Melvin Arthur Ahrendsen was born June 13, 1927 in Le Mars, the son of Nis and Josephine (Karli) Ahrendsen. He lived with his parents and sister outside of Merrill. After receiving his education in Merrill, Melvin joined the Army Air Corp in 1944. He was honorably discharged in 1945 at which time he joined the Navy and served until 1946. After attending Morningside College in Sioux City, Melvin and his father formed a farming partnership.
On Oct. 8, 1952, he married Marion Miller at St. Joseph's Catholic Church - Ellendale. They made their home near Merrill where he continued farming until his retirement.
Melvin was a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Le Mars and was a 57-year member of the Oleson-Halweg Post No. 125 of the American Legion.
Melvin was an avid hockey fan. He followed the Sioux City Musketeers faithfully for many years. Melvin also enjoyed the rodeo and he loved to travel.
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Marion Ahrendsen of Le Mars; five sons: Doug Ahrendsen and his wife Theresa of Orofino, Idaho, Gordon Ahrendsen and his wife Pat of Omaha, Neb., Bruce Ahrendsen and his wife Sharon of Cypress, Texas, Greg Ahrendsen and his partner Deb of Merrill, Steve Ahrendsen and his wife Nita of Merrill; three daughters: Sheila Ahrendsen, Susan Ahrendsen, and Sandra Vanderloo and her husband Jarrod, all of Le Mars; seven grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; two greatstep-grandchildren; a sister Mildred Kurtz of Kingsley; a sister-in-law Patricia Miller of Sioux City; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents Nis and Josephine Ahrendsen; a son Keith Lee and a brother, Bernhart, both in infancy; and a brother-in-law Laverne Kurtz.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Le Mars, with the Rev. Kevin Richter officiating. Burial will follow in St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery -- Ellendale, with military honors provided by the American Legion, Olson-Halweg Post 125 of Merrill.
Visitation will be anytime after 3 p.m. Wednesday at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Le Mars, where there will be a rosary at 4 p.m. and a vigil prayer service at 7 p.m. Visitation will also be Thursday morning at the church for one hour prior to the funeral.
The Feuerstein Funeral Home in Le Mars is in charge of arrangements for Melvin Ahrendsen.