Dennis G. Melander, 86, died Friday, August 16, 2019. He was the beloved husband for almost 60 years of the late Dr. Kathleen M. (Roan) Melander.
Born in Tacoma, Washington, Dennis was the eldest son of the late Rudolph and Alma (Utne) Melander. Mr. Melander was a graduate of the University of Washington, where he received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He served in the United States Air Force from 1956-1958, receiving an honorable discharge with the rank of Captain. He then started his career at Boeing, where he worked on the Apollo Space Project. His part in paving the first footprints on the moon was as the chief test engineer and head propulsion engineer of the first stage of the Saturn V rocket.
After leaving Boeing, he worked as a facility engineer at the Community College of Rhode Island. He was integral in the construction and maintenance of the Warwick and satellite campuses until his retirement at the age of 75. He also served as an officer for RIASEC (Rhode Island Aviation and Space Education Council), an organization created to promote and inspire interest in aerospace through extracurricular projects and summer camps for children and teens.
He was the loving father of Leslie A. (Melander) Graham and her husband, Stuart A. Mark, Deneen J. Melander and her husband, David R. Mark, and Roxanne M. Melander; devoted grandfather of Nicholas Graham, Daniel Mark, Arthur Bradford, Noelle Graham, Kelley Mark and Ryan Mark. He also leaves behind his sister, Beverly Gibson, and brother, Eugene Melander.
A visitation will be held Friday, Aug. 23 from 4-7 p.m. with a service at 7 p.m. in Thomas & Walter Quinn Funeral Chapel, 2435 Warwick Avenue, Warwick. For information and to express condolences visit TheQuinnFuneralHome.com.