Melvin A. Fechter, 98, of Siesta Key, Sarasota passed away at home March 5, 2019 surrounded by his loving and devoted wife of 67 years, Essie, and by his 4 children, Ann Fleming (Winter Park), Aaron Fechter (Orlando), Adrienne Fechter (Loveland, CO) and Karen Leggett (Sarasota).
Mel was raised in Charleston, SC and educated in its public schools. He was a First Honor graduate and Valedictorian of his high school. Years earlier, at the age of 13, he earned the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. After his father’s death in 1938, Mel helped his mother, Sadie Fechter, manage her antique store, A. Fechter Antiques, then located at 212 and 214 King Street. He went on to major in mathematics and graduate from the College of Charleston in 1942. Mel loved Charleston and spent many hours walking the Battery, once his favorite pastime.
Mel served in WWII as a Cryptographic Technician in Rome, Italy for the US Army. He was an author, lawyer, mathematician and philosopher, known for his quick wit and wry sense of humor that kept everyone -- including himself -- thoroughly entertained. Above all else, Mel was a loving, devoted and supportive husband and father. He was proud to be Jewish and held a special place in his heart for the State of Israel. Well into his mid-90s Mel was a regular contributor on AOL’s “Politics of Israel” online forum. His writings appeared on the Daniel Pipes Middle East Forum.
Always humble and unassuming, Mel was never motivated by the pursuit of wealth. He accumulated a vast library of scholarly works as he was dedicated to gaining and disseminating knowledge and pondering the unknowable. Only one month before his death Mel told his family, “I am at peace with all the world. I feel anger toward no one. I am grateful to be alive.” This was Mel’s secret for a happy and contented life. His wit and wisdom will be greatly missed by his entire family, including his last surviving brother, Gerald Fechter (Folly Beach, SC), his 8 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.