Melvin T. Clark, Jr., was born on December 31, 1947, to the late Melvin Theodore Clark, Sr. and Phoebe Jane Clark, in Washington, DC.
Melvin grew up mostly in northwest Washington, DC with the exception of about four years where he lived in Virginia. He was the oldest of two boys and was very protective of his little brother. He was a quiet man who was reserved most of the times, but when something came up, he could still take care of business.
Melvin attended Perry Elementary School and was captain of the school’s safety patrols. After school, Melvin spent time at No. Two Boys Club, boxing, playing basketball, shooting pool, and playing football.
Melvin also attended Terrell Junior High School. He had a paper route where he delivered the Washington Daily News and received rewards for signing up new customers. He also was in the Boy Scouts of America Troop #515 at Metropolitan Baptist Church.
Melvin attended Dunbar Senior High School in Washington, DC. While there, he was a member of the swimming team, fencing team, and rifle team; and was a member of the military cadet corps. He was very active in extra-curricular activities and maintained an above-average GPA in his academic studies.
After graduation from Dunbar, Melvin enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in September 1967. He completed basic training at Parris Island, S.C.; I.T.R at Camp Le Jeune, N.C.; BST at Camp Geiger, N.C. From N.C., Melvin went to Camp Pendleton, CA, for pre-deployment training, where he was promoted to P.F.C. He received his orders to serve in Vietnam in Dec. 1967. In Feb 1968, Melvin was assigned to Delta Company, 1st Rifle Platoon. He was in combat in the ancient city of Hue during the great battle with North Vietnam and the Viet Cong. He fought at Khesan Hills #889 and #689, as well as Quan Tri. He saw action from Danang to the D.M.Z. (De-Militarized Zone). During this time, Melvin was promoted to Lance Corporal responsible for fire team leadership and radio operations. He was wounded in August 1968, while on reactionary patrol and hospitalized in Guam and state-side at Bethesda Naval Hospital for nearly a year. He received a Purple Heart for his wounds and returned to duty at Henderson Hall in Arlington, VA, until he retired for medical reasons.
Melvin went to work for the DC Government in August 1970 at the Department of Veterans Affairs in the Old Post Office at 12th and Penn Avenue, NW. The office moved to North Capitol and K Street, NE, and that’s when Melvin transferred to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.
Melvin officially retired on December 31, 2002. While residing in Laurel, MD, he lived a quiet life, with mounting health issues until his passing. He departed this world on September 16, 2020 at home in the company of his only brother.
Melvin leaves to mourn his brother, Alvin B. Clarke, three nephews, one niece, five great-nephews, three great-nieces, and one great-great nephew.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus restrictions, services are limited to 50 guests.
For those unable to attend the service because of the restriction, livestreaming will be available during the service and burial on this website Tuesday, September 29 at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
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