Obit: Mech, Melvin E. (1920 - 2006)
Contact:  Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Mech, Kraut, Beyer, Seipel, Berger, Horehled

----Sources: Clark County Press (Neillsville, WI) March 22, 2006

Mech, Melvin E. (August 24, 1920 - March 14, 2006)

Melvin E. Mech, age 85, passed away on March 14, 2006 at Colonial Manor Medical and Rehabilitation Center.

He was born on August 24, 1920 in Bonduel, WI the son of Theodore W. and Amanda (Kraut) Mech. Melvin was united in marriage to Alma Beyer on January 4, 1941. They enjoyed 54 years of marriage before she preceded him in death in 1995.

Melvin’s father owned a cheese factory, so he was brought up in the dairy business. After attending college for two years at the UW-Stevens Point, he transferred to the University of Wisconsin—Madison, where he completed the Dairy Manufacturing Short Course, majoring in cheese and butter. He was employed at a Dakota, IL cheese factory making experimental types of cheese for Kraft, specifically Iowa State College Swiss and Dairy Brick, until contacted through Dr. Walter V. Price of the University of Wisconsin by the Federal Securities Agencies, for whom he began work setting up and managing a dairy school in Kansas.

In October of 1942 he attended St. Louis University and completed the Army Air Force Instructors School. He spent two years teaching Radar for the U. S. Army Air Forces’ War Technical Schools in Night Fighter Radar. He then left to join the Navy’s Ship Repair Unit, but was assigned as an instructor teaching all airborne radar at Corpus Christi, Texas. He served in this capacity until his discharge in April of 1946.

After service in the U. S. Navy, he returned to Wisconsin and worked as a dairy plant field man for Blue Moon Foods, Inc. at Owen, for several years before he became manager and head cheese maker of the plant. Following several years in this position, he left to enter the dairy products procurement field for a large butter concern in southern Wisconsin. After three years there he decided to accept the challenge of entering the new field of insurance and combined a career of sales and management. He completed the following Insurance Educational Courses: FICI, FICII, LUTCI and LUTCII. He was licensed in all insurance lines in Wisconsin, and in life and health insurance in Minnesota. He spent twenty-years in the insurance business, his career spanning Agent, District Agent, Brokerage Supervisor, General Agent of Central Wisconsin and Upper Michigan and Independent Owner-Operator of his own insurance agency selling all lines of coverage.

He retained an interest in the dairy industry and returned to it in 1979 in northern Illinois working as a specialist in Ice Cream and Milk Products. In 1980, he returned to Wisconsin as Plant Superintendent of the Dairy at Thorp, Wisconsin for Foremost Blue Moon Cheese, Inc. His experience covered all types of Cheddar, Colby Stirred Curd, Swiss, Bleu and Gorgonzola Cheese and Butter operations. He also graded all cheese, foreign and domestic for Figi’s Gifts, Inc. of Marshfield from April 1992 through October 1993. He worked as a Dairy Products Inspector for the USDA from October 1993 through December 1994.

His interests included: duck hunting along the Mississippi River, golf, making award winning maple syrup and dancing with his life-long dance partner, Alma!

He is survived by his son, William (Diane) Mech, of Milwaukee; a daughter, Helen (Thomas) Seipel, of Sun Prairie; a daughter-in-law, Trudy Mech, of Williamsburg, NM; a brother, Robert (Ethel) Mech, of Kenosha; a brother-in-law, Arvid Berger, of Neillsville; seven grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his beloved wife; his son, Dennis Mech; his sister, Jean; and three sisters-in-law, Elaine Mech, Vivian Horehled and Marian Berger; and a brother-in-law, Ernest Horehled.

Funeral services were held Saturday, March 18, at the Gesche Funeral home in Neillsville, Wis. Pastor John Trewyn officiated. Music was provided by Eileen Zank organist. Interment was in the Neillsville City Cemetery with Military Rites accorded by the Neillsville Veterans Council.

Casket bearers were: William Mech, Jimmy Mech, Ben Seipel and Thomas Seipel.

The family would like to thank the staff of Colonial Manor Medical and Rehabiltation Center, the staff of Aspirus Hospice and all his caregivers at the Riverview Towers in Wausau, WI.

The Gesche Funeral Home assisted Melvin’s family with funeral arrangements.



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