Melvin L. “Mel” Mahnke, age 92, formerly of North Hudson and Watertown SD, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, December 23, 2014 at the Hudson Hospital. Mel was born on September 27, 1922 in Watertown SD to Charles and Ethel (Andree) Mahnke. Mel graduated from Watertown High School, and served his country honorably during WWII as a Sergeant in the United States Army Air Corps, serving with the 6th Emergency Rescue Squadron. On July 26, 1947, Mel was united in marriage to Beulah “Billie” Griffin. Their marriage would be blessed with three children, and over 48 years of love and devotion before Beulah’s passing in 1996.
Mel moved to the Hudson area in 1966, when he came to manage the JH Larson Company. Outside of work, Mel loved to pheasant hunt and fish. Back in Hudson, Mel enjoyed gardening and square dancing, and was an active member of the Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Hudson since it’s founding. After retirement, Mel and Beulah would winter in Mesa AZ. In later years, Mel was a resident of Pine Ridge Gardens in Hudson.
Mel is survived by his children: sons, Douglas Mahnke, and Stephen (Lynn) Mahnke; and daughter, Lesley (Jamie) Wreden; six grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; as well as many nieces and nephews, and friends. Mel was preceded in death by his wife, Beulah; his parents, Charles and Ethel; his brothers, Arthur and Donald; and a sister, Margaret Sturtz.
A gathering of family and friends will take place from 4:00-7:00pm on Tuesday, December 30th, 2014 at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home, 520 11th Street South in Hudson, WI. A Service will be held at 7:00pm on Tuesday at the funeral home. Interment will be held at 11:00am on Wednesday, December 31, at the Willow River Cemetery in Hudson. Memorials are preferred to the discretion of the family.
The family would like to thank Dr. Kristin Severson and the staff of Hudson Clinic, Hudson Hospital and Pine Ridge Gardens for their care and support.