MelMelvin Lee Craft, 78, Gallipolis, passed away at 10:05 P.M. Tuesday, February 24, 2015, at his Clay Township home. Born March 5, 1936 in Clay Township he was the son of the late Hobart M. and Clara A. Helmintoller Craft. Melvin retired as a casting foremen from the Kaiser Aluminum Corporation Ravenswood’s works after 26 years of service. After retirement he was an over-the-road trucker driver for a few years. Melvin was a 1954 graduate of the Gallia Academy High School and greatly enjoyed being a member of the Class of ’54 Alumni Committee. Melvin was a U.S. Army veteran. He was a member of both the Morning Dawn Lodge #7 and Patriot Lodge #469 of Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio. He was a 54 year member of Morning Dawn Lodge and just recently received his 50 year pin from the Patriot lodge. Melvin served as Worshipful Master of Morning Dawn Lodge in 1969, 2002 and 2003 and he was the only Master to have served Morning Dawn for three tenures since 1883. Melvin was also a member of the Lafayette Shrine No. 44 of The Order of the White Shrine of Jerusalem, Aladdin Temple Shrine where he was a member of the Past Masters Unit, Gallipolis Shrine Club, Chairman of the Gallipolis Shrine Club Roadrunner’s Unit and District Captain of the Shriner’s Roadrunner Unit, providing transportation of children to the Shriner Hospitals in Cincinnati, Ohio, Lexington, Kentucky and Erie, Pennsylvania, he was a 32 degree Master Mason of the Ancient Accept Scottish Rite of the Valley of Columbus and a charter member of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of the Valley of Gallipolis, a member of Hillbilly Clan #7 and Horse Traders, Gallipolis Chapter #79 of The Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, The Rose Commandry #43 of the Knights Templar, Moriah Council #32 of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masons of Ohio. Melvin was the recipient of the 12th Masonic District’s Meritorious Service Award and had also received the Mandarin Degree from the Toronto, Canada Shrine Club. He was also a Kentucky Colonel, a member of Ohio Eastern Star, Gallipolis Chapter #283, Sons of the Confederacy and the Gallia Academy Alumni Association.

Melvin is survived by his wife,  Donna M. Peters Craft, whom he married October 15, 1969 in Huntington, West Virginia, children, J.D. (Roni) Craft, Lancaster, Ohio. Chris (Angie) Craft, Gallipolis and Katrina (Dennis) Hill, Gallipolis, grandchildren, Dallas Craft, Kelle Craft, Dustin Hill, Brady Craft, Austin Hill and Garrett Hill.

Funeral services will be 1:00 P.M. Saturday, February 28, 2015, in the Cremeens Funeral Chapel. Officiating will be Pastor Joseph Godwin. Interment will be in the Masonic Gardens at the Ohio Valley Memory Gardens. Friends may call from 5 – 8:30 P.M. Friday at the funeral home. Masonic funeral services will be conducted at 8:30 P.M. Friday in the chapel by both Morning Dawn Lodge #7 F & AM and Patriot Lodge # 469 F & AM. Military graveside services will be conducted by the Gallia County Funeral Detail Team. Melvin’s grandsons will serve as Casketbearers. The 1954 Class of Gallia Academy will sit together at the funeral service in their honor of Melvin. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Melvin’s memory to the Shriner Crippled Children’s Hospitals, C/O Gallipolis Shrine Club, P.O. Box 82, Gallipolis, OH 45631. Envelopes will be provided at the funeral home. Expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family by visiting