Melvin Jay Proffit

December 22, 1949 ‒ November 17, 2015

Mansfield, Ohio

“Two things, the Lord is coming back and when he does are you ready?” Those who knew Melvin well enjoyed his strong faith, his love for Christ and his want for others to share the same love. Melvin Jay Proffit went in the arms of his savior and passed away peacefully at his home on November 17, 2015. He was 65.

He was born December 22, 1949 in Swords Creek, Virginia to parents Herbert Jay and Edith (Miller) Proffit. After he graduated from Mansfield Senior High School with the class of 1968, he proudly served his country for the US Army in Vietnam as a medic. Melvin was later stationed in Hawaii for 18 months and served a total of 7 years.

When Melvin returned home he spent time taking care of his mother until a beautiful young lady named Hazel Ann caught his eye and the pair soon married in 1982. He worked for 20+ years for the Mansfield News Journal and later for Mansfield Hardware.

Known for always putting others first and giving the shirt off his back, Melvin was friends with and was loved by many. He truly enjoyed photography and spent many years capturing pictures for events, weddings, and family. He was a long time member of People’s Baptist Church and spent 10+ years traveling with and taking pictures for the Rock of Ages Prison Ministry. Above all though, he took so much pleasure in spending time with his grandchildren, and nieces and nephews.

He is survived by his children Amy (Justus) Snow, Theresa (Jonathon) Drummond, and Michelle (Kevin) Fairchild; grandchildren Benjamin, Chloe, Isaac, Titus, Annaleah, Christian, Emily, Nicolas, Hannah, Hailey, and Jacob; sisters Loretta (John) Stone, and Connie (Lonnie) Wilson; nieces and nephews John Jay Mauritz, Laurie Madden, and Jeff (Angela) Wilson.

In addition to his parents, Melvin Jay was preceded in death by his wife Hazel Ann Proffit.

His family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Thursday, November 19, 2015 in the Marion Avenue Snyder Funeral Home Finefrock Chapel with a service at 11 a.m. Friday, November 20, 2015 at People’s Baptist Church, 223 Vanderbilt Road, Mansfield. Pastor James Spencer will officiate with military honors and burial to follow at Mansfield Memorial Park.

Contributions in his memory to People’s Baptist Church may be made at the funeral home.

Snyder Funeral Homes is honored to serve Melvin’s family and encourage you to share a fond memory or message of condolence to them at

  • We will miss you our friend, but only for a time for we will see you again. Each time we look at our couples pictures you took at church dinners they will be even more special . May GOD bless your family with peace and comfort at this time.

  • I don’t know if Ican put how special Mel is to my family in any particular words.. We lost my father in law 9 years ago, and my sweet daughter Olivia, many times went and visited Mel as I think he gave her that Papaw feeling. When his health got bad Cody became his yard boy. His backyard was my childrens soccer and whiffle ball field, as he observed out the window. He will be missed, his wise words of photography, his friendly smile, occassional dinners at my dinner table, and my kids gathered around him for a visit, also to see lil Molly. The blessing in all of this is, he can now walk without fear of falling, no more feeling alone at night, and walking once again at Ann’ s side. We love you Mel..
    Jeff Christie Cody Olivia and Ej.

  • Our prayers are with your family, you will truly be missed. I have know Mel since grade school he was a very sweet man. RIP Mel.

  • I do not know this family but I thought I would leave a note to say I am praying for you during this time of grief , I know the hurt and pain of losing a loved one so I thought I would leave a note to just say a random person is praying for you!!

  • I met Melvin at Diamond Hill Chapel when I was about 14 years old. He was about 19 or 20 and had just been drafted to go to Vietnam. I only knew him from just seeing him in church, but my mom MADE me write him a letter. I think I may have scratched out 4 or 5 short sentences (How are you, I am fine, weather is sunny etc.) A few weeks later I received a 5 page letter filled front & back with stories on basic training, the different soldiers he met, his medical training (he was a conscientious objector and was training to be a medic), how mean the drill instructors were, he was heading to Hawaii and then on to Vietnam….. It hit me as to how homesick he must be, so we started corresponding quite frequently about things we like to do and planned on doing once he came back. When he came home on his first leave he brought me an army jacket, which was quite a prize back then, and we started cramming the days full of fishing, cruising, talking on the C.B. radio and whatever else we could get into (he let me drive his car, an old Ford Falcon, but at 14 I was in elated!) he was the big brother I never had. Anyone that knew Mel knew he always had his camera with him and in fact he bought me my first professional camera and I started doing weddings & portraits along with him. He loved to go to the Smokey Mountains and we used to go there several times a year to run around, take pictures, set off fireworks and just act crazy. He took me to his boyhood home near Swords Creek Virginia, up a winding dirt road way back in a holler where I met his kin and tasted my first biscuits & gravy… been hooked ever since. Mel was deeply religious and we would have numerous conversations about the bible, what things were like in Jesus’ days, what would heaven be like, etc. Over the years our lives drifted apart but it was always good to run into him and talk about old times and that we would just have to visit the Smokies one more time. We never got to make that trip as his health took a turn for the worse, but he is on a different trip now, one with everlasting joy & peace. In John 14:3 the Lord says ” Behold, I go to prepare a place for you….” Well, Mel, have Jesus pick me out a place close to yours, there’s still a lot we haven’t done. Rabbit, keep the shiny side up & the dirty one down, 3’s & 8’s to ya and catch you on the flip flop. Your brother in Christ – Mike

  • I can only think of the hymn today after learning about Mel.
    How Beautiful Heaven Must Be ,
    I known Mel for 40 yrs. Radio, church, fellowship at home and work. He was there when I had open heart surgery. Sat right there with my wife and mom till it was over. There the next day to encourage me.
    Now his heart is mended, he is with his Lord and his precious Ann. Love you Mel.

  • Melvin was the same no matter where you met him. He always had a smile on his face and a kind word to share. My prayers are with his children, grandchildren, and his sisters, Connie and Loretta. We will meet again when God gathers his children Home.

  • Many prayers to the family! I met Mel & Ann through church. Both such sweet people. Mel did my senior pictures in 98, my grandfather’s memorial video in 2003 many pictures for my grandparents through the years & also my wedding pictures in 2005. He will be greatly missed by my family & many others! Love, Crystal Keenan & J.R. Traicoff, Loretta Keenan, Trina Bishop, Tammy Baldwin

  • My heartfelt condolence goes out to Melvin’s family during this sorrowful time. He was a dear friend of my family for many years. His friendship will always be cherished and we are blessed to have known such a kind and caring person. You are loved and will be missed by many.

  • We were blessed to meet Melvin in 1975 though my brother in law John (Tom) Sealey, who was a good friend of Melvin’s. Melvin took our wedding photos in 1975. Melvin was a kind, sincere and gentle man. His love for the Lord was evident in his demeanor and words. May the God of all comfort hold you all near. Until we meet again Melvin!

  • A note of Thanksgiving for our good neighbor. Thanks for your caring and giving heart. Just knowing you and Anne was there was a BLESSING to us. May you now know peace in the arms of Jesus.
    Comfort to the family, Bob and Sandy Milum and Soni