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Melvin H. Schools

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Date published: 9/12/2013

Melvin H. Schools

Melvin Harrison Schools Sr., 88, a longtime resident of Tappahannock, died Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, at Ashland Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Ashland. He was born in Champlain on Nov. 4, 1924, to Bertha May Roane.

Mr. Schools grew up in Tappahannock, where he attended elementary and high school. He served in the U.S. Army in 1945 and 1946, was honorably discharged and then re-enlisted, serving from 1948 to 1952. He served during the Korean War as a member of Company A, 24th Infantry Regiment, the outfit known as the "Buffalo Soldiers," and attained the rank of platoon sergeant.

An outstanding and dedicated soldier, he was awarded the Korean Service Medal with three Bronze Stars, the Bronze Star Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster and the Purple Heart Ribbon with two Oak Leaf Clusters, among other medals. On at least two occasions in 1951, he was injured so severely that the medics on the field placed him in a body bag, but he crawled out, determined to live.

In "Jet" magazine on Aug. 21, 1952, Mr. Schools was celebrated as one of the first to return to school under the revised GI Bill benefiting Korean War veterans, when he enrolled in the William Penn Business Institute in Philadelphia.

He later moved to Washington, D.C., where he married Earlene Calhoun in 1956. They had two sons, Melvin Harrison Schools Jr. and Richard Darnell Schools (Najoua).

He served as an orderly for 13 years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where he received a Meritorious Civilian Award for rescuing a patient from a fire.

As a member of the 24th Infantry Regiment Association, he enjoyed attending the reunions of this group often, most recently in 2010.

He leaves to mourn his two sons; his wife; his sister, Rosemary Jackson, and her sons, Anthony Lugg and Aaron Lugg; four grandchildren, Mindi Aspen Schools, Jazz Melvin Schools (Jelissa), Richard Darnell Schools Jr. and Sofia Fatima Schools; and his cousin Robert Beal Schools.

A viewing will be held from 1 to 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, at Washington Funeral Home, 1404 Tappahannock Blvd., Tappahannock. A funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at Antioch Baptist Church, Champlain, with the Rev. Daniel A. Goodall, pastor, officiating. Interment will be in the church cemetery.

Online condolences may be sent to washingtonfh.com.