Melvin E. Sturdahl


Melvin E. Sturdahl, 89, a retired Building Inspector for the city of Warwick, passed away Tuesday, January 3, 2017 at the Kent Hospital. He was the husband of the late Lois T. (Leach) Sturdahl for 69 years.

Mr. Sturdahl was the first Facility Manager on the move of the Air National Guard from Hillsgrove to the old Quonset Point Naval Station. He was instrumental in providing and maintaining new buildings, pavements and grounds and all major and minor renovations. He was the first Chief Master Sergeant and Structural Superintendent of the 143 Civil Engineering Flight of the RIANG. Due to his dedication to having everyone trained to their top skill level, the Flight received its first National “Outstanding Unit Award”, under his leadership. He was the first Airman in the RIANG to receive the prestigious “Minuteman Award” from the National Guard Bureau. He also received numerous letters of commendation, citations and service awards. He was known nationwide for his expertise in the Civil Engineering Field and served for 37 years in both capacities, retiring in 1986. He was also a Navy veteran of World War II.

He was an avid bowler, wood craftsman and Union Journeyman carpenter for many years. After his retirement, he worked for the City of Warwick Building Department, as Chief Construction Inspector for 10 years. He was also a volunteer Tax Counselor for the AARP, processing Income Tax Forms for the elderly for 17 years and served on the City of Warwick Committee for the Tax Freeze for the elderly. He was a member of the William Shields American Legion Post #43, JONAH, a life member of the ANG Civil Engineering Association, a charter member, past treasurer and Gold Card of the RIANG NCO Club, National Association of Retired Federal Employees, Warwick Municipal Retirees Association, AFSME, RI National Guard Association. He was a communicant of St. Rita Church, member of its Men’s Club, past member of the Retired Enlisted Association, 6th Ward Warwick Democratic Committee and the RI Building Officials Association.

He was the beloved father Nancy L. Johnston, Michael E. Sturdahl (Claudia), Lynn M. Manns (Steve) and Diane L. Stanek (Tim); loving grandfather of Bryan, Gregory (Kendra), Patrick, Brittany, Christopher, Ashley (Cody), Jacob, Shanna and Michael (Erin); loving great grandfather of Kevin, Michael, Alexa and Gianna. He was the brother of the late John Sturdahl, Thomas Sturdahl and Edith Pouler.

His funeral will be held Monday, January 9 2017 at 9 a.m. from the Thomas & Walter Quinn Funeral Home, 2435 Warwick Avenue, Warwick, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. in St. Rita Church, Oakland Beach Ave, Warwick. Burial with Military Honors will be in the Rhode Island Veterans’ Cemetery, Exeter. Visiting hours Sunday 3-7 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, contributions to St. Rita Church 722 Oakland Beach Ave, Warwick, RI 02889, will be appreciated. Information and condolences, visit


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