Melvin J. Breeden Sr.

Published 10:33 am Wednesday, March 1, 2017

UTICA β€” Melvin J. Breeden Sr. died at Mississippi Baptist Medical Center Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, after a brief illness. He was 96.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Thursday, March 2, 2017, at Utica Christian Church with the Rev. Brad Hartzog officiating. Graveside services will be 2 p.m. at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Vicksburg.

Visitation will be 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, and from 10 a.m. Thursday until the hour of the service at Glenwood Funeral Home in Utica.

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Melvin was born in Utica on March 19, 1920, to Ben and Lena Breeden. He was a lifelong resident of Utica until moving to Riggs Manor Retirement Home in Raymond in 2010.

He graduated from Utica High School and attended Hinds Junior College. He graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in music in 1947.His college studies were interrupted by WWII when he joined the Army Air Corps in 1941 where served until 1945

As a pilot he was assigned to ferrying group transporting airplanes across North America and Africa. This allowed him to fly nearly every aircraft in service by the Army at the time.

In 1944, he was transferred overseas, where he flew supplies from India to China over β€œThe Hump.” He remained in the Air Force Reserves until his retirement as a lieutenant colonel.

He taught band at Utica High School for several years and served as choir and music leader at the Christian Church for over 55 years. For over 30 years, he worked as a rural mail carrier.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 40 years, Gene Piazza Breeden.

He is survived by his daughter, Patricia (Tom) Balmer of Terry and their 2 children, Thomas Balmer Jr. and Brittany Balmer Ingram; his son, Mel (Margaret) Breeden Jr. of Brandon; three great-grandsons; and his brother-in-law, Louis A. Piazza of Irvine, Calif.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Riggs Manor Retirement community in Raymond.