Let the memory of Michael Melton be with us forever.
  • 73 years old
  • Born on January 26, 1946 in Tuskegee, Alabama, United States.
  • Passed away on April 13, 2019 in Los Angeles, California, United States.

This "Celebration of Life" website was created in memory of our loved one, William Michael Melton. We will remember him forever.

The Texas Memorial is being held Saturday, May 18th, 2019, 2pm graveside service at Prairie View Memorial Cemetery in Prairie View, Texas. 

Michael's Celebration of Life in Los Angeles, California took place June 29, 2019. Service at 1pm, Repast followed. All video's have been uploaded and can be viewed in the gallery section. 

Thank you to everyone who attended and made this a very special celebration.  


Posted by John Silvers on September 21, 2019
I have waited until now to say something about my friend, Mike. He is such a fixture in my life that the impact of his passing has somewhat up-ended me.
I never quite realized the depth of the impact that our friendship had on me and I am still recovering from the loss. I am forever grateful to have known him and to have shared such a close bond.

Michael was caring, generous, kind-hearted, mischievous, erudite, fun-loving, playful, loyal, loving , childlike, silly, sensitive, stubborn, confident, gregarious and the list goes on........
I will always love and cherish our time together.
Posted by Elaine Wrice on August 10, 2019
This is an additional tribute I forgot to add. On
April 18, 2019, the USGS officially retired the name Michael as a Hurricane name. Even they knew how special he was. True story. Look it up!!
Elaine Wrice, forever friend.
Posted by Doug Dellwo on July 2, 2019
A brief tribute to my friend, Michael Melton;
Michael was a fine human being and a great teacher. He cared about his students and would do anything for them. I worked with him at North Hollywood High and the kids loved him. They knew he really cared for them. He worked hard so that they received the value of a good education and would do well for themselves. He was not easy on them, but they loved him for that very reason.
He and his partner Ed were my very good friends. We had dinner with friends at their home, weekly, for some time. This was a home that was full of music, laughter and good people. When my relatives would come to visit from Montana and Michael found out, he would have us over, sharing a meal and a swim, opening his home and life to us.
My family loved him; how could you not love him? He had a dignity and authenticity few have. His laugh was infectious, and he loved to have a good drink, a good cigar and some fun. Michael came to Montana a few times over the years and we got to travel together too, once to New Orleans over Spring Break. Teachers on Spring Break, the kids had nothing on us!
My life was made better by Michael’s friendship and I would like to think that my friendship made his life better too. You are missed my friend.
Ruthie Reiquam
Posted by Todd Melnick on June 29, 2019
I regret that I only knew him as Mr. Melton, my 11th grade English teacher. But his impression on me was powerful and permanent. I recall him addressing his students as "Doctor" as in "What do you think, Dr. Bravo?" I vividly remember him referring to Lady Macbeth as a "vile bitch." He was smart and funny and we wanted to make him laugh or to think well of us. We knew that he was a messenger from cultured and slightly risque adulthood and we hoped to be worthy of perhaps entering that select club one day. His class hinted that literature was one of the credentials of admission. 
My life was deeply influenced by all of my teachers but particularly by English faculty at T.S. King and John Marshall. I owe a huge debt to Ms. Higashi, Mr. Goulet, Mr. Mintzer, Mrs. Rattay, Mr. Melton, and Mr. Hickman. They opened to me the word of intellect and emotion and expression. They made me feel valued and made me want to excell.
Mr. Melton was an excellent teacher and a lovely man. I am sorry that he is gone.
Posted by David Artadi on June 29, 2019
I am so saddened by Michael's passing, as he was not only a friend, but a wonderful mentor. Michael was my high school English teacher at John Marshall High School, and he opened my eyes to the world in so many ways. First, academically, he had us read "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison, which made me realize the importance of rectifying social injustice and of making sure everyone in our society and world is seen and heard. Second, Michael became a role model for me, helping me come out and accept everything about authentic self. Now living in the South (Atlanta), Michael's friendship and mentorship over the last 35 years or so has only become more dear to me - he even attended my wedding to my husband in Atlanta three years ago, which meant the world to me. Michael, I will miss you, my dearest friend and mentor!!!
Posted by Linella Raff on June 28, 2019
We are extremely heartbroken at Michael's passing. Howard, myself (Linella), and Micaela have known Michael for many, many years of having dinner and sharing music at Stoney Point. Michael was always there smiling and cheering me on as a Singer on most Saturday nights. He was funny, with a great dry sense of humor, and also very sweet and supportive of me, as well as our daughter, Micaela, who also sang and played piano at Stoney Point. We were happy to have him as a friend at our home for parties, where he enjoyed my coconut cake immensely!! I made it especially for HIM again this last year, but sadly he was unable to make it over. We went out socially as well, in support of other singers. I always looked for his smiling face at the bar, while I was singing, and seeing his "thumbs-up" in appreciation... We love you Michael, and want you to know that we miss you greatly, and things will never be the same without you!!!
