Melvin H. Borton, 94, passed away Friday, July 16, 2021 at his home in Sun City, Arizona.
He was born February 7, 1927 in Chesterfield Township, Fulton County, Ohio, to Hazen and Doris (Gilmore) Borton. On May 17, 1944, he married Onalee Garrison and was married 39 years until her death on July 3, 1983. Mel married Linda Jones on February 14, 2003 and she survives in Sun City, Arizona.
Mel is also survived by his three sons: Melvin (Rosemary) Borton, Jr. of Mesa, Arizona, Mark (Patty) Borton of Sun City, Arizona and Mitchell (Pearl) Borton of Napoleon, Ohio. He is survived by ten grandchildren, four step grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, ten step great-grandchildren, seven great-great-grandchildren, five step great-great-grandchildren; brother Lyle (Sandy) Borton of Andover, Minnesota; two sisters, Vonda Dunn of Akron, Ohio, and Shirley Wohlford of Warren, Indiana; brother-in-law Norman (Ruby) Jones of Kenton, Ohio; and many nephews, nieces and cousins. He will be missed by his boxer Doby.
Mel is preceded in death by brother Lee Borton; two sisters and their spouses: Donna (John) Patterson, Ruth (Dean) Lange; three brothers-in-law: Richard Dunn, Gordon Jones, and Rev. Paul Wohlford and step great-grandchild.
He was a graduate from Chesterfield High School with the class of 1944.
Mel worked tirelessly on behalf of both National and Ohio Farmers Union for more than 60 years. He started farming on his own in 1948 and joined Farmers Union that same year. In 1959, Mel started an egg laying operation with 20,000 laying hens and spent much of the 1960s visiting Washington, D.C. on legislative visits, writing letters and working on poultry policy.
Mel wore many hats during his time at Farmers Union, among them being named Eastern States director of organization in 1970 and Mid-West States director of organization in 1973.
In 1976, Mel became the national director of organization and national director of field services, eventually returning to Ohio Farmers Union in 1985 as their director of marketing.
Mel served as chairman of the USDA, Farm Services Agency State Committee from 1993 to 2001 and he continued to lobby on the state and national level on behalf of family farmers until he moved to Sun City, Arizona in 2017.
March 2013, Mel received the National Farmers Union Meritorious Service Award for meritorious service to Farmers Union and to American Agriculture.
A celebration of life for Mel will be held July 29, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at Willowbrook United Methodist Church, 19390 N 99th Ave, Sun City, Arizona with Pastor Gary Kennedy officiating and August 14, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, 137 N Pratt St, Ottawa, Ohio with Pastor Jerry Meyer officiating. Visitation will be 10:00 a.m. until the time of the memorial service. Interment will be at Smith Cemetery in Fulton County, Ohio.
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