badminton-oriented facility in the newly constructed Whitlock Center; developed and co-directed a unique tournament format combining multi-age and multi-skill levels.
2002
April
Maxine Mellin is born
John and Joanne's granddaughter is born to Scott and Heidi Mellin
Littleton, CO
2004
July
Rocky Mountain Senior Games 
Rocky Mountain Senior Games Singles Badminton GOLD
Greeley, CO
2005
March
U.S. Senior National Badminton Championships 
National Senior Games 75-79 Singles Badminton BRONZE
Manhattan Beach, CA
2006
Rocky Mountain Senior Games 
Rocky Mountain Senior Games Singles Badminton GOLD
Greeley, CO
2009
July
U.S. Senior National Badminton Championships 
National Senior Games Men’s Doubles Badminton BRONZE
Manhattan Beach, CA
2010
July
Rocky Mountain Senior Games 
Rocky Mountain Senior Games Doubles Badminton GOLD with Chris Chabas
Greeley, CO
2010
October
Pikes Peak Open
Pikes Peak Open Men’s Singles Badminton over 60 GOLD
Colorado Springs, CO
2013
April 6th
Colorado Badminton Hall of Fame
John is inducted into the Colorado Badminton Hall of Fame
2021
March 26th
Joanne passes away
John's dear wife Joanne passes away at the age of 89
Littleton, CO
2023
December 27th
John passes away
John passes away peacefully at the age of 94 at Somner Glen skilled nursing facility.
Centennial, CO

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January 10, 2024
John was one of the finest bosses I ever had at Martin Marietta. He allowed me to be myself and furthered my career when others were politically motivated. We shared a sense of humor while making sure the right things were done in the name of providing a product for the US government. I didn't now of his badminton prowess, but his sportsmanship does not surprise me a bit. RIP John.
Donald Skinner

Service


We will come together to remember and pay tribute to John at a later date.  We will publish the details here once finalized.
Location
TBD
Date/time
TBD
Virtual event

Donate in John's Memory

In honor of John R. Mellin, we invite you to contribute to the Jefferson County Library Foundation - a cause that was near and dear to his heart.  John was a literacy advocate and selflessly volunteered his time, tutoring adults in reading.

The Jefferson County Library Foundation's mission is to support and enrich the capabilities, resources, and services of the Jefferson County Public Library through fundraising and advocacy efforts that benefit our diverse community. 

https://www.coloradogives.org/organization/JeffCoLibrary

Your generous donation will serve as a meaningful tribute to John by supporting a meaningful cause. Together, let us continue the legacy of compassion and kindness that he embodied throughout his life.
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