Ray Mellert was a life-long Medina resident, born to George & Edith Mellert in 1919. He graduated from Medina High School in 1936.
|Ray Mellert's Senior picture from the 1936 Medina High School Yearbook|
|U.S.S. Wyoming from 1944-45 (Wikipedia)|
After he returned from the service, Ray joined his dad at Free Oil. George Mellert was a founding member of the enterprise, and Ray took over the reins of the company in 1957 when his father died.
|Medina Gazette 25 May 1956 p. 4.|
Ray was a big supporter of youth sports and was instrumental in keeping youth baseball alive in Medina. He also supported wrestling, basketball and music programs at the high school. He didn't just write a check, he rolled up his sleeves and pitched in wherever it was needed.
He was a stellar boss. Several employees stated they "never worked for a better man." He insisted that all company outings include families, with wives and children taking part.
Ray also was very active in the community joining these civic groups:
Al Koran Shrine
- 32 degree Masons of Cleveland
- Medina Methodist Church
- Medina Chamber of Commerce
- F & A.M. Mason Lodge
- Baseball Federation & Hot Stove Leagues of Medina
- Medina Booster Club
|Before & after pictures of Medina|
When the Community Design Committee took issue with all the garish signs that populated downtown Medina in the 60's and 70's, Ray decided to take action. He tore down the offensive sign and put one up that fit the bill.
|Medina Gazette 25 Feb 1971 p. 2|
Ray Mellert died suddenly in March of 1974, just weeks before the opening of the park.
|Medina Gazette 18 Mar., 1974, p.1|
Medina City council voted to name the park after him.
|Medina Gazette, 31 May 1975 , p.1|
When the park opened it had:
- Two tennis courts
- A handball court
- A picnic pavilion
- Playground equipment
- Basketball court
- Two ball fields
- A large brick restroom
But it has also been a setting for positive activity.
So, now you know!
Oh, and I have just been reminded that the Ray Mellert Park is the site of a Pokemon Go Gym!
Medina High School Yearbook, 1936, from Ancestry Library Edition
Medina County Gazette
US Navy History