Melvin Jack Vorbach

November 5, 1923 - March 11, 2018

Melvin Jack Vorbach, 94, formerly of Romney, passed away Sunday, March 11th at his son’s home in Bunker Hill, WV.  Born in Morgantown, WV on November 5, 1923, he was the son of the late William A. and Lena B. (Grose) Vorbach.

Besides his parents, Jack is preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Julia (Marra) Vorbach.  A daughter, Marci Mia (Vorbach) Bondy.  A grandson, Michael Vorbach.  Four brothers; William, Robert, Joseph, and David Vorbach.  Two brothers-in-law; Joe Carra and George Sutton.  A sister-in-law, Irene Vorbach.

Jack is survived by a son, Donald R. Vorbach and wife Sherry of Bunker Hill, WV.  Two granddaughters; Brandi Rosado of Memphis, TN and Julie Jene Logan and husband Dickie of West Memphis, Arkansas.  Two great-great grandchildren; Jordan and Grayson Logan.  Four sisters; Bonnie Mattingly and husband James of Bridgeport, WV, Twila Carra of Edgewater, FL, Shonet McClung and husband James of Morgantown, WV and Sharon Sutton of Palmara, VA.  Three sisters-in-law; Kay Vorbach of Morgantown, WV, Betty Vorbach of Morgantown, WV, and Beverly Vorbach of Zellwood, FL.

Jack was born and raised in Morgantown, WV graduating from Morgantown High School in 1941.  After a brief stint working for his grandfather in the carpentry business, Jack enlisted in the US Army.  During his enlistment, he served tours in Europe and the Pacific; at the height of WWII.  In 1946 he was honorably discharged and returned to Morgantown and enrolled at West Virginia University School of Forestry, graduating in 1950.  During his time at WVU, he met Julia and in 1947 the young couple married and were inseparable for the next 60 years.  They started their family and after several moves, they settled in Romney in 1952 due to Jack’s work.  In 1956 Jack started working for WESTVACO as a Forester.  After 30 years, he retired and was able to focus more on his hobbies.

As a young teenager, Jack became interested in music and he eventually mastered the Banjo.  Many may remember Jack playing his “Rag Time” music performing in many shows in the Romney area.  Jack even had his own airplane.  He obtained his pilot’s license in the early 80’s and would fly in the WV/VA areas- up until 2004.  Jack lived a full life.  He was a kind and gentle soul.  He was friendly, loving, easy going, and had a very dry quick- witted sense of humor.  Jack was also very resolved.  Once he had his mind made up, you weren’t changing it.  He enjoyed woodworking, hunting and fishing, gardening, and Boy Scouts.  He was a member of the Romney First United Methodist Church, Romney Lions Club, and the Society of American Foresters.

Jack had moved to Bunker Hill, WV to live with Don and Sherry due to declining health issues.  He still continued to play the banjo and would return weekly to Romney to play music with friends.  Jack will surely be missed by all.

Friends will be received on Saturday, March 17, 2018 from 11:00 AM till 12:00 Noon at the Romney First United Methodist Church located at 49 N. High St. in Romney.  A memorial service will immediately follow at 12:00 Noon with Rev. Dr. Roy Knight officiating.  Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in memory of Jack to:  Romney Senior Center ~ PO Box 41 ~ Romney, WV 26757   or   Potomac Center ~ 1 Blue St. ~ Romney, WV 26757

Please direct inquiries to Shaffer Funeral Home, 304.822.3511

Jamie Kidwell March 14, 2018

14 condolences for “Melvin Jack Vorbach”

  1. Sending Love & Prayers for Jack’s devoted family. His was a terrific life lived. Jack & Julia were cherished friends as was Marcie of our family Many wonderful memories of Beautiful Music, Flying & a Precious spirit….
    Absolutely blessed to have known him. May God comfort & provide you His peace❣️

  2. Jack and Mary Susan Williams made music together, and they did make music! For many years in programs all over the county they enriched our lives.

  3. Grandad this is Brandi……..this is how our telephone calls began. You would laugh and say “yes Brandi I knew that was you”! So I will still be talking to you! I chose to say goodbye Sunday and sent you a balloon. When we have parties or holidays we always send balloons to our family and I know Michael was there in Heaven to welcome you. I think he is like the Walmart greeter and says hello to my friends. I have all the cards you and Nana sent me over 38 yrs., pictures, and especially the colorful leaves that we pressed in paper. I love you all and please say hello to my friend, Carrie Evans. I think about her a lot.
    Your loving granddaughter, Brandi.

