Melvin Frugia, 97, died on July 1, 2019. Mel arrived on the scene at Sour Lake, Texas, a small town northwest of Beaumont near the Gulf Coast, in 1922. Mel’s father worked in west Texas and wherever the latest oil field was, during the oil boom years of the late ’20s and ’30s. Eventually he moved to Talco, Texas, a small community near the Arkansas and Louisiana borders, where he met his future wife, Mary Collins.
At seventeen, Mel enlisted in the Navy and served four years as a radioman, mostly in the South Pacific. After attending the Southwestern Baptist Seminary, he and his wife Mary moved to Arizona in 1957 where Mel served as a mission pastor of several churches, and raised five children.
After retiring from the ministry, Mel began a career as a high school and community college teacher, teaching another 20 years in Payson, Arizona before he retired from teaching. After retiring from teach-ing, Mel and Mary moved to Mesa, Arizona, and then Prescott, Arizona.
Melvin is survived by his wife, Mary; four sons; three grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grand-children. Mel was preceded in death by his daughter, Cherie.
A memorial service will be held at the Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation on Saturday, August 31, from 1 - 3 pm, at 882 Sunset Ave, Prescott, Arizona 86305.