Theodore Melyan, 99, of Dunmore, died Friday at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton. Born in Newark, N.J., in 1917, he served in the Army during World War II. He fought and was wounded at the Battle of Anzio, one of the war's most critical engagements, receiving two Purple Hearts and other decorations, indicated by an "Oak Leaf Cluster." Upon leaving the service, he obtained his undergraduate degree in music from Columbia University and his master's in music from the renowned Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. He was a well-known jazz musician and performed with numerous orchestras throughout the country. For over 30 years, he taught music in the public schools of Clifton, N.J., and at the same time became internationally famous as the composer of numerous works for concert band, piano, jazz ensemble, voice, choir and chamber ensemble. His works were performed throughout the world, and his biography and compositions can be found, for example, in the Dutch Wikipedia, at https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Melyan . Mr. Melyan - "Pop" to his family - was a father figure and mentor to generations of musicians and music students, a man of immense charm and disarming wit, unpretentious, kind and even at 99, a humorous story-teller and joke connoisseur. He was married for more than 50 years to the late Olga Milancevich Melyan, and had one child, Martha Melyan Brunelle, of Dunmore, Pa., who died a year ago. He is survived by two grandsons, Theodore M. Brunelle and his wife, Erika Rosnyoi; and Alexander M. Brunelle and his girlfriend, Alexandria Colon; his former son-in-law, George Brunelle; a great-grandson, Nicholas Brunelle; two great-granddaughters, Jasmine Brunelle and Laura Rosnyoi; a niece, Nina Kozain; two nephews, Gregory Loan and his wife, Diane; and Dr. Nicholas Loan and his wife, Monique; two grandnieces, Nina Loan and Carol Loan; and many relatives too numerous to be named here. The family would like to extend its thanks to the doctors, nurses and staff of Geisinger CMC Hospital for their excellent medical care and exceptional kindness to Pop during his final weeks. Friends and family may call on Monday from 4 to 8 p.m., and a Parastas service will be held on Monday at 7 in the Neil W. Regan Funeral Home Inc., 1900 Pittston Ave., Scranton, by Mitered Archpriest John C. Kassatkin of Elevation of the Holy Cross Russian Orthodox Church. Funeral services will be at the funeral home on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m., and interment will take place at Mount Hebron Cemetery, 851 Valley Road, Upper Montclair, N.J., at 1 p.m. To send online condolences, visit the funeral home website.
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