Robert Melcher, 101, of Lubbock, Texas passed away Saturday, September 5, 2020.
Robert was born December 5, 1918 in Williamson County to Leon and Louise (John) Melcher. When Robert was two years old, his family relocated to Posey, located between Lubbock and Slaton. He graduated from Slaton High School in 1936. During the time of attending Texas Technological College, he chose to depart his higher educational opportunities and enter the military to serve his country in response to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Robert enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps in early 1942. Robert received his pilot license and flew the Douglas C-47, one of the most important tools for victory in World War II. As part of the 78th Troop Carrier Squadron of the 435th Troop Carrier Group, Robert took part in the D-Day invasion of Normandy known as Operation Neptune. After Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower wished the crew and the paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division “Godspeed,” Robert took off at 11:30 p.m. on June 5, 1944. Despite numerous challenges, the entire crew was able to accurately drop these men on the designated drop zone, near the town of Sainte-Mere Eglise. Robert served in every major European Theater Operation and was awarded the Air Medal and other medals for his service. Robert was honorably discharged in 1945 as First Lieutenant and was able to return home and fulfill his wishes: to be a farmer. After returning home, he married Bobby Jo Hays in 1946 and began to farm and ranch, which he vigorously pursued throughout his life. Robert was the owner and distributor for the Falstaff Brewing Company for this area beginning in the 1960’s. Robert was a member of St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church, Lubbock. He was known as a tireless worker, avid baseball fan, lover of the outdoors and dedicated fly fisherman in his younger years.
The Melcher family was noted as early settlers within Fayette County when Texas was recognized as the Independent Republic of Texas.
He is preceded in death by his parents; his wife; his sisters, Bertha Fritz and Gertrude Rogers; and his brothers, Leopold, Edgar and Lawrence Melcher.
Robert is survived by his sister, Margaret McWilliams of Fair Oaks Ranch; numerous nieces and nephews; and a special friend, Aly Gwinn.
Rosary will be said at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Slaton. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m Thursday, September 10, 2020 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Slaton. Interment will follow at the Slaton Englewood Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Englunds Funeral Service in Slaton. Due to social distancing and seating on every other pew, seating is limited. Masks are required for attendees in the church. Family suggest memorials to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Slaton Meals on Wheels, or the Salvation Army.
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