Melvin Frederick Monke was born Oct. 4, 1914, at Avoca, Minn., the son of Edward and Dora (Schwede) Monke. He moved with his parents to a farm near Le Mars in 1929. Melvin received his education at the Union Consolidated School.
In 1936, Melvin moved to Garretson, S.D., where he worked as a hired hand until he was drafted by the United States Army for military service in 1941. Following World War II he made his home in Kingsley.
On Jan. 1, 1945, Melvin and Phyllis Kurtz were united in marriage at the Kurtz home in Kingsley. The couple made their home on a farm near Pierson. They retired from farming and moved to Kingsley in 1981.
Melvin was a member of the Church of the Brethren where he served in various positions as well as a deacon for many years. He also served on the Pierson Farmers' Elevator Board for several years and had served as a member of the Woodbury County Extension Council, Farm Bureau member, and an A.S.C.S. Committee member. He volunteered his spare time with Meals on Wheels and the Alzheimer's Association.
He will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 63 years Phyllis of Kingsley; a daughter, Judy Watts and her husband Les of Des Moines; a son Lowell Monke and his wife Julie of Springfield, Ohio; grandchildren Mitchell and Benjamin Monke of Springfield, Ohio, JoEllen Watts, Jackie Watts and Bill Schaefer of Des Moines; great-grandchildren Maria, Katherine and Michael Diaz of Des Moines, Madeleine and Amelia Watts of Dallas, Texas; a sister, Edna Leister of Worthington, Minn.; sisters-in-law Gladys Graham and Mildred Kurtz both of Kingsley; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother Virgil Monke; sisters-in-law Estelle Hendricks and her husband Francis; brothers -in-law Harold "Hap" Graham, Laverne Kurtz, Emery Kurtz and his wife Muriel; and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Kingsley. The Rev. Robert Blair will officiate. Burial will follow at the Kingsley Cemetery. Visitation will begin at 2 p.m. today (Monday) at the Johnson - Earnest Funeral Home of Kingsley. The family will be present from 6 to 8 p.m. with a prayer service at 7 p.m. There will also be one hour of visitation at the church prior to the funeral on Tuesday.
Expressions of sympathy may be directed through www.mauerjohnsonfh.com