Obituary: Dr. Julian Ramsey Mellette, Jr.

Dr. Julian Ramsey Mellette, Jr.

June 27, 1939 – December 31, 2022

Dr. Julian Ramsey Mellette, Jr. passed away peacefully at his home in Snowmass, Colorado on December 31, 2022, at the age of 83. He was born June 27, 1939 in Timmonsville, South Carolina and was the son of Julian Ramsey Mellette, Sr. and Mary (Brown) Mellette. 

Ramsey graduated from Wofford College, Class of 1961. After graduation, he was an Intelligence Research Officer with the U.S. Army Intelligence and Special Agent in charge of the Atlanta Field Office. He then decided to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor and received his Medical Degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1969. Dr. Mellette completed his internship and dermatology residency at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Colorado, 1973-1976. He was also U.S. Army Airborne at Fort Benning in Georgia, Special Forces Officer at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Flight Surgeon at the Naval Aeromedical Institute at Pensacola, Florida as well as Chief of Aerospace Medical Service at Lyster Army Hospital at Fort Rucker, Alabama. In 1981, he completed the American College of Mohs Surgery Fellowship in Mohs Chemosurgery at the University of Tennessee, and was a fellow with the American College of Mohs Surgery (ACMS), and Chief of Dermatology and Residency Program Director at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Colorado. Dr. Mellette began practicing at Roaring Fork Dermatology in Basalt, Colorado in 1984.

In 1990, after 25 years in the military, Dr. Mellette retired as a U.S. Army Colonel. During his military career he received: Special Award of Academic Excellence by Surgeon General of the U.S. Army, Order of Military Medical Merit and Legion of Merit. He was also Brigadier General of Joint Services Detachment in South Carolina, where he received the South Carolina Military Department Meritorious Service Medal. 

After his military retirement, Dr. Mellette was Clinical Assistant Professor, Associate Professor of Dermatology, Professor of Dermatology and Director of Dermatologic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology with the University of Colorado, School of Medicine in the Department of Dermatology. He was Fellowship Director at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where he trained 21 fellows. 

Dr. Mellette was a prolific speaker with 234 presentations on skin cancer surgery and surgical reconstruction at national and international meetings. He has published 35 journal articles, 14 book chapters and co-authored a textbook on “Flaps & Grafts in Dermatologic Surgery,” and “Mellette’s Color Atlas of Reconstructive Surgery” is in process.

In 2015, he ended his career as President of American College of Mohs Surgery and was presented the prestigious “Frederic E. Mohs, MD Award for Career Achievement.”

Dr. Mellette, known to his family as “Pops,” enjoyed spending time with his family. His friends and family were the frequent recipients of Pops and Betty’s gifts of generosity and hospitality at “The Great House” in Old Snowmass. He was the life of the party and could often be found surrounded by friends and colleagues while holding court in lively, engaging conversation, and never missed a hearty debate about carbs and religion. He was an avid skier, golfer, and pilot.

Pops is survived by his wife Elizabeth “Betty” Mellette of 32 years; and his children, Julian Ramsey (Danielle Kaplowitz) Mellette III and daughter Elizabeth Ritland. His four grandchildren: Brett, William, Jonah, and Maisie. His sister Elizabeth (Cary) Andrews of Florence, SC, and many loving nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Pops is predeceased by his beloved son Bradford Heyward Mellette in 1999, sister Jane Mellette Lester in 2020, and Ramsey III and Bradford’s mother, Sonja Mellette Capra in 2019.

Memorial services will be held in the Spring, 2023, date to be announced.

Although he will be greatly missed, we find solace in a long and well-lived life. 

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