We regret to announce the passing of former Affirmation President David Melson, who died at his home earlier this week. David served in his local Washington DC Chapter and chaired the 2007 Affirmation Conference held in that city. In 2008 he served as one of Olin Thomas’s assistant directors, and later as Affirmation president for three terms (2009 – 2011). In 2009 he received the Mortensen Award, the highest distinction Affirmation bestows on a member.
“I met Dave at the first Affirmation social I attended in 2005,” says Affirmation President Randall Thacker. “He later recruited me to help with fundraising for the Washington, DC conference in 2007 and with the Kirtland conference in 2011.
“Dave was passionate about Affirmation and about fighting for equal rights in the state of Maryland. He gave many hours of selfless service for the LGBT community. We extend our condolences to his friends, family, and those in the Affirmation and LGBT communities who knew and worked with him.
“Please take the time to share your memories of Dave in the comments section below or email them to John Gustav-Wrathall by Monday, September 2. More details on Dave’s life, accomplishments, and stories by those who worked with him will be showcased in the September issue of Affinity. We do not currently have the details on his services but will inform the community as soon as we do.”
David Melson grew up in Belvidere, Illinois, and attended college at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He later relocated to Florida, where he worked for the Walt Disney Corporation. At age 28, while living in Orlando, David received the missionary discussions and was baptized. While serving an LDS mission in Asia, David’s mission president set him up on a “date” with Marsha, a sister missionary who, like David, was older than the average missionary. After their missions, they married in the Atlanta Temple, but the marriage lasted only six months.
“I found Affirmation on Google and attended my first meeting of the DC Chapter in January of 2003,” David once wrote. “It was the start of a snow storm and there were a total of three other people there; those three are now all dear friends. There were more people in subsequent meetings, and I had found a home.”