Melvin R. Loder, was born November 12, 1945, to Adolf and Anna Loder. Melvin joined the Navy 1965-1968, during the Viet Nam war, assigned to ordinance on the USS Shangri-La, an aircraft carrier.
After the Navy, he returned to Batavia, New York. He was employed for 19 years at Kodak as an instrument maker. He built prototypes designed by engineers, even participating on a lens for the Hubble Telescope, which is now in the Smithsonian.
After returning to the Batavia area, he met and married the love of his life, Linda, with whom he shared 44 years of adventures together.
Melvin had many talents, skills, and interests. He obtained his pilot’s license, his pistol permit, his CDL license, and his ham radio call letters of N2TOF. His love of country, family, friends, even animals, was always obvious. He had a love and respect for our flag and flew it when camping, hunting, or even 4-wheeling. He would have been so proud of the flag flown during his funeral procession. He had a great love of knowledge and could talk or listen on many subjects.
An avid outdoorsman, he learned to hunt and fish at an early age. He had his first motorcycle at age 15 and worked in a donut shop and on a pig farm to make gas money. If a vehicle could move, he wanted to be in or on it. His bucket list still contained a wish for a helicopter ride.
Melvin was a man of courage, determination, and great character. You always knew that he had your back. His wife called him “a knight in shining armor,” maybe with a dent or two. His ringtone on his wife’s phone was Mighty Mouse: “Here I come to save the day.” He had a sweet/salty personality. If you became his friend, you were a friend for life. To know him was to love him.
Melvin joined the Elba Volunteer Fire Department later in life after a neighbor’s fire. Although he was older, they found a place for him as fire police. He held this position in the highest respect. He believed it was his job to protect those on his team who were responding. He didn’t care if he made friends while on duty, he enforced the rules which kept us safe any time the tones went off. He encouraged many with his zest for living and his sense of humor.
Predeceased by his only child, Robert, he is sadly missed by his wife, his friends, and his department. He will not be soon forgotten. As we ask ourselves, “What would Melvin do?”