Clayton Eugene (Gene) Melvin, a retired educator, coach, and administrator passed away on Monday, May 24. Gene was born in Arlington, Georgia on October 29, 1947. He was the son of Clay and Carolyn (Newberry) Melvin. He graduated from Calhoun County High School in 1965 and continued his education at Georgia Southwestern College in Americus, Georgia where he received a BS and a Masters in education. He later received his Specialist degree in Education from Valdosta State College. He spent thirty-nine years as a teacher, coach and/or administrator. He enjoyed teaching and/or coaching at Crawford County, Georgia; Southwest Georgia (SWGA) Academy in Damascus, Georgia; Riverview Academy in Albany, Georgia and Lee County Middle School in Leesburg, Georgia. He then served as Assistant Principal and Principal at Crisp County High School in Cordele, Georgia and Westover High School in Dougherty County (Albany), Georgia. Gene then came out of retirement to serve for two years as the Principal of Calhoun County High School in Edison, Georgia.
Gene is survived by his wife, Gail, his son Matt (Betsy) Melvin, and step-sons Brandon (Meredith) Horne, and Bradley (Kristi) Horne. He was a beloved “PaPa” to grandchildren, Ella and Sutton Melvin, Kiley and Eli Jones, and Peyton and Hayden Horne. Gene was previously married to Gloria Jean (Hamill) Melvin. Gene leaves behind a brother Mike (Karin) Melvin and a sister Beth (Vic) Hilliard. His older sister, Carol Melvin, recently preceded him in death. Surviving nephews include Clay and Kyle Melvin and niece, Brook Hilliard.
During Gene’s career in education, he was recognized as Teacher of the Year, Star Teacher, and Coach of the Year. During his tenure at Westover High School (WHS) he received a High Performance Principal Award from the Georgia Department of Education. Gene spent seventeen years at WHS, where he retired from education in 2008. He is fondly remembered by staff and students alike and always considered himself a Westover High School “Patriot”. Many of his students and colleagues there remember him as he walked the school halls reminding them to “tighten up”.
Gene was a member of the Gillionville Baptist Church and Roy Cook’s Men and Women’s Sunday School Class. Gene worked with the Kairos Prison Ministry and was an active member of the Gideons.
Gene was an avid outdoors’ man who enjoyed fishing and hunting. He was happy alone or spending time with family and friends while working on his “farm” in Leary, Georgia. His desire was for his children and grandchildren to enjoy hunting and fishing and to cultivate a love and appreciation for the outdoors.
Whether you knew him as Dad, PaPa, Mr. Gene, Gene, Coach Melvin or Mr. Melvin, you could always count on him to be there for you. Friends and family describe him as a man who loved God and his family and led his life as an example of love, integrity and fairness.
The funeral service provided by Matthew’s Funeral Home will be held on Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 11:30 AM at Gillionville Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia. A private internment for the family will follow at Leary Cemetery in Leary, Georgia. Visitation will be prior to the funeral service from 9:30-11:30 at Gillionville Baptist Church.
A special thank you is sent to the dedicated and compassionate ladies who cared for Gene in his final months: Wilson Hospice personnel: Kristen Daniel, Linda Whitlock, and Natalie Clark, and independent caregivers: Ida Mae Johnson, Tessi Pickett and Carolyn Baisden.
Memorial donations may be made to Burning Bush Ministries, 575 Retreat Road, Arlington, Georgia, 39813.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gene Melvin, Jr., please visit our floral store.
Burning Bush Ministries
575 Retreat Rd, Arlington GA 39813