Posted by Kathy Rattay on June 27, 2019
When I arrived at Marshall High in 1975, I was assigned to Michael's classroom on a temporary basis while he worked with the school district on the upcoming centennial. Throughout the year, I heard of his professional reputation of excellence and his generosity of spirit, which I learned were mere understatements. We became friends upon his return and our work responsibilities frequently put us in the same circle long after we left Marshall. I will always remember his smile, wit, and genuine kindness. He was a treasure. Miss you.
Posted by Maiedell Rose on June 21, 2019
I came to North Hollywood High School from a junior high, and being the new teacher on the block, I "floated" from room to room. I was blessed to find myself in the office behind Michael's classroom during my conference period. From there I could hear this marvelous man engage students of all levels, entreat the most difficult ones to learn, expound on literature in enticing ways, and charm the students into doing their best. Students of all levels and backgrounds respected and loved this exceptional man. He became my model. Teachers admired him for his knowledge, leadership, social hostessing, love of the arts. I'm so upset he's gone so unexpectedly. I will miss this true gentleman.
Posted by Elaine Wrice on June 20, 2019
I met Michael in the early 80's. I taught at Colfax Elementary and he, Yvonne, Odessa and Sherwin taught at North Hollywood High School. They had a Black Faculty Club. I immediately appointed myself President!!! We met regularly for happy hours after work. Then we took turns holding house parties. If someone at a party misused a word, the party would come to a screeching halt. Michael would yell "Get the dictionary." The party would NOT RESUME until all agreed on the proper use of the word.
I will always remember the pure joy he took in my antics. We shared many jokes, tall tales, a love of AMTRAK train travel, and his deep love and respect for his unbelievably beautiful mother ( A DELTA like me).
My husband and I were blessed to be with him on 5 different occasions in his last 5 months. We weren't aware of his limited time on this earth. I know he was because he was really saying goodbye to us in the most loving way. God Bless You, Michael Melton.
Posted by Michael Dawson on June 20, 2019
I met Michael in 1973 during my junior year at Marshall High School. He was such an important influence in my life during that period and we remained friends over many years. What do you say about someone who introduced you to Herman Melville, W.E.B. Du Bois, Mantan Moreland and Giacomo Puccini? Michael shared his passion for life and all its possibilities. This was especially refreshing and stimulating for a high school student with an expanding intellect feeling constrained by the conformity of teenage social life. I will never forget the double feature billing of "Jules and Jim" and "Black Orpheus" that Michael would always drag a group of friends to whenever it made the rounds of the art house theaters. Long evenings listening to opera at his apartment are vivid memories. During my college years, mint juleps and dinner at Kowloon was always on the agenda when I visited Los Angeles. Rest in peace dear friend. You live on in the hearts and minds of all of us who knew you and treasured your friendship.
Posted by Frank Scherer on June 11, 2019
Michael was not only a neighbor to us for 21 years, but also a friend. We were able to do many things and events together and shared many thoughts and laughter. Michael was a very kind, generous and loving person. His intelligence and culture made the relationship with him even more desirable. I remember he was the last person I hugged, before I handed they keys to the buyer of my house and that was a sad moment. Rest in Peace, dear Michael, now I miss you even more..
Posted by Sheridan Cole on May 28, 2019
Michael was always there for me, even if months separated our visits. The shock of him slipping away so quietly still shakes me. I remember so many qualities - his knowledge of music, civil rights, politics, food; his sardonic wit, and especially his honesty. He pulled no punches. Never minced words. We laughed a lot too. I spent several hours with him last fall and had no idea he was ill. He was always "his own man." By Sheridan Cole
Posted by Jerri Woods on May 24, 2019
My dear sweet angel, Michael. I miss you so much. Your beaming and beautiful smile always melted my heart. Your generosity and kindness goes unmatched by anyone I have ever known. You knew how to bring people together to share laughs, stories, love and good times.
Your influence in my life was significant, and I feel so blessed. You would always remind me that family and friends are the key ingredients to a happy life. I am so grateful for all the joy, love and wonderful times we shared.
You are, and will always be my sweet angel.
I pray the Lord to hold you safely in the palm of his hand....until we meet again.
God bless you....I love you.
Posted by Claire And Shep Goldblum on May 20, 2019
Michael and I attended Dorsey High School eleven years apart, and Michael started teaching at John Marshall High School eleven years after I had started my career there.  To meet Michael was to fall in love.  His amazing smile, his wonderful laugh, his twinkling eyes, his sharp tongue and wit, his brilliance, captivated me. He was an EDUCATOR. One day he invited me and my class to join his class to hear Mantan Moreland speak, just a year or two before Mr. Moreland died. No civil rights lesson could have been more powerful, then the one we learned that day.
