Gary Melin, age 82, of Danube, MN died peacefully surrounded by his family on Friday, August 4, 2023 at his home. The Celebration of Resurrection will be on Tuesday, August 8, 2023 at 11 a.m. at Cross of Calvary Lutheran Church in Olivia with Rev. Matt Hausken officiating. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery, Renville, MN at a later date. Visitation is for one hour prior to the service at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Gift of Life Transplant House or Next Chapter Ministries. Arrangements are by Dirks-Blem Funeral Service, Olivia, MN.
Gary Howard Melin was born November 11, 1940 at home during the Armistice Day blizzard, in Appleton, MN to Walter and Charlotte (Howard) Melin. Gary graduated from Appleton High School in 1958. He attended college, studying interior and exterior building design. Gary was an entrepreneur. He first owned and operated a trucking company, then a cleaning company, and later started GDM Trailer Sales retiring on November 1, 2020. Gary was the longest living heart transplant recipient from the Mayo clinic, 34 years, due to the generosity of Ken and Penny Palmersheim, the donor’s parents. Gary married Eileen Jacobs on September 26, 1998 at First Lutheran Church in Renville. He enjoyed playing cards, trips with the motorhome, riding motorcycle, and driving on the back roads. Gary had regular coffee dates with multiple friend groups, kept his extended family connected and was always willing to have a conversation with strangers and friends alike, he loved to share his faith with everyone he met. He was active in several bible studies. Gary was a member of the Danube Lions Club, Grace Community Church, Rochester Area Builders, United Trailers Dealer Council, Mayor Transit Advisory Council, SE Neighborhood Association and National Association of Carpet Cleaners. And was a founding Board Member for Next Chapter Ministries in Rochester, a nonprofit that supports people impacted by the cycle of incarceration.
Gary is survived by his wife, Eileen Jacobs-Melin of Danube; his two step children, Tanya (Chad) Hanson and Eric (Holly) Malecek, his four children: Matthew, Gabrielle, Peder, Chanel Melin; his grandchildren, Gabrielle (Dakota) Rognlie, Benny Garcia, Zachary Malecek, Ariel (Takota) Discher, Kisha Malecek, and 7 great grandchildren; his two brothers: Dennis (Nancee) Melin of Tucson, AZ and Dr. Richard (Sally) Melin of Shirley, AK; and many nieces and nephews. Gary was preceded in death by his parents.
Blessed Be His Memory
Dirks-Blem Funeral Service, Olivia, MN