CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Voting is something Don Mellor takes seriously.
The 101-year-old Cranston resident tells 12 News it’s also a civic duty that he finds most exciting.
“I like the privilege of voting,” Mellor said. “I like to know that no one knows who I am going to vote for … I can change my mind right up until the very end.”
Mellor, a World War II veteran, has been alive for 19 United States presidencies.
This was the first year he decided to participate in early voting.
“Years ago, when you voted, you had to pull the curtain around [you],” he recalled. “I can tell you, “Oh yeah, I’m with you 100%,’ but then I go behind that curtain and you don’t know [who I’m voting for].'”
12 News first met Mellor back in December 2020, when he and his wife Helen celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary.
When asked if he ever told his wife who he voted for, Don said: “Of course.”
And while Helen also told him who she voted for, Don said the two rarely saw eye to eye.
“We never agreed,” he said with a chuckle.
Helen was 98 years old when she passed away back in March.
The couple met at a party for a mutual friend who was going into the service. Helen went on to serve stateside in the U.S. Coast Guard, while Don served in the U.S. Navy on the battle-tested U.S.S. Hopewell.
Don tells 12 News he thinks of Helen every minute of every day.
“I can’t wait to meet her again,” he said, tearfully thinking of his wife.
The Mellor children recently wrote a book about their father, titled “Committed: Lessons from A 101-year-old Tin Can Soldier.”
The book, which looks back on his life and experiences, is available at the Cranston Public Library, where Don worked for years after retiring from the Navy.
In honor of his service, Don has also been chosen to serve as the grand marshal of the city’s Veteran’s Day Parade on Nov. 11.