Submitted by his family
Melvin Edward Champaign
Charleston Fire Department – South Carolina
Date of Death: June 18‚ 2007
It takes a village to raise a child. Melvin Champaign was born March 9‚ 1962‚ to Stella Champaign. During early childhood‚ Melvin was raised by his grandmother‚ Mary Love Champaign‚ who dedicated herself to Melvin and a host of brothers‚ sisters‚ and cousins. Melvin was the youngest grandson in his mama‚ Mary Love Champaign’s‚ garden. Mama’s continuous labor of love: pruning‚ tilling‚ fertilizing‚ watering‚ and always on her hands and knees‚ plucking out the weeds‚ worms‚ and bugs. Mama always kept watch over her garden to keep the danger out. In 1972‚ Melvin’s mama did not show up at the garden. She told him‚ ‘Mama needs to plant you somewhere safe.’ That safe haven was the love and care of Evelina Seabrook and Mikell and Alma Fludd.
Melvin was a philanthropist. Melvin was loved and respected by all. He had an infectious smile. Children adored him. He spent a lot of his time volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club. He was a black belt in karate. On any given Saturday‚ one would find Melvin instructing a small group of youth in martial arts. A counselor to troubled children‚ he spent countless hours being a positive role model to these youth. Melvin was a man of many talents‚ a musician and songwriter who always had his keyboard in tow. A carpenter by trade‚ Melvin worked side by side with his cousin‚ Carl Champaign‚ whom Melvin revered as his brother.
In 1980‚ Melvin joined the United States Army. He traveled abroad and finally settled in Tacoma‚ Washington‚ where he married. He is survived by his three young children‚ Eveion‚ Isaiah‚ and Rueben Champaign. He lived for his children‚ as his grandmamma lived for him.
Melvin dreamt of being a fireman. He wanted to give himself to his community. He gave up his career as an ironworker and‚ in late 2003‚ he moved back to Charleston‚ South Carolina.
Melvin had a passion for the ministry. His uncle‚ Hercules Champaign‚ and Dean Johnson‚ from Alpha & Omega Bible College‚ were mentors to him. Alpha & Omega Bible College is where Melvin obtained his associate’s degree in theology.
On Monday‚ June 18‚ 2007‚ Melvin was removed from his work in his garden and was planted in the courts of our GOD. ‘Listen‚ can you hear that? It is the joy of Melvin’s garden.’ Dear Grandmamma‚ I pray I have done what you asked of me. Here is your garden. Love always‚ Melvin.