Obituary: MELONAS, PETE

Published: Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:49 p.m. MDT

Pete M. Melonas 1923 ~ 2011 We bid farewell to Pete Melonas, loving father, caring grandfather, devoted husband, friend, and Christian. A man of unimaginable strength, determination, and drive; he fascinated and charmed those around him with his amazing diverse personality: he was rough but gentle, strict but kind, unsociable but friendly. He passed away on June 28, 2011 with his family by his side. Born February 8, 1923 in Murray, Utah to the parents of hard working Greek immigrates, John and Christina Melonas, who came to America in 1914. Pete was the 14 of ten children, four brothers and five sisters. His parents instilled in Pete an inner drive to work as hard as possible and to never give up, which he followed his entire life even to his last days. He grew up on a family farm in Murray, Utah during the Great Depression (current location of Cottonwood High school) and at the age of 18 joined the US Navy in June 1941. He served his country for four years during World War II and was at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He fought in many of the bitter battles in the Pacific including Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and Iwo Jima. He served on the heavy cruiser, USS Indianapolis, which was sunk during the final days of the war. He married his wife, Afrodite Frieda Xanthoulis, on January 2, 1949 and they had six beautiful children together, recently celebrating their 62nd wedding anniversary. He retired from Hill AFB as a machinist in 1983. He loved working on his farm and raising his animals, mostly chickens which kept him active, healthy, and content. A man of deep conviction & independence - he always insisted on doing things his way - never blindly following the commands of others. He is survived by his children: John (Irene), Gust, Anastasia, and Jason (Mary Kay) as well as nine grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his sons, Peter and Milton. Death is never fair and it is not fair that Pete was taken from us; however, we find comfort in our hearts from the fact that our loss is Heaven's gain. God called Pete to Heaven just as He shaped and molded Pete's very soul. Pete believed in the Lord Jesus Christ with all this heart, mind, and soul; one of his favorite passages from the Bible was Proverbs 23:7, "For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he". Pete, please understand how much you meant to all of us. We will never forget how much you taught, guided, comforted, and protected us. And thank you, our dearest Pete, for giving us the greatest gift of all - your never ending love. A viewing will be held at Jenkins-Soffe Mortuary, 4760 S. State on Friday, July 1, 2011 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held on July 2, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church (279 S. 300 W.) with graveside services at Elysian Gardens Cemetery, 1075 East 4580 South. Online condolences: www.jenkins-soffe.com