Frederick William Raymond "Ray" Melancon, 95, of New Bedford, passed away peacefully at home with his family, Friday, March 2, 2018, after a period of declining health.
Born in New Bedford, son of the late Leger and Bertha (Armitage) Melancon, he was a lifelong resident of the city. He was preceded in death by his sisters, Gladys Bourgeois, Doris Selman and his brother Edmund Melancon, also his late wife, Helene (Cote) Melancon, mother of his two sons, Raymond and Robert.
Ray graduated from St. Hyacinth and Coyle High School, in Taunton. He went to work at Morse Cutting Tools as a machinist, tap thread grinder for 43 years. After retirement, he joined the Hawthorne Country Club where he enjoyed playing golf for over 20 years. He was an avid reader and kept up with current events.
Ray volunteered to serve in the Navy during WWII. He went through naval training to prepare for the Normandy Invasion. During the invasion, he served on the USS Anne Arundel AP-76. Ray was a Coxswain during D-Day, June 6, 1944, at Omaha Beach serving as a Higgins Boat driver. Later he participated in the invasions of Southern France. His ship was transferred to the Pacific where he participated in the invasion of Okinawa, facing days of Kamikaze attacks during the nighttime. After picking up wounded Marines and Army personnel at Iwo Jima, the ship participated in removing surrendered Japanese soldiers from Indochina and transferred them back to Japan. He achieved the rank of Motor Machinist's Mate 2nd Class.
Ray remarried, in 1963, to Mary Lorraine (Fortin) and had four children, Robert, Kevin, Michelle and David. He was a communicant of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish at St. James Church.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Lorraine; children, Raymond and his wife Cheryl of New Bedford, Bob and his wife Dannie of FL, Robert of New Bedford, Kevin of St. Helena, CA, Michelle Magliozzi and her husband Jim of Wilmington, and David and his wife Melanie of North Dartmouth; 13 grandchildren, Lynne, Raymond, Rebecca, Paul, Kenneth, Keith, William, Caroline, Bennett, Michael, Jarod, Jonathan and Nicole; 11 great grandchildren; 2 great, great grandchildren.
In accordance with his wishes he will be cremated and a Celebration of Ray's Life will be held at a later date.
Arrangements are by the Donaghy-Hathaway Funeral Home, 465 County St., New Bedford.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Community Nurse and Hospice Care, 62 Center St., Fairhaven, MA 02719, or the Veterans Transition House, 20 Willis St., New Bedford, MA 02740, or a charity of your choice
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Frederick William Raymond “Ray” Melancon, please visit our floral store.