More than 400 people filled the Plaquemine Community Center on November 13 to pay their last respects to longtime Selectman Oscar S. Mellion Sr., who died on November 2 after a battle with cancer.
Mellion was best known for his 24 years of service on the Board of Selectmen, but he was also a veteran of the United States Army, a member of the Louisiana State Prole Board, a Deputy Marshal of Plaquemine, and a Plaquemine Municipal Court investigator. .
The mayor of Plaquemines, Edwin “Ed” Reeves Jr., who delivered one of two eulogies at Mellion’s funeral, recalled the first time he met him.
Mellion, who worked for the city police, gave Reeves a speeding ticket when he was 15.
âThe day I got my driver’s license, my father let me drive through the streets of Plaquemine and I was pulled over by a city policeman – and it was Oscar Mellion,â he said. he declares. âHe gave me a speeding ticket and I was pissed off, and I had to go tell my dad I had a speeding ticket.
“I didn’t like Oscar after that, but I finally realized it was because I was speeding up and Oscar was doing his job – and it turns out I always did,” a- he declared. “And I lost my driving privileges two years later.”
The mayor said that 14 years later, when he was first elected to Plaquemine’s board of directors, he was to sit alongside Mellion.
âI thought it would be a long four-year term,â Reeves said. âBut I grew up to admire Oscar because he had a great knowledge of the inner workings of city government, he knew the city ordinances and he knew how to get along with peopleâ¦ I learned a lot from it. Oscar during those seven years. “
When Reeves was elected mayor after serving on the parish council, he said he had become good friends with Mellion and had developed a deep respect for the way Mellion conducted his business.
âHe was an exceptional city councilor who served with honor and dedication,â said Reeves. âWhenever I had a problem and needed advice, I would find myself in Oscar’s situation room, and he always gave me good advice.
âOscar was a big part of my success in moving the city forward, and we shared the same goals. He always supported me and could have given up on me many times, but he didn’t.
Spiver Gordon, who got involved with the NAACP, working on voter registration and working with the Coalition of Racial Equality and later as director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in Eutaw, Alabama, s Mellion is remembered for his dedication to his community.
âI remember him as a little boy, and I had him in my arms,â Gordon said. âWhen he grew up, I remember when he worked with the taxi service. He ran this thing, got the cars out and picked up people. He was always busy organizing and doing something.â
âHe missed the civil rights movement because he was too young, and that’s what brought us here. There wasn’t a time when we couldn’t settle down as siblings and be proud of each other, âsaid Gordon. âIt’s not about black or white, it’s about eliminating everything that’s wrong and doing what’s right.
âOscar became a political and civic leader in this city, and he was so dedicated that when he was dying, he wanted to return home to reunite with his family,â he said. âI remember when he was on the streets helping people, and that’s what Oscar is for.
Prior to the service, Plaquemine’s director of public works, Richard Alleman, recalled the years he served alongside Mellion.
âHe was a great official,â Alleman said. âHe always stood for what he believed was right, and he didn’t just care about his own neighborhood – he cared about what was best for the city as a whole.
âOscar was a man who loved Plaquemine,â he said.
Mellion is survived by his wife Geraldine Hines; four daughters, Mellion, Amanda (George) Barrett, Takisha Mellion of New Orleans, Kendrick White of Baton Rouge and LaTedra Mellion of Brusly, as well as sons Michael “Corey” (Kimberly: Lellion de Gonzales and Oscar S. Mellion III de Brusly, as well as stepchildren Charlene (Charles) Singleton of New Orleans and Alphonse (Drennan) Brown of Laplace, 24 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.