Melvin A. Klein

Lieutenant Commander Melvin A. Klein, USNR (Ret.), died on 7 October2009 of lung cancer. He was 75 years old.“Mel” was on born on 6 May 1934,in Rochester, NY, to Isabel and Morris Horwitz. He entered Manlius Military Academy in 1949, graduating in 1952, and entered the U.S. Naval Academy on an honor school appointment in July. A member of the 17th Company, he excelled in academics. At 6 feet 5 inches, he was a natural for crew and basketball. Mel selected Navy Line.


Following graduation, he married his childhood sweetheart, Doris Goodman. They moved to Honolulu, where he served in SPIEGEL GROVE and then was stationed in Norfolk, VA. After serving in the U.S. Navy for four years, Mel worked for the U.S. Patent Office while attending George Washington School of Law in the evening. Upon receiving his law degree, he went to work for Xerox Corporation in Rochester, NY, as a patent attorney. As his career progressed, he passed the bar exam in five states.


Mel and Doris finally settled in Manhattan Beach, CA, in semiretirement where he enjoyed tennis, competitive swimming, golf and traveling. Mel and Doris cherished their two children, Scott and Denise. They celebrated 45 years of marriage before Doris passed away in 2001.The year of  2004 was a huge one for Mel. He became a grandfather for the first time when Scott and his wife, Julie, had twin girls and Mel delighted in his daughter, Denise’s marriage to Hadar. Mel also met his life partner, Lil Greenhut, in 2004 and they decided to start a new life together in the California desert east of Palm Springs. In 2005, they moved into an adult community in Indio, where Mel participated in the performing arts club, computer club, bridge and other activities. Mel’s favorite charitable organization was the establishment of the Commodore Uriah P. Levy Center, Jewish Chapel at the U.S. Naval Academy, which was completed in 2003. Mel is survived by his partner, Lil; his children, Scott and Denise; and his three grandchildren. Memorial services were held at the Shalom Memorial Parkin Los Angeles on 8 October 2009.

Lil Greenhut & Denise Klein Plafkin