After leaving Marshall High School he taught at North Hollywood High School where my daughter had the privilege of being in his English class in her junior year. He effected her as deeply as he had effected me.
He was lovely, he was graceful, he was full of light and love and he will be dearly missed. Michael Melton: you have left your fingerprints on my heart, and on the hearts of the thousands of students and colleagues with whom you have worked.
Posted by Timothy Miller on May 20, 2019
So glad that our paths crossed in this thing called life my Alpha Brother and educator. Will miss our chats when we saw each other about the craziness occurring in LAUSD. Thank you for your advice as I climbed the administrative chain. Your advice always reminded me how important it was to value our teachers and the things they do.
As you have ascended into Omega Chapter, I know that you are shining your bright light on all the brothers who have gone before. You are missed.
Posted by Dana Fields on May 19, 2019
To My Beloved Godfather (“Uncle Mike”) ~
I can’t accept the reality that you are gone. You have been there for me my entire life being so loving and supportive. You never missed a birthday and were there for every momentous occasion. Life is short but the joy you brought me shall never die. My eyes cannot see you, but my heart can find your laughter and your love is etched deep in my mind. Death will never break our tie. Lives may fade, but my memories will never die. My parents couldn’t have selected a more perfect Godfather. Till the day we meet again, you will forever be in my heart and I will miss you dearly every day of my life.
Your Loving Goddaughter...Dana
Posted by Tommy Dodson on May 18, 2019
Michael and I both attended Dorsey High School in Los Angeles for a while. Then I transferred to Los Angeles High School where I graduated. I lost track of Michael as we all called him. It was years later when I was performing at "The Other Side", a well known piano bar in the Silverlake district of LA. He would be there every time Iwas was performing. Our friendship grew. I remember the many Christmas parties at Micheal's house when he would invite several musicians. As the evening went along and we all got stuffed and full on good liquor, the music would start. Michael was a great cook. His chitterlings were every bit as good as my mothers...and I did not eat everybody's chitterlings for many reasons. When I moved to Palm Springs, Michael would find the clubs I worked at and would show up periodically. The last time I saw Michael was probably in January of this year when he made a last visit to a club I was performing in. He was limping and complained of his legs, but other than that seemed OK. He will forever be missed even though I did not see him as often as I would have liked. The rest are secrets between Michael and myself, and boy we had some. RIP my friend. I know you are perched on some cloud at a piano bar in heaven enjoying the good music. RIP my friend.
Posted by Sherman Hardaway on May 18, 2019
"Manly deeds, scholarship and love for all mankind are the aims of our dear fraternity..."
Brother Michael Melton exemplified all the best traits of a true ALPHA man. He transitioned to the OMEGA Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
    Black and Old Gold forever.
Posted by Veril Thompson on April 23, 2019
If there was ever a person I could think of to ask to save me a spot in heaven it definately would have been you Mr. William Michael Melton! God instructed us to LOVE and that you did without even trying. Knowing you was an honour and a gift. From the moment Toni introduced me to you up until the moment you requested my care I will forever be grateful for the love and laughter and all the great opportunities that comes along with just being associated with you! You are a positive light that will continue to shine in all of our hearts! Love you always
Posted by Louise Imaoka on April 18, 2019
Oh what fun we had throughout the years and their were so many both the good times and the sad times. Hard to believe that i can not call you at midnight just to say i love you. But thats okay you are now pain free and once again be able to have that cigar and jack daniels..........The heavens have opened up and greeted you with open arms rest in peace my dear dear long time friend.
Posted by Barbara Layton on April 17, 2019
Forty nine years ago on the opening day of the school year, Michael and I spotted each other, the only African American teachers at Marshall High School. We immediately became close friends, shared happy and serious times, political views, love of music, (especially opera), history lessons, and most memorable, travels to Italy. Michael offered educational advice, confort, and fun activities to young members of our family who adored him. His insights will guide all of us forever and he will always live in our hearts.
Barbara Layton
Posted by Toni Patillo on April 15, 2019
I never imagined that I would be writing this tribute so soon. Oh my dearest beloved Michael, my brother, my friend, my mentor and teacher and my confidant. I will miss you more than you know. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for your Genuine and Unconditional Love, your Kindness, your Joy, your Laughter, your Sense of Humor and mostly your Generosity. You have Blessed all of us who have grown so close to you with your Presence, your Gift and Your Light! I Love You Michael, Rest in Peace.
Toni Elizabeth

Leave a Tribute