MELICHAR, Kenneth May 29, 1946 – Mar 25, 2021

TRAVERSE CITY [mdash] Kenneth E. Melichar, 74, of Traverse City, passed away March 25, 2021 of a cerebral hemorrhage. He was born In Lewistown, Mont. on May 29, 1946 to parents Virginia and Ed Melichar. In addition to his parents, he grew up with two brothers, Leslie and Donald; and sister, Beatrice on a farm near Moore, Mont. where he learned to appreciate the vigilante way of life. His parent;s and brother Leslie predeceased him.
He proudly served in the United States Marines from 1966 until 1969.
In 1972 he married his wife Barbara who followed him from one end of the United States to the other in search of higher education. They raised one daughter, Leah.
Dedicated to lifelong learning, Ken graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Montana in 1972; with an M.A. in Sociology from the University of Wyoming in 1975; with an M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from New York University in 1982 and 1985, respectively; with an Ed.S. in Adult Education from the University of Georgia in 1991; and an M.A. in Native American Studies from the University of Georgia in 2009. His specialties included sociological theory, social inequality, the Holocaust, adult education, and Native American Studies.
From 1981 to 2012 he taught sociology at Piedmont University in Demorest, Georgia. He also served as the college's Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Planning from 2005 until 2012 when he retired to Traverse City.
Reading, golf, basketball, hockey, and outlaw country music were among his interests.
In 2016 he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and later developed dementia.
The family would like to thank the staff at Life Beyond Barriers for the therapy they provided which he enjoyed immensely. They would also like to recognize and thank the nurses and physicians at Munson Medical Center for their compassionate care of him at the end of his life.
He will be remembered as a devoted husband and father with a wicked sense of humor. As he was known to say, "Genius is pain.
Donations in Ken's memory can be made to Piedmont University through its website at

View Original NoticeMELICHAR, Kenneth May 29, 1946 - Mar 25, 2021