  4. I was a recent transplant to WV when I met Mom and Dad ( Julia and Jack). God knew I was so far from home and needed surrogate parents as well as surrogate grandparents for my daughter. I divorced shortly after moving to WV and Mom and Dad took care of me and my daughter like I was their own. I loved them so.
    I had never experienced a Christmas like my first with the Vorbach’s!!! Mom and all her Italian sisters in the kitchen all speaking Italian!!!! What an eye opener for a south Mississippi girl!!!!! Dad told me “just stay out of the kitchen and you’ll be fine”!!!!! Those ladies hollering at each other in Italian it actually scared me silly…..but Dad in his gentle way would chuckle and say…. ” they’re just showing love” I had never even heard of the Feast of Seven Fishes” before but what a treat it was!!!!! I still cook my oysters Mom’s way. And moms bread…… I’ve missed it so! Dads music, his stories…. his off the wall humor! My life is richer from having known them and they You both were truly saviors to this southern girl.
    The Vorbachs were truly Heaven sent to me and my daughter and I am so incredibly blessed to have known them. This world was truly enriched to have them and we are all poorer without them but we rejoice that now they are together again laughing loving and playing music!

  5. Uncle Jack. Would that I have been able to hug you one last time. My life was enriched when you gave me shelter and we came to know each other so much more. The world lost a most special man when you left. I know you’re reading these with a twinkle and a tear – we miss you so. Heaven certainly gained the best angels when the Vorbach men moved in. I love you Uncle Jack.

    Hugs and warm wishes to Don and Sherry.

  6. My brothers and I came to know Jack through our parents, Ernest “Red” & Ruth Ogden. Dad and Jack were fast friends, going back at least to times they shared in Forestry School at WVU, and perhaps even before that, as they had both grown up in Morgantown. They worked together at “West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company” (Westvaco) in the wood procurement office. I know that Mom mentioned sitting with Jack and Julia at various Westvaco banquet functions. I remember all the times Jack and “Red” would get together and play their banjos! I’m not sure who began playing the banjo first, but I suspect that it was Jack who enticed my father to learn to play. They surely enjoyed those times playing their banjos, traveling to WVU games and school reunions together. In his later years, when Dad would talk about Jack, he spoke of him as his closest friend, more like the brother he never had growing up. We were quite touched when he came to Frostburg not only for Dad’s funeral in 2010, but also a year later when Mom died. We remember Jack with great fondness, and send our deepest sympathies to his family. He and Dad are no doubt accompanying the angels with their banjo playing together in heaven!

  7. As a young teenager living next to the Vobachs, playing football with young Donnie, little sister yet to be born, helping Mr. Vorbach build a boat in the garage and joining all the guys playing basketball on a make shift court that often filled the air with clouds of dust they were the most gracious of neighbors as where all those living on Endler avenue. My thoughts and prayers are with you Donnie.

  8. I came to know Jack and his wife when I visited Mae Sowers in Romney. I was quite taken with his gentle caring nature when it came to the care of his wife. He always appeared as a gentle soft spoken man willing to listen and share his stories. When his wife entered the nursing home it seemed every time I went to visit Hilda Kidwell he would be by his wife’s side lovingly talking to her or at times playing music for her. What a wonderful reunion for the two of them!

  9. I’ve known Jack since he and Julia came to live in Romney just two doors away from my grandparents. They were such wonderful friends to my family through the years, and my grandparents enjoyed their company so much, as well as watching Don and Marci grow up. From earliest childhood, my sister Jane and I would spend all summer every summer here and they often came over to sit and visit in the shade of the backyard maple. Julia usually came bearing delicious foods, such as her famous pound cake! Jack was a good sport — always willing to get up and play badminton with us! I never tired of listening to his stories, of hearing his unique quiet laugh, and hearing him play that banjo! He was the last of that core group of good folks on the street that I knew and loved so well from those memorable summers of the 50’s and 60’s, and came to know and love even more as an adult when I was able to move back to Romney. Jack has flown away from us, but all whose lives were touched by him have been blessed and enriched for having known him.

  10. Jack gave my career as a forester a jump start when he hired me as a procurement forester in 1966. Until the moment of his death he was the dearest friend to the nth degree to myself and my entire family. Simply said, we loved him dearly as well as his wonderful wife and family. His passing will leave a great void in the remaining days of my life. May he rest in peace.

  11. I knew Mr. Vorbach only through Dawnview Center where his wife Julia was a patient. He was such a nice man who appreciated the care we had provided for her. He always made a point to thank us. Very saddened to hear of his passing, but gladdened that he will again be with his beloved Julia.

  12. Jack. A wonderful musician, great friend and important part of the warp and woof of life in Romney. A pleasure to have known and shared in conversations with this man. A gentle soul.
    Sincerest condolences to family.

  13. From birth, Jack & Julia were a part of my life. What a special place it was to grow up on Endler Avenue. So very many good memories. Music, airplanes & flying & a gentle spirit….
    So blessed to have known him.

  14. A wonderful man with a kind spirit and gentle manner. He was a Romney staple for such a very long time and all who knew him will miss him terribly. Our sincerest sympathy to his family.

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