Melvin T. Hirahara, 75, of Astoria, passed away December 16, 2013, in Portland. He was born December 3, 1938, in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Harry and Rose (Chu) Hirahara. Mel was raised and received his education in Honolulu. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard and proudly served his country until he retired as a chief boatswain’s mate in 1976. Mel married Beatrice Donayri in Honolulu on June 23, 1964. She passed away on October 24th of this year. Mel and Bea left Hawaii in 1965. After being stationed in southern Washington for a few years, Mel was transferred to Astoria in 1969. Mel and Bea chose to make Astoria their permanent home. After Mel retired from the Coast Guard, he worked as a mechanic for several businesses around the area, including Val’s Texaco, North Coast Propeller, Columbia Pacific Marine Works, and finally settled in at Bergeson Construction in 1994. Mel also tried his hand at owning his own business, Mel’s Muffler Shop in the 1980s. Mel belonged to many fraternal organizations, the American Legion, the Eagles, and the Elks and was a familiar face on Friday and Saturday nights at these clubs as a Blackjack and 4-5-6 dealer. Mel was a great guy to sit and talk with. He had a lot of opinions, and wasn’t afraid to share them. He was humorous and generous, and these traits collected him a lot of friends over the years. You couldn’t go to a store with him without having to stop and talk with at least four or five people. Mel is preceded in death by his beloved wife Bea, and his two brothers, Harry Hirahara and Michael Hirahara. He is survived by his children, Dale Hirahara of Astoria, Ken and Amy Hirahara of Knappa, and Ryan and Alma Hirahara of Sasebo, Japan. Grandchildren: Darin Hendrickson, Andrew Hirahara and Taryn Hirahara of Astoria, Yumiko, Yurika, Yuma, Yui, Yurisa and Yua Hirahara of Sasebo, Japan. Great-grandchildren: Carter Burd and Malia Hirahara. His sister and her husband, Arline and Noel Gokan of Honolulu and several nieces, nephews and extended family. A memorial service will be held on Monday, December 30, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. at Caldwell’s Mortuary in Astoria. A reception will follow at the American Legion. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Oregon Disabled American Veterans (DAV) fund or a charity of one’s choice.