Melvin “Mel” Clemens, a longtime Reynoldsburg City Council member and fixture in the community, died June 3 at the age of 88.
Clemens was honored at his last meeting as the city's Ward 4 representative Dec. 16, 2019. His service to the community dates to 1960.
His political career began at 28, with stints on City Council as both an at-large and ward representative. He also served 16 years on the Truro Township board of trustees and 11 years as the city’s safety-service director.
Clemens graduated from Mifflin High School in Columbus.
In a 2017 interview, Clemens credited his late wife, Nancy, with bringing him to Reynoldsburg. He met her in 1949 at a barn square dance, and they were married for 56 years until her death in 2008.
A member of the Reynoldsburg United Methodist Church, Clemens ran the Reynoldsburg Teen Center alongside his wife.
A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Clemens served as grand marshal of the Fourth of July parade in 2017.
Mayor Joe Begeny called Clemens “devout” in his love for the city.
"I got to know Mel over the last few years, and I admired his devotion to this city,” Begeny said. “I will miss his questions, his many sayings at council and, most of all, his heart. He was devout in his love for Reynoldsburg. An example for all.”
In a Facebook post, Meredith Lawson-Rowe, who began her first term as Ward 4 representative this year, called Clemens a “class act.”
“Thank you for representing your neighbors and speaking your truth. I appreciate the advice and guidance you shared with me during my campaign and once I was elected. I admired you even more when we chatted in March and you shared with me to speak my mind and do not let anyone sway my vote and to always consider the people when making a decision.”
Clemens is survived by five children and 16 grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held July 10 at Cotner Funeral Home, 7369 E. Main St. Donations in his memory may be made to Truro Township Fire Department, P.O. 647, Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068.