Mr. Minor H. McLain, a longtime resident of Melrose and POW of World War II, died on his way to the local VFW following a tragic accident on Tuesday evening, May 7th 2013. He was 88 years old.
Minor was born on August 4, 1924 in New York, NY, the only son of Minor S. and Julia C. (Horne) McLain. He graduated from Leonia High School in Leonia, New Jersey, Class of 1942, attended Montclair State Teachers College, and entered the United States Army when he was 18 years old.
Minor proudly served his country in the European Theatre during World War II from 1943 to 1945. He was awarded for his service time with a Silver Star, Bronze Star for Merit, Purple Heart, and Prisoner of War Medal. He survived the Battle of the Bulge and months in a German POW camp being released and returning home.
After receiving a decorated discharge from the Army, he continued his higher education in 1946, graduating from Montclair State Teachers College in 1949. He then earned a Master's Degree in Education from Boston University in 1950 and PhD in 1955. In 1953, he married Carolyn Peebles of Newtonville and they settled in Melrose.
Minor was a passionate Professor of History at Salem State College from 1955 until retiring nearly 40 years later in 1994. His depth of knowledge and enthusiasm for History led him to develop graduate courses entitled "World War II, The Age of Hitler" and "Poland, Finland and the Baltic States." He had a particular interest in Poland and the nations of Eastern Europe and in 1967 hosted the first ever visit from the head of a foreign government. It was during this visit from the Prime Minister of Poland, Alexander Zawisza, that Minor received the Knight's Cross of Polonia Restituta honoring his outstanding achievements in education.
After retiring from teaching, he worked at Johnnie's Foodmaster in Melrose as a service clerk from 1995 to 2004. He was a longtime member of the Melrose Highlands Congregational Church.
Minor was a devoted and longtime member of the Harold O. Young VFW Post #2394 where he served as Historian and Chaplain. He was also an honorary member of the Polish Veterans of World War II. A true patriot, he often volunteered to speak at local events honoring veterans and will forever be a proud WWII veteran.
Mr. McLain was the beloved husband of Carolyn "Carol" (Peebles) McLain with whom he shared 60 years of marriage. Devoted father of Susan E. Saunders of Melrose, and Andrew H. McLain of Lynn. Cherished grandfather of Kimberly J. Saunders of Atlanta, GA, and Kenneth E. E. Saunders, Jr. of Atlanta, GA. Former father-in-law of Kenneth E. E. Saunders, Sr. of Victoria, VA. Loving great-grandfather of Terrence "Dominic" Wilson of Atlanta, GA.
Relatives and friends will gather in honor and remembrance of Minor's life at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose during visiting hours on Friday, May 17 from 4-8 PM, and for his Funeral Service at the Melrose Highlands Congregational Church, 355 Franklin St., Melrose, celebrated on Saturday at 11:30 AM.