WEST HARRISON, Ind. – Melmer A. “Lou” Roehm fought many battles throughout his life.
As an officer in the First and Third U.S. Marine Raider Battalions during World War II, he was responsible for securing islands before primary invasion forces arrived. Years later he would fight battles on the homefront in his efforts to obtain benefits for needy veterans.
Mr. Roehm died of cancer Thursday [April 11, 1996] at the Cincinnati Veterans Hospital. He was 74.
A decorated WWII veteran honored with both a Silver Star and Purple Heart, he served in the Marines from 1941-44. He was stationed at Bougainville Island and Guadalcanal in the South Pacific.
He was active in veterans’ affairs, said a son, Ollie Louis Roehm of Harrison. A service officer and chaplain for the V.F.W. Duwell Post No. 7570, Mr. Roehm helped obtain benefits for veterans by writing letters and providing transportation for those who were too ill to do it themselves.
“What he did for his fellow veterans was his greatest accomplishment,” said his son.
While employed as a postal carrier in the Western Hills and Groesbeck areas, he struck up friendships with several sports figures on his route, including Tony Perez, Pete Rose and Don Zimmer. He retired in 1975.
His interests in hunting and fishing led to a part-time job as a bird dog trainer in Franklin County, Ind. The West Harrison resident also was a youth baseball coach, leading his team to a city championship.
Other survivors include his wife, Gladys Roehm; two brothers, Albert Roehm of New Albany, Ind., and Richard Roehm of Ocala, Fla.; four grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.
Visitation is from 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the John C. Brater Funeral Home, 201 S. Vine St. in Harrison. A combined military service by the American Legion J. B. Yeager Post No. 199 and the V.F.W. Duwell Post No. 7570 is at 4 p.m. Memorial service follows.
Memorials may be made to the Make A Wish Foundation through the funeral home.
Historian’s note: Melmer Roehm held the rank of private in the 3rd Marine Raider Battalion. We are unable to confirm that he was ever awarded the Silver Star or Purple Heart.