Pastor Eliezer Melendez, age 80, of Fredericksburg, Virginia, father of Dr. Eliezer Melendez of Sturgis, passed away early Wednesday morning January 18, 2012 at the home of his youngest son, Alvin.
He was born July 2, 1931 in Puerto Rico, a son of the late Juan and Josefa (Vazquez) Melendez.
Pastor Melendez early life was lived in Puerto Rico until his retirement at which time he and his wife moved to Miami, Florida where he resided until the past year when they moved to Fredericksburg, Virginia to live with their son.
On August 11, 1957 he married Gloria Nogueras in Puerto Rico.
Pastor Melendez dedicated his life to the Youth Ministry of the Seventh Day Adventist Church and had been recognized throughout the world for the great work he had done.
He received his Bachelor Degree in Theology at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan and later was awarded a Doctorate in Divinity.
Pastor Melendez was proud to have served his country in the U.S. Army during the Korean War earning the rank of Private First Class and was awarded the National Defense Services Medal.
He is survived by his loving and dedicated wife of 54 years, Gloria, one daughter, Sylvia Klinger of Chicago, Illinois, three sons, Dr. Eliezer Melendez of Sturgis, Benjamin Melendez of Los Angeles, California and Alvin Melendez of Fredericksburg, Virginia, six grandchildren, Eliezer Jr., Cristina, Tanya, Katherine, David and Tatiana, one sister, two brothers and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and one daughter, Gloria M. Melendez.
The family will receive friends Wednesday at the Eliezer Melendez Youth Center in Puerto Rico where a service celebrating the life of Pastor Eliezer Melendez will be held at 7:00 P.M. Wednesday and at 10:00 A.M. Thursday. Burial will take place at the Puerto Rico National Cemetery in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Full military honors will be conferred by the Puerto Rico National Cemetery Honor Guard.
The Hackman Family Funeral Homes of Sturgis is assisting the family with local arrangements.
In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate memorial donations to the Puerto Rican Conference Youth Center, P.O. Box 29027 San Juan, Puerto Rico 00929.