Melvin (Mel) L. Messmer passed away in Polson at the age of 66. Mel was born in Bowman, North Dakota on Feb. 11, 1952. He moved with his family to Missoula in June 1961. He graduated from Sentinel High School and the Missoula Technical Center. From an early age, Mel followed in his father’s footsteps and learned to repair major appliances. Mel’s knowledge of repair expanded well beyond appliances, he could repair almost anything. His thirst for learning never stopped and he was a quick study.
Mel worked for Vann’s TV and Appliance in Missoula before going into partnership and starting Appliance Care in Polson. He later sold his share of Appliance Care and made the daily commute to work in Kalispell. After several years he began working for Schultz Refrigeration. One day while working on a commercial refrigeration unit, he ran into an acquaintance who had just quit his job in the maintenance department at St. Joseph Hospital. He thought Mel would be perfect for the position. Mel was hired and worked there until his retirement in 2017.
Mel was a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and was a member and Past Exulted Ruler of the Polson Elks Lodge. He enjoyed the outdoors, getting together with friends and family, garage and estate sales and tinkering with anything mechanical.
His parents, Ervin and Tillie, preceded Mel in death. Surviving Mel are his brothers Wayne (Paula), Darrell (Marlene), Keith (Elaine), four nieces, two nephews and several aunts, uncles and cousins.
He will be remembered for his willingness to help anyone, fix anything, his kindness, quiet nature, patience and his big grin.
A memorial service to remember Mel and other departed members of the Elks will be held at the Elks in Polson on Sunday, Dec. 2, at 10:30 a.m., at 512 Main Street. A private burial will be held next spring.