John Brooks Mell

Born in Atlanta, GA on March 25, 1932

Departed on September 18, 2019 and resided in Toccoa, GA

John was born on March 25, 1932 in Atlanta, GA, to Robert and Frances Mell; the youngest of the four Mell brothers. John had a happy, generally obedient childhood, loved band (trombone), YMCA summer camps, and the Boy Scouts. He was sent to Hampden DuBose Academy (HDA), a Christian boarding school, in Zellwood, FL. as a 14-year-old Junior. He came to Christ the first week there, and enjoyed his two years of Christian training in that place.

He went to Wheaton College and then began a masters program at Emory University. His study was interrupted by the Korean 'Police Action' and his enlisting in the US Coast Guard, commissioned as an Ensign in November, 1953. He reported to his first duty station, the USCG Cutter Bering Strait, in Seattle, Washington. When orders came through for a permanent change of home ports to Honolulu, he proposed to his sweetheart, Beverly Ann Hambrick, and they were married on April 15, 1954, and had a wonderful two-year honeymoon in Hawaii. His son, David, was born there in 1955.

By age 30, John had returned to Atlanta, joined his father’s insurance agency, and had three more children, Connie, Johnny, and Lynne. Beverly went to be with the Lord in 1998.

John later met and married Karan Lamoreaux from Orlando, Florida (2011). They enjoyed traveling, family visits, and church activities together until his death.

John lived a blessed and full life. He will be remembered for his strong faith in God, serving others, and his love of his country, music and singing, puzzle making, parades, fireworks, board games, gardening and sense of humor.

Hampden DuBose Academy in Zellwood, FL, 1948
Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois - BA Economics and Business Administration, 1952. (“Great School, but terrible weather: cold, snowy winters--a lifetime of snow in 4 years!” He played soccer at Wheaton.)

Military Service:
United States Coast Guard – Commissioned as an Ensign, November, 1953; first duty station, the USCG Cutter Bering Strait, in Seattle, Washington, then to Honolulu, Hawaii.
United States Coast Guard Reserve – Retired as Commander, 1973

Mell Insurance Agency – Family Business begun by his father
Earned Professional degree as Certified Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU); Later added Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC).
Served as President of GA Association of Professional Insurance Agents, 1972.
Cotter Insurance Agency, insurance consultant serving the members of the True Value (Hardware) Cooperative, calling on stores in GA, SC, NC, and TN; Retired 1995.

Volunteer Work:
Hampden DuBose Academy, Orlando, FL, also served as President, Alumni & Friends of HDA, Inc, 2004-2006
Atlanta, GA: Christian Service Brigade & Chairman of the Board of Deacons, then Ruling Elder at Westminster PCA, Atlanta, Security Officer for the Atlanta Summer Olympics (‘96)
Franklin, NC: Pioneers (Orlando, FL), JAARS, SOWERS (Maine & Texas), Franklin Garden Club, Master Gardeners Ass'n, FreedomWorks, and Macon Pride (an Avid Recycler!), Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts,
Rosman, NC: Ridge Haven Retreat and Conference Center, Served as President, Alumni & Friends of HDA, Inc, 2004-2006

Church Associations:
Westminster Presbyterian Church (PCA), Atlanta, GA, First Alliance Church, Franklin, NC, and First Alliance Church, Toccoa, GA

Personal Beliefs:
'Born Again' Evangelical Grace Christian with a love for world missions; conservative Republican; Life verses - Ephesians 1:3-8, Philippians 1:21 and Matthew 7:12; Christian Gift - 'Helps' (Service to others!)

Preceeded in death by: Beverly Hambrick Mell (wife), and John Robert Mell (son)

Survived by: Wife Karan, David and Ann Mell, Lawrenceville, GA; Connie and Bob Lahl, Atlanta, GA; Lynne and Richard Smith, State College, PA; 7 grandchildren, and 11 great grandchildren; Wife, Karan, and stepsons, Greg, Ben, and Kyle Lamoreaux; George (brother) Philadelphia, PA

Gifts/Memorial Suggestions:

Ridge Haven Retreat and Conference Center
215 Ridge Haven Road,
Brevard, NC 28712

Hampden DuBose Academy
3700 Dohnavur Drive
Zellwood, FL 32798

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Guestbook Entries

  1. Michelle Prieto September 20, 2019 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    May God bless you 😇

    • Susan Gaetano September 20, 2019 at 4:59 pm - Reply

      Please accept our sincere sympathies at the loss of a wonderful guy, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather.
      And stepdad. He will be missed.
      Gary&Susan Gaetano

  2. Vicki & Tom Seay September 20, 2019 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    Tommy & I are so sorry about the passing of John. You are in our prayers & hope this won’t be too hard on you. Call anytime Karan.
    Love, Tommy & Vicki

  3. Sonja Jones September 20, 2019 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    Mr Mell your sweet spirit will be missed.

  4. Sonja Jones September 20, 2019 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    We will miss your sweet spirit. Rest in sweet peace.

  5. Carol Glaze September 20, 2019 at 6:43 pm - Reply

    We are very sorry for the loss of John. He was good man and a great neighbor. Love to you all.

  6. Sandy Lowenthal September 21, 2019 at 7:24 am - Reply

    John was one and a million. He had the heart of giving and serving. He left a mark on his family and friends. John you will forever be missed.

  7. Pat (Doolittle) Shermer September 21, 2019 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    You will be greatly missed by your HDA family. Although I didn’t know John for too long a period, he made an impression on me. God’s Blessings, Karen, as you continue life’s journey until the day you join John in the presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus.

  8. Don & Sina September 21, 2019 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    John was such a gentleman. Don &I are thankful for the time we had with you as neighbors… God bless you Karen as you start a new walk…

  9. Jim and Sarah Steeley September 21, 2019 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    SO sorry for your loss, Karan. We were blessed to have known John and pray for comfort and peace for your entire family through these difficult days,
    Love and prayers, Jim & Sarah Steeley

  10. sandra and Rich Garcia October 1, 2019 at 11:29 am - Reply

    Enjoyed cruising Alaska with John and Karen. Sorry for your loss Karen.

  11. OLIVER A CORK December 19, 2019 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    John was a long time great friend. We met at a high school reunion in the 80’s and visited with him in his home , and he and Karan visited us here in Melbourne, FL. I am a volunteer with the local chapter of HONOR FLIGHT, an organization that flies WWII, Korea, and Vietnam vets to DC to visit their memorials. I have a picture of Commander Mell in a laminating sleeve that I carry to all Honor Flight functions to keep his memory alive. Our hearts go out to John’s family, Karen, his wife and his children and grand children in love and sympathy, may God’s grace and love sustain you in the weeks/months ahead. Jill and Oliver Cork, HDA alumni, ’57

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