Melvin M. Holda, 81, of Portsmouth, RI and Englewood, FL passed away peacefully at his RI home with his wife and two sons at his side.  Mel, as he was known by friends and family, lost his courageous 2-year battle against lung cancer on January 22, 2022.  He is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Elaine (Sobodacha), two sons Jonathan and Ethan, their wives and five beautiful grandchildren.  He is also survived by his sister Felicia Goldin and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents and his sister Dolores Stowe.

Mel was born in Chicago, IL to Marion and Karoline (Kaczor) Holda.  He enlisted in the Navy at age 17 and served aboard destroyers in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.  Following his tour of duty, Mel attended and graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Accounting, followed by Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI. Mel was then commissioned as a Supply Officer and served aboard an LST during a tour of duty in Vietnam. He eventually retired as a Lt. Commander from the US Naval Reserve.  During his professional career Mel worked for the Navy in Newport as a civilian Finance Officer and Auditor.  

Mel met Elaine in Newport, RI and they married in 1967. Over the years, Mel and Elaine traveled widely, enjoying adventures in Europe and beyond. Mel was an avid stamp collector and his favorite activities included downhill skiing, kayaking, bicycling, and ballroom dancing, but he enjoyed being with his family most of all.  
A Funeral Mass in celebration of Mel’s life will be held on Saturday, March 5th at 11 o’clock in St. Lucy Catholic Church, Middletown, RI.  In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in his name to Visiting Nurse Home and Hospice, 1184 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI  02871 or to a charity of your choice.

This obituary was submitted to What’sUpNewp by Elaine Holda.

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