In Passing

Al Melvin

Al Melvin

Albert Anthony (Al) Melvin was born Nov. 3, 1944, in Helena, Mont. He passed away on Aug. 2, 2023. His father, Benjamin Franklin Melvin, was a career U.S. Army officer. The family lived in Korea, Austria, France, and throughout the U.S.

The highlight of his life and the key to his success was meeting and then marrying Kou Tanigami. They both worked for Everett Steamship Corp., with the Far East headquarters in Yokohama, Japan. Including their 20 years in SaddleBrooke, this has been a loving relationship of over 50 years.

Al was a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, N.Y.; Thunderbird: American Graduate School of International Management (now part of ASU), Phoenix, Ariz.; and the U.S. Naval War College, Newport, R.I.

Al had an extensive career in the USNR; AZ politics; international shipping; and teaching as an adjunct instructor at the college level.

Military: In 1999, Al retired as a Captain, USNR (Ret), after a 30-year career. The highlight of his USN career was serving as Commander (Commodore) of Maritime Prepositioning Squadron Two, based in Diego Garcia in the British Indian Ocean Territory (B.I.O.T.). With 15 assigned ships, it is the largest ship squadron in the U.S. Navy. It is the largest concentration of U.S. flag merchant ships in the world. He was awarded the Legion of Merit after this year-long tour of duty. Previously, as a cadet, he earned the Viet Nam service award. Later his unit was recalled to active duty in the First Gulf War.

Political: The high point of his political career was to serve as an Arizona State Senator (2009-15). He represented the north side of Pinal County, including SaddleBrooke. From 2013 to 2014, he ran unsuccessfully as a Clean Elections Candidate for Governor of Arizona.

Maritime: He spent nine years at sea on U.S. flag merchant ships. He has a USCG-issued Master license, unlimited tonnage and upon oceans.

Teaching: He taught logistics-related courses for over 25 years. First at the California Maritime Academy, Park University, U of A South, and most recently Pima Community College. He authored the book “Student Handbook for Success,” which is sold on Amazon.

Membership: Al was an Eagle Scout, class of 1962. He was a member of the VFW, American Legion, and Knights of Columbus.

Survivors: He is survived by his wife, Kou Marie Melvin, his brother John Michael Melvin (Donna), his sister Florence Ann Johannes (Shon), and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Arizona Veterans Memorial Cemetery at Marana, where Al is interred.