- Published: October 22, 2009
Melvin Herbert Fine, 70, of Kettering, died Wednesday, Oct. 14, at Hospice of Dayton. He lived in Yellow Springs from 1968 to 1998. He was born Feb. 1, 1939, in Newark, N. J., and grew up in Wilmington, Del.
Mel graduated from University of Delaware in 1960 with a degree in biology and from Yale University with a masters in botany in 1962 and a PhD in biology in 1968. From 1965–1968, he was a biology instructor at Union College in Schenectady, N. Y. In 1968 he moved to Yellow Springs for a post-doctoral fellowship at Antioch College and Kettering Research Lab. From 1970 to 1981, he was assistant professor of biology at Central State University. From 1981 to 1991, he was a course development analyst for NCR, a technical editor for BDM and a technical writer for Eastman Kodak, all in Dayton. In 1991, he joined Five Rivers MetroParks, as director of Cox Arboretum briefly and then as education coordinator at Wegerzyn MetroPark in Dayton.
Mel was dedicated to preservation of natural resources and green spaces. For the past three years, he served as board chairman of the Glen Helen Ecology Institute, working to achieve permanent protection of the Glen. He was an enthusiastic gardener and encouraged other gardeners in the use of native plants. From 1992 to 2001, he organized and expanded the annual Miami Valley Gardening Conference, held at Sinclair College in Dayton. He was also an active member of the Native Plant Society of Dayton.
He was a member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Yellow Springs for many years.
He is survived by his spouse, Peg Peterson, and his four children and their families: Daniel and Linda Fine and daughters Elise and Leah of Bainbridge, Ohio; Patricia and Andrew Rosenstein and sons Samuel and Bradley of Bexley, Ohio; Jamie and Heather Fine and children Bernadette and Huxley of Oakland, Calif.; and Emily Fine and children Rachel and Jacob Trumbull of Yellow Springs. He is also survived by a sister and her husband, Roni and Jeffrey Zerowin of Fairlawn, N. J.
A memorial service will be announced at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Glen Helen.