Melvin P. “Mel” Schaefer, 56

Melvin SchaeferMelvin P. “Mel” Schaefer, age 56 of Melrose, died peacefully on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at his home in Melrose, Minnesota after a long battle with brain tumors.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, July 26 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Melrose with Rev. Marvin Enneking officiating. Interment will follow in the parish cemetery. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday and from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Patton-Schad Funeral Home in Melrose. Parish prayers will be at 7:00 Thursday evening.

Melvin Paul Schaefer was born April 26, 1957 in St. Cloud, Minnesota to Arthur and Charlotte (Neddo) Schaefer and grew up in Waite Park. In August of 1976 he married Karen Aronson. They had three children, Ben, Jillian, and Jon and later divorced. He moved to Melrose in July of 1984. On November 24, 1984 he married Julie Schad at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Melrose. They had one son, Joey. Mel owned and operated South Meadows Marine until 2000. He was employed by Felling Trailers in Sauk Centre for several years and by Breitbach Construction for 13 years. He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

When Mel wasn’t working, he was still working. He loved to work on small engines and repaired many lawn mowers, snowblowers and boat motors for people. He plowed snow in the winter, sometimes until 2:00 a. m. and loved every minute of it. In September, 1988, Mel was diagnosed with what was to be the first of several brain tumors. During the next 26 years, Mel fought an amazing battle against this beast. He underwent three brain surgeries, six weeks of daily radiation treatments, two gamma radiation procedures and many, many weeks of chemotherapy. He never complained about anything, and when the doctor told him he would be in the hospital for a month or more, he smiled and came home in 7 days. Mel loved to work. He loved spending time with his kids, playing cards and playing the penny slots. More than anything, our Melsie loved to hunt. He looked forward to being in the woods with his boys every November, always seeming to have a great story about how he got the biggest buck. In April of 2013, a checkup showed that his tumors had begun to grow again, and that a new one had appeared. Again, Mel never complained. He just continued to fight until he just couldn’t anymore. Mel was and always will be, the bravest and strongest man I’ve ever known. He was a great husband, father and grandfather and will be missed by everyone that has ever known him. Rest easy, our Melsie, you gave it one helluva fight.

Survivors include his wife, Julie Schaefer of Melrose; children, Ben (Lane) Schaefer of Sauk Centre, Jon (Jessica) Schaefer of St. Cloud, Jillian (J.J.) Megge of South Lyon, MI, and Joey (fiancé, Jenna Burns) Schaefer of St. Cloud; grandson, Jordan Schaefer; father, Arthur “Art” Schaefer of St. Cloud; brothers and sisters, Sharon Pippo of Shakopee, Dan Schaefer of St. Cloud, Mike (Karen) Schaefer of Richmond, Kathy Grabowski of Myrtle Beach, SC, Connie (Jay) Petermeier of Melrose, and Rebecca St. John of Long Beach, CA; and several nieces and nephews.

Mel was preceded in death by his mother, Charlotte Schaefer; and father-in-law, Bernie Schad.

Serving as casket bearers will be Jay Petermeier, Kelly Kruchten, Brandon Sawyer, Trevor Sawyer, Bob Miller, and Mike Cook. Cross bearer will be Leigh Floersch, and scripture bearer will be Gavin Sawyer. Gift bearers will be Gracie, Logan, and Samantha Schad. Readers will be Connie Petermeier and Jenna Burns. Petitions will be read by Pat Schad. Eucharistic Minister will be Deb Duclos. Eulogies will be read by J.J. Megge and Gracie Schad.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.

Arrangements were with Patton-Schad Funeral & Cremation Services of Melrose.