Cover photo for Melvin Jay Setzer's Obituary
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1921 Melvin 2016

Melvin Jay Setzer

November 20, 1921 — September 9, 2016

PVT.  MELVIN JAY SETZER, USMC     “lifelong Coudersport, PA resident”

COUDERSPORT, PA---Many hearts were broken when Melvin J. Setzer, 94, a lifelong resident of Coudersport, PA, fell asleep in Jesus on Friday, September 9, 2016, at Elternhaus Assisted Living Facility, Dayton, MD, where he resided since July, 2012.

Born in Dry Run in Hebron Center, near Coudersport, PA on November 20, 1921, he was the third child of Harry Virgil Setzer Sr. and Alice Bertha (Wilburn) Setzer.  Melvin was one of 13 brothers and sisters and attended the one room Harvey School on Rt. 49.  On October 2, 1940 in Warren, Ohio, he married Virginia G. Beach, who preceded him in death.

Mr. Setzer was 23 and married with a 3 year old daughter, Lois, when WWII was raging.  He and other Coudersport young men went to Erie to volunteer to serve their country.  Melvin served as a Rifleman-Sharpshooter in the United States Marine Corp on Iwo Jima, the bloodiest battle in Marine Corp history.  He was one of 20,000 wounded, receiving the Purple Heart.  He worked as a self-employed building contractor, building homes in Potter County and surrounding areas.

Melvin loved being a father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend.  He loved getting in his truck to ride around the dirt roads of Potter County hoping to spot a few deer, turkey or bear.  He always was willing to help anyone at any time.  He'd leave before dawn with his old silver lunch pail to work all day before returning for supper, well after dark so many times...  If anyone called him for help in the evenings, he'd head back out again with his cheerful attitude.  He served his country, his family, his community, his church and his friends and ALWAYS with a happy disposition and smile.  His hearty Setzer belly laugh would make YOU laugh too.

Melvin was honored to serve as Commander of the Coudersport American Legion Post 192 in 1958, 1965, 1966, and 1967. Melvin was a long time member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Coudersport where he served as an usher, deacon, and all-around handyman,” snow shovel-er” , and Mr. Fixit.

He is survived by a daughter, Linda (Archie) Lohr of Coudersport, youngest brother, David (Marcia) Setzer, Yreka, CA; six grandchildren, Timothy J. (Julia) Jackson, Loveland, OH, Jennifer (Jim) Fielder, Anchorage, AK,  Amber (Tim) Mayer, Dayton, MD, Jay (Connie) Cole, Dayton, OH, Corbett (Dina) Cole, Harrison, TN, and Nathanial (Cara) Cole, Bel Air, MD; thirteen great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Yvonne “Bonnie” Setzer and Shirley Guenther Schnell; and many nieces and nephews.

Melvin was predeceased by his parents; his wife; an infant daughter, Sharon Kay Setzer; and oldest daughter, Lois Carol Setzer Hubbard; 4 sisters, Mildred Hardengrader, Sylvia Haskins, Inez Nelson, Eula Jean Setzer; and 7 brothers, Harry  Jr., Clarence, Lawrence, Clifford, Robert, Kenneth, and William; and a half-sister, Anna Setzer Wahl.

Family and friends are invited to attend a memorial service on Friday, November 25, at 1:00 pm at the Seventh Day Adventist Church, Coudersport, with Gary Reese, of Coudersport, officiating, followed by a luncheon graciously provided by the Ladies Auxiliary of the American Legion Post 192 at the legion. Burial will be in Sweden Hill Cemetery. 

Members of the Potter County Honor Guard will accord military honors on Friday at the church.

Local arrangements are under the direction of the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, Shinglehouse. To express condolences or share a fond memory of Melvin, please visit

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Melvin Jay Setzer, please visit our flower store.


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