Henry Mellynchuk Jr. ... enjoyed sailing, playing guitar; at 59

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Henry Thomas Mellynchuk Jr., 59, died on May 1, 2024 in the arms of his wife Jess, son Tristan and daughter Anna.

Henry, affectionately known to his family as Junior, was born on February 17, 1965 in Massapequa, New York to Henry (Hank) and Sandra (Sandie) Mellynchuk and welcomed by his older siblings Scott and Sissy. Three years later he was joined by his brother Mark. Henry was an excellent student and athlete, playing lacrosse and club football for four years. He graduated from Wantagh High School in 1983. Henry entered the University of New Hampshire as a freshman that year and became a brother at the Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity. As his fellow brothers noted, Henry stood out as a much needed tall, dark, handsome guy from New York in a group of New Hampshire woodsmen, ROTC, prepsters and dead heads. Nobody in the house had a cooler presence, a sense of style with funky patterned shirts, and bonding charisma than Henry. He brought a touch of class, tons of smiles, hearty laughs and a thoughtful edge to the fraternity while sharing a passion for his studies in geology, earth science and marine biology. This combination was the beauty of Henry.

Throughout his college years and into adulthood Henry always had friends, lots of them. His pleasant, easygoing, unassuming demeanor, inquisitive nature and accepting personality made him a friend to all. If you needed him he was there. If you just needed a sympathetic ear he would listen. At the same time, he was comfortable sharing his insightful, thoughtful and unique observations of the world around him. He was that rare type of person that everyone wishes they knew, and if they did, cherishes.

Henry graduated from UNH in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. Following graduation he traveled to New Zealand where he spent several months backpacking and working at local businesses and family farms, playing his guitar often to make spare change, making friends along the way and bungy jumping 134 meters off the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge in Queenstown, simply to enjoy his freedom and celebrate his fearlessness. Henry returned to Portsmouth in 1989 where he met and later married Justine in 1994. They raised two beautiful and loving children, Tristan and Anna. In the 1990's, using his geology degree, Henry began his career working at environmental consulting and engineering firms in Massachusetts and New Hampshire with a focus on performing site investigations, remediation and natural resource assessments. In later years his career took another path and he joined the KMK family, eventually earning the title of senior estimator and project manager for federal construction worksites.

Henry's zest for life and sense of adventure was ever present. Between 1994 to 2006 Henry was a crew member on the sailboat Veladare. He competed in multiple races including Newport to Bermuda, Marblehead to Halifax and The Figawi Race -Nantucket. He was playfully referred to as Captain Jack Sparrow and the only crew member to ever fall off the boat which most likely led to his early retirement from racing. In later years he owned a 30 foot Catalina named 'Dark'N'Stormy', and more recently, a Boston Whaler named 'I'm Just Sayin'. Henry loved to drop an anchor and cast his fishing pole into any body of water where the fish were biting. He equally loved the thrill of rising before dawn to watch the sunrise while fly fishing in Sagamore Creek at the Wentworth Coolidge House. Henry also loved the mountains. He hiked and climbed all 48 of the New Hampshire peaks over 4000', some solo, and others with Jess, Tristan and Sadie, becoming a member of the 4000 Footers Club. Wherever he hiked he enjoyed identifying rock and cloud formations, bird species, flowers and mushrooms. In April 2022 he embarked on a four month journey in a Ford transit van that he customized himself. He traveled along the eastern coast to South Carolina, west to Arizona, then north through Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, returning east on route 90 having achieved his goal of exploring as many national parks and monuments as possible, all of which are captured in his photographic art.

Henry also played the guitar and wrote music prolifically. In high school he taught himself to play, often taking the train alone into New York City where he would find a bench and put his hat out. While at UNH his love of music, guitar playing and songwriting made him a joy to be around. It was easy for brothers and friends to gather together on TKE's front porch to listen to Henry while relaxing between classes and studying. He wrote some amazing originals and even made an album with friends entitled Limbo Chefs. His love of music lasted throughout his life.

Henry was a jack of all trades and master of many. He was a DIY enthusiast long before it became trendy. Whether it was carpentry, electrical work, plumbing, sheet rocking, siding, irrigation, landscaping, tree care, automotive or boat maintenance and repair, he was methodical, clever and creative. And although his approach was often to "sit back, have a beer and think about it" he always got the job done. Henry was also a fantastic chef. He cooked with love especially for his daughter Anna. Daddy's Famous Chicken was a labor intensive and family favorite, and his seafood and salmon stews could have been marketed to any of the local restaurants in Portsmouth. He was a member of the Elks Club for close to thirty years, and in more recent years, the Portsmouth Conservation Committee. And, of course, he was a loyal New England sports fan of the Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics. He especially looked forward to game afternoons and nights with Tristan and Brynn. One of his greatest thrills in life was taking Tristan to Game 2 of the 2018 World Series against the Dodgers at Fenway Park. Henry truly lived a fuller and more fulfilling life than most of us could even imagine. He was a true renaissance man.

In 1993 Henry was diagnosed with cancer. Over the next three decades he submitted himself to treatments and surgeries with often long periods of remissions and good health. In 2015 over the course of several months of chemotherapy and radiation Henry would wake up long before dawn to drive himself to Dana Farber in Boston, return to the seacoast to work a full day and then return home to manage his household, walk Sadie and spend time with his children. He never bemoaned his misfortune. Nor did he let the disease define who he was. That same year Jess came into his life and from that point on they became a team who complemented and cared for one another. Eventually, they moved into their beautiful, peaceful new home where Henry continued making music, walking their dogs Sadie and Lola on nearby trails and enjoying the outdoors and nature around him. In April of this year they drove to Colebrook, NH together to witness the totality of the solar eclipse which Henry considered the celestial event of a lifetime. Our hearts are broken and our lives will never be the same without Henry to share life with.

Henry is survived by his wife Jessica Titus, children Tristan and Anna Mellynchuk, father Henry Mellynchuk, sister Julia (Sissy) Bailey, brothers Scott (Kathy) and Mark (Sonja) Mellynchuk, Jess's children Brynn and Emmy Van Dorn, many nieces and nephews, and faithful companions, Sadie and Lola.

Henry was predeceased by his mother, Sandie Mellynchuk, in 2009.

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