Rheta Melcher

Rheta M. Melcher

1924 - 2021

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Obituary of Rheta M. Melcher

Rheta Mae (Perry) Melcher entered into her eternal rest on May 15, 2021 at Niagara Hospice House in Lockport, New York. Rheta was 96 years old, born on November 12, 1924 in Niagara Falls to Henry J. & and Mae Ozelle (Burns) Perry. She grew up on 8th and Linwood, where her father Henry J. Perry (son of Michael and Clarissa Nassoiy Perry) had the first battery business in Niagara Falls. Rheta attended Sacred Heart Church and School, North Junior, and graduated from Niagara Falls high School in 1942. Then in 1945, she met the love of her life, Harold Melcher, and they were joined in Holy Matrimony on December 15th. In 1956, after raising three children, Rheta began her 30-year career with Union Carbide, where she received many awards for the "Pride in Niagara" program, before her retirement in 1986 as an executive secretary. Soon after, Rheta became employed again for ten years with Dr. Thomas Gerbasi. Residing in Lewiston for 60 years, Rheta was a longtime member of St. Peter's Parish, being actively involved as a Eucharistic Minister and Altar Rosary Society member. She also served as a Eucharistic Minister at St. Mary's Hospital, as well as volunteering in the gift shop. Walking, reading, and gardening were her favorite hobbies. Being part of "The Greatest Generation," Rheta volunteered (20 years) at ArtPark, American Red Cross, Friends of Local History, Niagara Historical Walking Tours, Festival of Lights, and the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center where she was involved with the renovating and transformation of this building that had been her high school. She was a member of the Niagara County Genealogical Society, the Professional Secretaries Organization, and also participated in a 25-year study for Women's Health Initiative (W.H.I.) at University of Buffalo. Rheta, along with her sister Audrey, would put on historical slideshows of the city of Niagara Falls for various local organizations. Her ancestor, explorer Jonathan Carver, first saw the mighty Niagara in the 1700s. Her third great grandfather, Sgt. Vine Warner Hickox, arrived here during the War of 1812. He had his last meal at the Old Stone Chimney (once part of Fort Schlosser), volunteering to cross the Niagara during the Battle of Queenston Heights, whereupon he died October 13th, 1812. Later his son, Thomas came here in 1848, living and working on Bath Island (now Green Island) for the Porter family. His son, Vine Harrington Hickox, wrote articles entitled "Reflections of the Past" for the Cataract Journal and Niagara Falls Gazette, circa 1900's. Rheta is survived by her daughters Karen Melcher (currently residing in Florida) and Cynthia Melcher, grandsons Erich and Adrian Melcher, great grandchildren Ella, Koen, Will and Rees Melcher, and cousin Rod Latta. She was predeceased by husband Harold (1976), son Karl (2004), and sister Audrey (2020). Visitation will be held on Wednesday from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Hardison Funeral Home on N. Fourth and Ridge Street in Lewiston, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Peter's Parish located at 620 Center Street, Lewiston on Thursday (May 20) at 9:30 AM. Interment will be at Memorial Park Cemetery. Memorial offerings may be made to Summit Life Outreach Center at 1622 Pine Avenue, Niagara Falls, NY 14301; St. Peter's Parish, Lewiston, NY; or Niagara Hospice at 4675 Sunset Drive, Lockport, NY, 14094 The family wishes to thank Niagara Hospice, Rheta's aides, and friends and neighbors who gave her their loving care. Please visit www.hardisonfuneralhomes.com for online condolences.
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3:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Hardison Funeral Home - Lewiston
N. Fourth & Ridge Streets
Lewiston, New York, United States
(716) 754-7963


9:30 am
Thursday, May 20, 2021
St. Peter RC Church
600 Center St.
Lewiston, New York, United States