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Melvin Lawrence DeFleur

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Melvin Lawrence DeFleur Obituary
Melvin Lawrence DeFleur, renowned Mass Communication scholar and distinguished professor at the Manship School at Louisiana State University, passed away in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on February 13, 2017. He was 93. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Margaret Hanus DeFleur, also a professor of Mass Communication at the Manship School. DeFleur is also survived by his stepson Michael Kubecka (Maria Dulmage). DeFleur was a pioneer in Mass Communication theory and research and made significant contributions to the disciplines of sociology and psychology. He wrote numerous articles and more than a dozen books, some of which were translated into multiple languages. His book _Milestones in Mass Communication Research_ was honored by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication as one of the ten most significant books of the twentieth century. DeFleur's many awards included the prestigious Paul J. Deutschmann Award for Excellence in Research, which recognizes a body of significant research over a career. The "Melvin L. DeFleur Distinguished Lecture Series" established at Boston University, recognizes his foundational contributions to Mass Communication research. Born in Portland, Oregon, DeFleur was orphaned at a young age. After limited schooling, he left the orphanage to pursue opportunities as a crew member aboard a tug boat on the Columbia River. Ever restless, DeFleur joined the US Marine Corps before the outbreak of WW II. He quickly rose to the rank of Sergeant, participating in combat against Japanese forces on Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Guam and Iwo Jima. At the end of the war, DeFleur and a force of US Marines were called to put down an uprising at Alcatraz Prison.The horrors of war led DeFleur to further his education and become a social scientist to better society. Later he received his B.A. from St. Louis University, followed by an M.S. and Ph.D from the University of Washington. He served on the faculties of Indiana University, the University of Kentucky, Washington State University, the University of New Mexico, the University of Miami, Syracuse University and Boston University. DeFleur turned his PhD dissertation exploring the optimum use of airborne leaflets into an opportunity to learn to fly, as he blanketed small towns in Washington state with thousands of leaflets from a small plane. He later earned a commercial pilot's license. He was also an avid sailor, fisherman and painter. Visitation will be held at Resthaven Gardens of Memory and Funeral Home, 11817 Jefferson Hwy, Baton Rouge, LA on Sunday, February 19, 2017 from 6:00pm until 8:00pm. Visitation will resume on Monday, February 20, 2017 at Resthaven Gardens of Memory and Funeral Home from 10:00am until funeral service at 11:00am. The family wishes to extend sincere thanks to Clarity Hospice of Baton Rouge and its dedicated, compassionate staff, all of whom treated DeFleur as though a member of their own family. Family and friends may sign the online guestbook or leave a personal note at www.resthavenbatonrouge.com.
Published in TheAdvocate.com from Feb. 16 to Feb. 20, 2017
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