Mr. Melton served as a Democratic representative from the 196th District, in North Philadelphia, from Jan. 7, 1969, to Nov. 30, 1972.
He helped organize the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus in 1969.
Ronald R. Donatucci, a former state legislator and the city's register of wills, said he remembered Mr. Melton as a real gentleman.
"Mitch was very intelligent and very astute, and when he was a state representative, he was on the cutting edge of legislation.
"He truly represented the constituents and the citizens of Philadelphia. He was never nasty, and he was a pleasure to be around. I was saddened to see he had passed away."
Donatucci said Mr. Melton was a devout man who believed "everybody should have a fair shot."
"He was the type of guy who'd take money out of pocket for someone," Donatucci said. "God bless him, and may he rest in peace."
Mr. Melton wrote and sponsored a bill that provides for a moment of silent prayer and meditation in public schools at the beginning of the day for those who wish to pray. The bill became law Dec. 6, 1972.
He also wrote and sponsored a bill that says anyone found guilty of a motor-vehicle code infraction and sentenced to pay a fine would be given seven days to pay before being imprisoned. The bill became law July 29, 1971.
Mr. Melton introduced many bills during his tenure, his family said. He also was able to get scholarships for aspiring college students and helped constituents obtain employment.
Mr. Melton was deeply religious, even as a boy. He became a member of Morris Brown A.M.E. Church and was later a steward, or officer of the church, as well as a member of the choir and male chorus.
He spent time as a Boy Scout master. He was a member of the Chestnut Hill Community Association and was serving as a member of the Mount Airy Learning Tree, which organizes classes for the community.
He married the former Evelyn Grace Riddick in 1962.
Known for his Fourth of July cookouts and picture-taking, he would always announce before snapping the shutter: "Moisten your lips, folks."
"The pictures always came out really nicely," his wife said.
In addition to his wife of 51 years, Mr. Melton is survived by sons Tyrone Eugene and Kevin Mitch; a daughter, Donna Marie Russell; two grandchildren; his mother, Ethel Melton; a sister; and nieces and nephews.
The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 19, at Morris Brown A.M.E. Church, 1756 N. 25th St., Philadelphia. A viewing will be at 9 a.m. Burial will be in Chelten Hills Cemetery.
Contact Bonnie L. Cook
at 215-854-2611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.