Former Tiffin Mayor Frank Melick, 1936-2018
A former Tiffin mayor who some believe had longlasting effects on the local economy died earlier this month.
According to his obituary, Frank Melick, who served as mayor from 1966-1967, died March 3.
Melick, who was 81, was born Aug. 20 1936, in Tiffin, to Ernest and Helen Melick.
Tiffin City Councilman Jim Roberts said he and Melick graduated from high school the same year, 1954. Roberts also said the two had class together when they were kids and grew up near each other on the north side of town.
“We were buddies,” Roberts said. “We played together … he was just a good guy.”
Melick graduated from Heidelberg College and US Army Language School in Monterey, California. He became a Chinese linguist. Roberts said he also was at Army Language School at the same time, learning Russian. Both veterans served in the Army Security Agency, Roberts said.
According to his obituary, Melick also attended the Institute of Foreign Studies in San Francisco, University of Nevada and Bowling Green State University.
He traveled extensively for business and pleasure, visiting each of the 50 states and several foreign countries.
According to information obtained from Seneca County Museum, Melick, who ran as a Republican, was elected to a two-year term as mayor. He was 29 when he entered office, which makes him among the youngest elected to the position in city history.
Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz, who was 26 when he began his tenure, is believed to be the youngest.
Melick was defeated in a re-election bid in November 1967 by Gilmore Lange. He lost lost by about 215 votes.
Seneca County Board of Elections member David Koehl said he was in elementary school when Melick was mayor, but he remembers Melick going on a trade mission that set the stage for some economic development the city is seeing to this day.
“He went on a trade mission to Japan with Gov. Jim Rhodes,” he said.
Koehl said the trip helped bring a Honda plant to Marysville, leading to thousands of jobs and parts suppliers locally.
“It was the first foreign automaker to build a factory in the U.S.,” he said. “That makes Frank indirectly responsible for companies like Taiho today, although they opened here long after he left office.”
Melick’s obituary states he went on several trade missions to other countries with Rhodes and he was given several state honorary titles, including Ohio Commodore, Kentucky Colonel, Kansas Cavalry and Alaskan Walrus.
Koehl also said Melick played a key role in the city’s sesquicentennial celebration in 1967.
In a newsletter Melick submitted for the event, he states, “Those of us who make Tiffin our home, feel a justifiable pride in our community. In the past few years, Tiffin has begun to grow with the addition of new industry and the development of a new commercial center. Each passing month finds enthusiasm building for continued growth and improvement.”
Melick also states in the letter that the first 150 years for Tiffin were good to the area.
“So as we pause at this plateau of development, it is only a pause, for we must continue to look to the future,” he states in the letter. “It is my hope, that you will apply some of the enthusiasm that has made this celebration a success to the building of a bigger and better Tiffin.”
Melick retired from his job as community development director for the city of Lancaster in 2001.
He also spent time in his career developing nursing homes, including Autumnwood Care Center in Tiffin. He served as city manager of Clyde in the 1960s.
Montz said he did not have the honor of serving with or knowing Melick, but he offered condolences to Melick’s family and thanked him for his service.
He said city officials will observe a moment of silence in memory of Melick at Monday’s city council meeting.