Melvin Theodore Neu, 90, of Bismarck, passed away on Friday April 28th, 2017, at the North Dakota Veterans Hospital in Fargo, N.D. A celebration of Mel’s life will be held at Lutheran Church of the Cross, 1004 East Highland Acres Road, Bismarck, on Friday, May 5. Visitation will be held at 9 a.m., with service to follow at 10 a.m. Interment will be at 1 p.m. at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery in Mandan, N.D.
Mel was born on July 1, 1926 in Pelican Rapids, Minn. to Charles and Teresa (Wilschewski) Neu where he grew up on the family’s dairy farm. In 1950 Mel joined the Minnesota Army National Guard, Heavy Mortar Company, 136th Infantry Regiment, in Detroit Lakes, Minn. and served his country from 1951 to1952 in the 3rd MP Service Company in Korea. Mel was honorably discharged in September of 1952 and returned to Pelican Rapids. On March 22, 1953 Mel was united in marriage to JoAnn Larson also of Pelican Rapids.
Mel and JoAnn began their lives together farming near Pelican Rapids and eventually moved to Moorhead, Minn. with their five children, where he began a twenty year career at St. Ansgar Hospital in boiler operations and facility maintenance. Upon retirement, Mel and JoAnn returned to the West Silent Lake in Minnesota and lived full-time in the lake home he had built. Mel and JoAnn eventually settling in 2011 in Bismarck after leaving the lake for an extended 14 year “winter stay” in Dandridge, Tenn.
Mel was quiet and kind, as well as a very social man. No matter where he was, he engaged in a conversation with the person next to him, whether it was on the bench at the local store (patiently waiting) for shopping to be done; with his neighbors; or at an event of his children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren. His passions were his children, always wanting them to do better and grow up to be nice people; photography that left a history of family and friends; helping his neighbors and friends, including his kids’ friends fixing everything in the garage that was affectionately call “Mel’s Repair”. Mel, Dad and Grandpa left a legacy of birdhouses; gardening lessons; friendships and grandchild that learned how to fish.
Mel is survived by his wife, JoAnn of 64 years; his children Steven (Cheryl) of Bismarck, N.D., Gary (Muriel) of Frazee, Minn., Cindy (David) French of Grand Forks, N.D., Wayne (Michelle) of San Marcos, Calif., and Laurie (Rick) Everson of Firestone, CO; 14 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.
Preceding Mel in death are his parents, Charles and Teresa; his sister, Lorraine; his brother, Earl; and niece, Betty Neu.
In lieu of flowers, the family wishes remembrances be given in Mel’s name to the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery Foundation or the North Dakota Cancer Society.
Those wishing to sign the online register book or leave a message of condolence please go to www.bismarckfuneralhome.com.