MELVIN “MEL” MARGERUM, SR. was born to the late Roger Margerum, Sr. and Trosie Cage on January 3, 1927, in St. Louis, Missouri. He peacefully transitioned from this earthly life and entered the Heavenly realm during the early morning hours of Sunday, December 2, 2018, in the serenity of his home in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina.
“Mel’s formal education was received in the public schools of St. Louis, Missouri, and he graduated from Vashon High School with the class of 1944. He then received a scholarship to Howard University in Washington, DC, in the pre-engineering program. He was called to duty in the United States Army in 1945, during World War II, and served his country in the Occupational Forces in Germany 1945-46. After returning to civilian life, Mel attended American University in Washington, DC, where he studied Business Administration and Accounting, and attended the General Services Administration’s Graduate School. He served as a Boy Scout Commissioner, Wood Badger, and Scout leader in the National Capital Area Council for over ten years.
Mel became employed with the Federal Government as a Historical Researcher, Manpower Analyst, and National Archivist. In 1968, he was appointed Assistant Records Management Officer in the Executive Office of the President of the United States. In 1972, he was promoted to Management Analyst Officer and served in four administrations, Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter. He also received two Federal Government Outstanding Service Awards. Upon retirement in 1979, Mel accepted a position as a Management Consultant with the Center for Inquiry firm in Washington, DC.
Mel relocated to Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, in 1982, and immediately immersed himself in serving the community. He taught in the Halifax County School System, volunteered in the Halifax Heroes and Metamorphosis initiatives, contracted with the Department of Social Services for Aid to Families with Dependent Children in both Halifax and Edgecombe counties, became an instructor at Halifax Community College with the JOBS program, JTPA courses, Management Training courses, and was instrumental in developing courses in the History of Jazz and Black History. He also volunteered as a programmer with WZRU, 88.5 FM Radio Station in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, and served as a member of the Board of Trustees for three years.
Mel was a true jazz enthusiast and was proud to introduce others to this genre of music that he loved so much. He enjoyed mentoring students in math, visiting the schools to promote career development, and was adamant about encouraging students to want to succeed.
On June 22, 1985, Mel was joined in Holy Matrimony to Mary J. Harris, and they blended together a family of two sons and three daughters.
In addition to his parents, Mel was preceded in death by his stepfather, Carey Tartt; his daughter, Joyce Margerum; his grandson, Ricky Pryor; two brothers, Roger Margerum, Jr., and Charles Margerum; three sisters, Betty Margerum, Rogetta Margerum and Michelle Margerum; his former wife, Dorothy Dutchess Hall.
Mel is survived by his wife, Mary J. Margerum of the home; his sons, Melvin Margerum, Jr. (Nedra) of Columbia, MD, and Ronnie Margerum (Carlette) of Fayetteville, GA; two daughters, Gloria Vann (Dwayne) of Morro Bay, CA, and Cheryl Harris of High Point, NC; fourteen grandchildren; seventeen great-grandchildren; two sisters, Larra Margerum of Kemah, TX, Saundra Coleman of Denver, CO ; one brother, Marvin Margerum of Denver, CO.; one brother-in-law, Fred Johnson (Agnes) of Littleton, NC; two sisters-in-law, Frances Johnson and Dorothy Powell both of Littleton, NC; his very close friend from childhood, Dr. Nona Ruth Carroll of Las Vegas, NV; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 P.M. on Friday, December 7, 2018, in the chapel of Robinson Funeral Home, 215 US Highway 158, Littleton, NC. Rev. Richard L. Battle will deliver the eulogy, and burial will follow in the Enon Baptist Church Cemetery, 325 Moore Street, Littleton, NC. The body will repose at the funeral home on Thursday, December 6, 2018, from 12:00 Noon – 8:30 P.M.