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‘Noble calling’: Fallen GCSO deputy honored in ceremony

by CHARLES H. FEATHERSTONE
Staff Writer | September 17, 2021 1:07 AM

QUINCY — Law enforcement officers from across the state and elected officials — including Gov. Jay Inslee — gathered at Cave B Estate Winery on Thursday afternoon to honor Grant County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jon Melvin, who died last year.

Melvin, who served 35 years as a GCSO deputy, died on Dec. 11, 2020, from complications of COVID-19. He was 60.

“He loved life and public service,” said GCSO Sheriff Tom Jones to about 100 in the crowd.

Jones said Melvin wore many hats during his time with the GCSO. He was heavily involved with the GCSO’s radio system, served for a time with GCSO’s Marine Patrol Unit and as the patrol deputy in Desert Aire, where he lived.

Jones said Melvin treated others as he wanted to be treated, and approached his work with grace, humility and kindness, and the deputy served a “noble calling.”

“You are forever in our hearts and minds,” Jones said. “Rest in peace. We’ve got it from here.”

In his brief remarks, Inslee said Melvin was a dedicated sheriff’s deputy who wanted to go into law enforcement from the age of 4, and he had an incredible and honorable career protecting both public safety and democracy itself.

“There are seven-and-a-half million Washingtonians who want to wrap their arms around this community and this family and the sheriff’s office,” Inslee said.

Michael Wilson, Melvin’s son-in-law, who spoke as a pair of U.S. Navy fighter jets roared low over the nearby Columbia River in an unrelated training flight, said Melvin let his actions speak rather than his words, and he lived a life of sacrificial love described in the Gospels.

“He sacrificially served and put other people’s needs above our own,” Wilson said. “Thank you for loving us all so deeply and for loving this community.”

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Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones speaks Thursday at a memorial service for Grant County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jon Melvin, who died of complications from COVID-19 on Dec. 11, 2020.

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Gov. Jay Inslee speaks Thursday at a memorial service for Grant County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jon Melvin.