John Andrew Melius, age 32, passed away at his home in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Saturday, January 16, 2021.
John was born on November 29, 1988, in Holyoke, Massachusetts, to Elizabeth (Mellitt) and Bradford Melius. He grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts, and then Cheshire, Connecticut. John became an avid sports fan at a young age with a lifelong allegiance to New England teams. In a favorite photo of himself as a little boy he is wearing a Patriots hooded sweatshirt, and he liked to present this photo to friends as evidence that he had not jumped on the bandwagon but had been a loyal Pats fan well before the Brady-Belichick era. As a teenager, John accompanied his father and brothers on trips around the country visiting a total of 16 Major League Baseball stadiums. The first live game John saw was at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. In 1996 he and his dad watched Roger Clemens pitch a complete-game shutout against the Angels from seats on the first-base side. John was pleased that his little brother, who was back at home, spotted him on TV.
John cared about the communities he was involved with. He joined the Cheshire High School marching band as a freshman and over time played the clarinet, the trombone, and the tuba, gladly adapting to whatever the band needed from him at the moment. John had a brilliant analytical mind, with a particular aptitude for math. He especially enjoyed applying this gift to solving Rubik’s cubes without using algorithms and to poker, a game he taught to a number of his younger cousins. He loved card games with family, poker nights with friends, and the occasional tournament.
John’s other hobbies included golf, disc golf, and games of all kinds. Friends and family knew him for his easy smile, gentle soul, and pure generosity. He was a good listener who was equally ready to share in others’ joy and lend a helping hand. With John there were no pretenses, and that gave people the freedom to be themselves when they were with him.
John is survived by his parents; his brothers, Bradford and William; his sister-in-law, Blaire; his niece, Brooklyn; his grandmother, Joan Melius; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. His absence will forever be felt by everyone who was blessed to know him.
Services will be private due to the current public health situation. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Franciscan Life Center, 271 Finch Avenue, Meriden, CT 06451.