NEWPORT NEWS — Roger (“Rog”) Edward Melo, 65, passed from this world on September 5, 2016. Roger was born on January 3, 1951 in Albany, Georgia. He grew up the oldest of five Air Force brats. He moved from town to town throughout his childhood, leading to his congenial charm and his keen sense of humor. He graduated from Victor Valley High School in Victorville, CA in 1969. He soon moved to Newport News to be with his family. He attended Christopher Newport College and started his 42-year shipbuilding career. He enjoyed fixing up his van, traveling around the countryside, and listening to rock-n-roll.

He later moved back to California and continued his shipbuilding-calling with Todd Shipyard in San Pedro, CA, where he learned the art of drafting. There he met his future wife, Deborah Cooper. In the late 80’s he followed his work to Bath Iron Works in Maine. He always liked to joke that he had a child born at every shipyard that he worked; Koren (Newport News, VA), Glorie (San Pedro, CA), and Tyler (Bath, ME).

Maine suited Roger and Debbie; Debbie being from New England and Roger with his love for the outdoors.

Roger was in heaven in Maine. He spent the summers hunting, fishing, boating, and camping with friends and family. He watched his family grow in Maine, where he coached youth sports for his children. Roger completed his circle when he came back to Newport News to finish out his memorable career building ships for the U.S. Navy. Roger was an avid golfer throughout his life. One of his prized claims was winning the Newport News Shipyard Golf League Championship in 2015.

Roger is survived by his wife, Deborah Cooper Melo: his three children, Koren Widdel and her husband, Steve, Glorie Meixell and her husband, Ben, and Tyler Melo. Roger was a proud grandfather to Ryan and Nathan Widdel. He is also survived by his parents, Emidio and Margret Melo; sisters, Deborah Hamlin, Patricia Melo, Sandra Howerton, and brother Michael Melo; and several nieces and a nephew.

A graveside service will be conducted on Monday, September 19, 2016 at 2:00pm at Peninsula Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to your favorite charity in Roger’s memory.