The passing of an OBX original—Delbert Melton

By on March 15, 2023

Delbert Melton. (Photo courtesy Ben Sproul)

The Outer Banks is mourning the death and celebrating the life of Delbert Melton today.

In a March 15 Facebook post, Kill Devil Hills Mayor Ben Sproul, used the words, “Man. Myth. Legend” to describe him, writing that, “Many an amazing tale will be retold today, as the world reverberates with this tremendous loss. The biggest heart and a bigger personality dominated lineups up and down the OBX for decades – profoundly influencing generations of groms, salty surfers, and innocent bystanders alike.”

In a 2016 story on the Outer Banks Voice, Author Russ Lay characterized him as “the kind of non-conformist, drop-out-of-society soul who regularly washed up on our shores and became part of the unique fabric of our community. Sporting a pirate’s-length beard, working odd jobs to earn just enough money to surf and keep a minimal roof over his head and flouting society’s idea of ‘normal,’ all Melton asked was that people leave him alone.”

The Voice is working on a fuller remembrance of Delbert Melton.



Barnhill Building Group has been selected as the Construction Manager @ Risk by the College of the Albemarle and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade contractors to submit bids for the furnishing labor, materials, equipment, and tools for the new College of The Albemarle – Allied Health Sciences Simulation Lab (COA Health Sciences) located in Elizabeth City, NC. Please note: Only subcontractors who have been prequalified by Barnhill will be able to submit a Bid.

The project consists of the new construction of a 38,000-sf, 2-story expansion to the existing Owens Health Sciences Center and will house classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab. The site is just over just over 4.5 acres and is located on an active campus. This new construction will be a steel structure with a brick and metal panel veneer, curtainwall, and storefront glazing with a PVC roof membrane.

Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages:

BP0100: General Trades

BP0105: Final Cleaning

BP0390: Turnkey Concrete

BP0400: Turnkey Masonry

BP0500: Structural Steel & Misc. Steel

BP0740: Roofing

BP0750: Metal Panels

BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

BP0840: Glass & Glazing

BP0925: Drywall

BP0960: Resilient Flooring

BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

BP1010: Signage

BP1098: Demountable Partitions

BP1230: Finish Carpentry and Casework

BP1250: Window Treatment

BP1400: Elevators

BP2100: Fire Protection

BP2200: Plumbing

BP2300: HVAC

BP2600: Turnkey Electrical

BP3100: Turnkey Sitework

BP3290: Landscaping

Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business firms are encouraged to complete participation submittals.

HUB/MWBE OUTREACH MEETING: Barnhill Building Group will be conducting a HUB/MWBE Informational Session. You are encouraged to attend the following session to learn more about project participation opportunities available to you. These seminars will help to: Learn about project and scope; Inform and train Minority/HUB contractors in preparation for bidding this project; Assist in registration on the State of North Carolina Vendor link; Stimulate opportunities for Networking with other firms. Location and time TBD. Please visit our planroom at for more information.

Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals, by July 22, 2024, to Meredith Terrell at or hardcopies can be mailed to Barnhill Contracting Company PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612).



  • Chris Smith


    Wednesday, Mar 15 @ 8:24 pm
  • Matt

    Delbert was a special guy. We shared an afternoon of perfect waves on a newly building swell one summer afternoon around 20 years ago. We were not friends and I only saw him in the water once or twice after that but I always remembered him being a special person and one of a kind.

    Wednesday, Mar 15 @ 9:13 pm
  • Liz

    For anyone interested, type Delbert Melton in the search window at the top of the page. That will bring up several pieces about Delbert, including the one by Russ Lay mentioned in this article.

    Yes, the Outer Banks has lost another character. Being called a character is a high compliment!

    Thursday, Mar 16 @ 8:27 am
  • George Lamb

    Dilbert always kind, giving, gentle and willing to offer his wisdom to everyone! First time I met Delbert in the 70s he offered me a sandwich and a beer, he not have much but always give! Later he moved to Hatteras Village and he share a custom Brewer stinger to me for two weeks till I get mine fixed. I get double fisted handshakes from that guy every time I saw him. Many stories pass by till i with my kids run into him singing in the E Martin access shower. He with fur all covered in suds go out with me for evening session (as joke I asked) “Let’s Go”… He did, all soapy! Though our meetings were randomly, double fisted, handshakes and gentle bear hugs alway offered and now missing… Till we meet again! A Brother Always!

    Thursday, Mar 16 @ 8:41 am
  • Human Utensil for the Rich

    I have been a Outer Banks Surf Troll since 1975.
    Shared many waves and laughs with Delbert when he lived on Hatteras Island.
    He could be an intimidating beast one moment, changing to the gentle giant the next, depending on what the situation called for.
    And, as all who knew of him, he did not worship gold!

    Thursday, Mar 16 @ 9:15 am
  • Sandflea

    Sorry to hear.
    Anyone know how old he was?

    Thursday, Mar 16 @ 9:21 am
  • M

    Met him in the water when I was 8 years old and was lucky to surf with him into my 20s. A living icon. Lived a peaceful life. RIP king! You will be missed greatly.

    Thursday, Mar 16 @ 11:54 am
  • Dave

    Legends in the lineup never die! “OUTSIDE BOYS, OUTSIDE!”

    Thursday, Mar 16 @ 2:13 pm