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Posted on July 28, 2017 at 11:20 AM by Katie Stamy
In 1965, when the City’s population was under one thousand and Bay Area Boulevard was nothing but a dirt road that stretched only 10 feet wide, 38-year-old Melvin Donehue moved to Webster.
Now, at nearly 90 years old, Mel fondly remembers the last 52 years he spent with the City of Webster and the changes that have transpired.
“I came out here about July 6, 1965, and put in about 33 years as a city councilman, eight years as mayor pro-tem and about seven years as a volunteer reman,” he said.
e Apollo project brought Mel to Webster, but it was the medical center and the climate that got him to stay.
Originally from Ohio, at the age of 17 he went into the Navy and served in the Philippines, where he realized that in some places, it didn’t snow in the winter. When he returned to Ohio, he was cold, uncomfortable and weary of shoveling snow, so he said “to heck with it” and moved to Los Angeles for better weather and to further his education.
Before eventually relocating to Webster, he lived in Tucson, Arizona, Palmdale, California, and then Vandenberg, California. He began working on aircra s as an electronic assembler before being promoted to electronic quality control, which was a position he held for around 30 years.
A er accepting a job in Texas and moving to Webster for the Apollo project, he decided to explore city government and see what was going on in Webster. At the very rst council meeting he attended, there were only four citizens from the public in attendance.
“I thought I’d become a councilmember, so in 1976, I rst ran, and I won the election. irty-three years later, I le ,” he explained. “It was an experience I wouldn’t change for the world.”
While working on the shuttle missions and holding a position on council, Mel also joined the Webster’s Volunteer
Fire Department for about seven years.
He was a busy man with a wife and four children, sadly in
1990hiswife,Barbara,passedaway,andin1991,heretired. In 1992, Mel reconnected with an old friend, Connie. She was working at Academy when she ran into Mel. Two years
later the couple got married.
Connie, a native Texan, originally moved to Webster in
1976 with her then husband and their daughter. She served as a member of the Celebration Committee and the Library Committee, but when she got a job with the post o ce, she was working six days a week and lost touch.
“I got divorced and moved away for a few years,” Connie explained. “But I thought ‘No, I want to be back in Webster, and so I moved back.”
When she moved back, she accepted a position at Academy, and the rest is history.
Now that the two are retired, they enjoy spending their time traveling, reading, exercising and spending time together. One of Mel’s hobbies that Connie has taken an interest in is Native American weaponry.
Native American culture and the old western days have always piqued Mel’s interest, he visited a local Native American goods store, and he believed he would be able to recreate the art and weaponry himself. So, he got the materials and did some research and has been creating shields since then.
According to Connie, his pieces are displayed all around their home, and she has learned to love the technique, as well. Mel and Connie Donehue make up an important role in the history of Webster. Mel has made an impact on the City as a councilmember and citizen, and Connie would like the community to celebrate Mel at his surprise 90th Birthday Party. His birthday is July 28, but the festivities will take place on Saturday, July 29 at the Webster Recreation Center, 311 Pennsylvania Avenue from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. She asks for attendees to RSVP to her at 281.704.3747 and to keep the
party a secret!