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Sun Gazette: Family of late Del. Jack Melnick receives memorial resolution Print


Thursday, September 11, 2014  12:00

The family of the late John “Jack” Melnick on Sept. 10 was presented with a General Assembly joint resolution honoring the life of the former state lawmaker.

Melnick, an Arlington native, died in August 2013 at the age of 78. He had represented the county in the General Assembly from 1972-77, and in 1977 made an unsuccessful run for the Democratic nomination for state attorney general.

“His legacy will live on through his family and all the work he’s done for the commonwealth,” said Del. Patrick Hope (D-47th), who shepherded the memorial resolution through the 2014 General Assembly session.

“Generosity was a huge thing for him,” said Paul Melnick, one of the late legislator’s sons. “He’s gone in physical form, but his spirit clearly lives on.”

Paul Melnick, who also served as his father’s law partner, said the family was “deeply honored” by the resolution.

The presentation was made at the weekly meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Arlington, where Jack Melnick was a member for a half-century. Before him, his father had been in the club; his son Paul currently is a member.

Also on hand was his widow, Marjory Helter Melnick. The two had met in first grade at Monroe Elementary School in Arlington and were members of the Class of 1953 at Washington-Lee High School. They reconnected after going their separate ways in college, married and raised four children.

Hope singled out Melnick’s efforts, while in the legislature, to set up a fund that would assist those who had been wrongly incarcerated. Melnick also championed financial compensation for victims of crime.

Melnick’s election to the House of Delegates in 1971 was part of a Democratic regrouping effort. Two years before, Republicans had won all four seats representing Arlington in the lower house of the legislature, defeating, among others, Del. Mary Marshall.

In 1971, Democrats won back three of those seats, with Marshall returning to Richmond.