July 27, 1936 - June 18, 2020 On Thursday, June 18, 2020, James Henry Melvin departed this earthly life after a brief but challenging illness. He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty Jean Melvin; his parents, Charles D. and Mary Lee Melvin; and three brothers, David Melvin, George Melvin and Charles Melvin. James was employed by Lane Furniture Company for 45 years and became the first African-American supervisor in the company's history. His interview describing the impact of that promotion is housed in the Virginia History Museum. After retiring, he was employed by Campbell County Schools in various part-time roles. James was very well known and active in his community. He was one of the founding members of the Vista Tones, a popular R&B band in the late 60s and 70s. His love of music continued through out his life. He was a proud member of the Lions Club, Jaycees and the PTA serving on committees and offices as needed. He loved to make people laugh and often offered encouragement to young people and helped those in need. While James was loved and admired by many, he will be especially missed by his family. He is survived by two sisters, Pastor Betty Jean Harris of Laurel, Md. and Mary Ann Nowlin (James) of Brookneal, Va.; his children, James D. Melvin of Washington, D.C., Stacey G. Melvin also of Washington, D.C., Shannon Melvin of Atlanta, Ga.; one stepdaughter, Danette Turner of Greensboro, N.C. In addition, he leaves to mourn five grandchildren; four great-grandchildren and a host of other relatives and friends. He will be greatly missed but we can all be comforted knowing that he is in a better place and resting peacefully. Graveside rites for Mr. Melvin will be conducted on Wednesday, June 24, 2020, at 11 a.m. at the First Church of Jesus Cemetery, Hurt, Virginia with Bishop Wes Witcher Jr., presiding and Elder Johnny Myers, eulogist. A viewing will be held on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, at Miller Funeral Home from 4 until 7 p.m. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, please donate to your local food bank rather than visiting the home. Miller Funeral Home, Gretna is in charge of the arrangements.
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