Melvin V. Engelbrecht, 83, of Le Mars, died Saturday, March 11, 2006, at Floyd Valley Hospital in Le Mars.
Melvin Vernon Engelbrecht was born Nov. 2, 1922, in rural Remsen, the son of John Detlof Engelbrecht and Olea (Wevik) Engelbrecht. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Remsen. He graduated from Remsen High School in 1939. Melvin was united in marriage to Lavonne Jacobs on Feb. 21, 1946, at St. John's Lutheran Church, Preston Township, rural Akron.
After high school, Mel worked as an auto mechanic in Remsen and Le Mars, and as a mechanic for the flight training program at the Le Mars Airport. He then went to work for the Plymouth County Co-op and later joined United Wholesalers of Sioux City as a salesman and distributor. He owned and operated Le Mars Auto Parts until retiring from that business in 1984. During his retirement, he continued to work part-time serving the Sioux City customers of United Wholesalers.
Mel was a longtime member of St. John's Lutheran Church in Le Mars where he had served on the financial committee for many years. He was also a longtime member of Rotary International and had served as treasurer from 1988 to 1992. For his service to Rotary, Mel was honored with the Paul Harris Fellow for his outstanding support of Rotary International.
Mel and Lavonne were active supporters of Le Mars Community Schools and served for years on various band-parent committees and boards. Mel also enjoyed all of the reunion activities associated with the Le Mars Community Schools. As a big band fan, especially Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey, Mel particularly enjoyed the Notables reunion concerts in recent years. Traveling to visit family was an important part of Mel's retirement years and the annual family reunion week with his children and grandchildren was the highlight.
Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Lavonne, his fulltime caregiver for the past 6 years; his children, Dr. James A. and his wife Marilynn Engelbrecht of Rapid City, S.D., the Rev. Dr. Jean A. and her husband Richard Ziettlow of Tulsa, Okla., Mary O. and her husband, Rod Klemme of Menomonee Falls, Wis., and Mark M. and his wife Annie (Illiano) Engelbrecht of Brooklyn, N.Y.; grandchildren: John and his wife Tiffany (Hanson) Engelbrecht of Iowa City, Jennifer (Engelbrecht) and her husband, Kevin Kruger of Sioux Falls, S.D., Stephanie (Engelbrecht) and her husband, Michael Figge of St. Paul, Minn., the Rev. Amy Ziettlow and her husband, the Rev. Michael Karunas of Baton Rouge, La., Craig Ziettlow of Tulsa, Okla., Scott Klemme of Rockton, Ill., Katy Klemme of Madison, Wis., and Maryanne Engelbrecht of Brooklyn, N.Y.; great-grandchildren: Joshua and Adam Engelbrecht of Iowa City, and Thomas and Isabella Rose Karunas of Baton Rouge, La,
Mel was preceded in death by his parents, John and Olea Engelbrecht.
Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. John's Lutheran Church, E.L.C.A. in Le Mars with the Rev. Greg Gabriel officiating. Interment will be in Memorial Cemetery in Le Mars. Visitation will be after 3 p.m. today (Monday), at the Carlsen Funeral Home in Le Mars with the family present to greet friends after 6 p.m. followed by a 7 p.m. prayer service at the funeral home.
Pallbearers will be his grandchildren: Amy Ziettlow, John Engelbrecht, Jennifer Kruger, Craig Ziettlow, Scott Klemme, Stephanie Figge, Katy Klemme, and Maryanne Engelbrecht. Honorary pallbearers will be Ron Severson, Chuck Garvin, Kenneth Farmer, and Dave Morgenthaler.
Condolences may be viewed at www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.