Fenoglio, Melvin E.
Crewmember Status: Deceased
22/Apr/1923 – 10/Sep/2005
Yeoman 3rd Class (T), USNR
Battle Station while aboard DD 803: 5″ Gun Mount # 3 (Magazine)
Melvin E. Fenoglio
April 22, 1923 – September 10, 2005
Melvin E. Fenoglio, 82, Montague, passed away on Sept. 10, in a Fort Worth hospital.
Funeral services were on Sept. 13 at St. William Catholic Church with burial in Montague Catholic Cemetery.
Melvin was born April 22, 1923, to Andrew J. and Mary Veretto Fenoglio in the Aurelia Community near Montague.
Melvin attended Montague School and graduated from Nocona High School. He attended Decatur Baptist College and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from North Texas State Teacher’s College (now University of North Texas) and a master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame.
He worked as a news writer for the Sherman Democrat in Sherman, before returning to Montague in 1949 to begin his career in education. He said at his retirement that he had found his niche in life—education remained a part of him until his passing. He started as a teacher then became principal. He was later named superintendent and remained in the position until his retirement in 1986 after 37 years in education. He loved the school and remained an active supporter after retirement.
Melvin, devoted to his country, served three years in the Navy during World War II. The destroyer U.S.S. Little (DD803), on which Melvin served, was sunk off the coast of Okinawa by kamikazes. He then joined the Air Force Reserve and obtained the rank of lieutenant colonel before retiring with 29 years of service.
Melvin’s love affair with history, particularly of Montague County, was his inspiration to serve more than 25 years as the chairman of the Montague County Historical Commission. During his tenure, more than 30 historical markers and medallions were placed on Montague County landmarks. He also was editor of the book Montague County, Its Past and Present and three books of his own, Looking Back, Our Yesterdays, and This Soil Will Grow Grapes, a history of Montague County Italians. He felt compelled to ensure the history of Montague County is preserved.
He was a member of many, many groups, organizations and fundraisers. Among them was the drive for funds to build St. William Catholic Church, which he chaired; St. William Pastoral Council; the Montague County Genealogical Society, where he served as president, vice president, program chair; Montague County Retired School Personnel as chair, publicity chair and program director; Bowie and Nocona Chambers of Commerce; Texas Farm Bureau; Friends of the Library of the University of North Texas; Italian Symposium of Texas; North Montague County Museum; Iwo Jima Survivors’ Association and U.S.S. Little Survivors’ Reunion.
He was a devoted Notre Dame supporter and held life memberships in the Air Force Association, Reserve Officers’ Association, Texas State Teachers’ Association, American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
He was preceded in death by his first wife Helen Wilfong Fenoglio; his parents A.J. and Mary; brothers Anthony (“Tony”), James, William (“Pete”), Henry and Ray; sisters, Mae Beckman, Tilda Nobile and Ruby Fenoglio.
He is survived by his wife Paulette of the home; daughters Catherine Martin of Denver, Colorado, and Libby Webb of Wichita Falls, Texas; sons Michael, Denver, CO, Steve, Austin and Scott Langan, Helotes; grandchildren Steven, Sarah and Amy Smith, Andrew, Megan (Krebs), Zach and Melissa Fenoglio; Gayle and Robyn Taliaferro; Patrick, Trevor, Jared and Brittany Martin; Hannah, Elizabeth and Vanessa Geurin and Abbey Langan; great-grandchildren Aidan, Adia and Maddox Smith. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends.
Pallbearers were Bill, David, Donald, and Tommy Fenoglio, and Lynn and Randy Nobile. Honorary pallbearers were John, Cecil, and Horace James Fenoglio, Premo Carminati, Cy Young, Max Brown, I.B. Wagonseller, Kim Childs, Jim Prugel III, Lynn Gray, Jack Nabours and goddaughters Darlene Tompkins and Glenna Clay.
For those desiring, the family suggests that memorial contributions be made to St. William Catholic Church, Montague Texas, or Nocona High School General Scholarship Fund, Nocona, Texas.