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category: Obituary, date: 2014-11-29, by Avon SD
Melvin Eugene Mudder
Melvin Eugene MudderMENNO - Melvin "Mel" Mudder, 58, of Menno, SD passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Saturday, November 29, 2014 at the Menno-Olivet Care Center after a brave five-year struggle with Pick's Disease, a form a dementia similar to Alzheimer's.

Visitation with family present will be from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday, December 12 at Salem Reformed Church, Menno, SD followed by a 7 p.m. Prayer Service, including a time to share memories and stories.

Memorial services will be at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, December 13, 2014 at Salem Reformed Church, Menno. Inurnment will take place at the First Baptist Church cemetery, rural Avon, SD at 2:00 p.m.

Crosby-Jaeger Funeral Chapel in Avon is in charge of arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, memorials and donations to the Alzheimer's Association are requested. Donations can be made online at www.alz.org or by sending a check to: Alzheimer's Association P.O. Box 96011 Washington, DC 20090-6011.

Melvin Eugene Mudder was born December 23, 1955 to Marvin and Charlotte (Odens) Mudder in Tyndall, SD. He was baptized at the First Baptist Church in Avon, SD.

He attended country school at James School #55 through the 8th grade and Avon High School, graduating in 1974. Mel joined the Army National Guard in 1973 and served as a heavy equipment operator and cook for 29 years, retiring in 2003. Mel worked various construction, heavy equipment and farm jobs for area farmers, which included hauling countless numbers of bales. He worked at Kolberg's in Yankton, SD and the State Highway Department in Tyndall, SD. Mel spent the rest of his career as a prison guard at the Mike Durfee State Prison in Springfield, SD.

Mel married Saundra Shelman of Tyndall, SD on September 13, 1980 at the First Baptist Church in Avon, SD. They lived in Tabor, SD for four years before moving to Tyndall and starting their family. Their first daughter, Alaina Betty, was born in 1988. Their second daughter, Abbey Rae, was born in 1989. Tyndall continued to be Mel's home until 2008.

Mel enjoyed watching his two daughters' sporting and extracurricular activities, playing slow pitch softball for several leagues and tournaments, and fast pitch softball with the Avon Astros. He was known by many to hit the longest home run at the Tyndall softball park. Mel also enjoyed listening to music, sports trivia, playing pinochle with family and friends at card club, cheering on his favorite teams (the Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Twins), and collecting various odds and ends. Growing up, he spent most of his time working on the family farm and playing various games with his siblings and neighbors.

On June 1, 2009, Menno-Olivet Care Center became Mel's home after he was diagnosed with Pick's Disease, a neurodegenerative disease. While at the care center, he volunteered his time with landscaping, kitchen prep work, cleaning and spending time with the daycare children.

Mel was welcomed as a member of the Salem Reformed Church in Menno on October 18, 2009. His church family was a very important part of his life. He very much enjoyed his visits with Pastor Mike.

Mel was well-known for his big heart and his willingness to help a hand to anyone in need, always putting others first. He loved to make friends everywhere he traveled, and was kind to all. He had a lot of patience, and a great sense of humor.

Mel will be fondly remembered for his generous, kind, and good-natured demeanor. Even throughout his declining health, he never complained. He always lit up when family and friends visited.

Thankful for having shared his life are his two daughters: Dr. Alaina (Matt) Blake, Des Moines, IA and Abbey Mudder, Canton, SD and their mother Saundra Mudder, Tyndall, SD; his 12 siblings: Janice (Terry) Smidt, Huron, SD; George (Denise) Mudder, Tyndall, SD; Joyce (Jay) Borah, Huron, SD; Dale (Annette) Mudder, Yankton, SD; Jane (Gary) Gramkow, Olivet, SD; Julie (Keith) Rothschadl, Scotland, SD; Alan (Lori) Mudder, Avon, SD; Larry (Brenda) Mudder, Avon, SD; Joan (Greg) Doty, Wagner, SD; David (Mary) Mudder, Garretson, SD; Don (Marcia) Mudder, Avon, SD; and Jacque (Jeff) Liebl, Menno, SD; former in-laws Pam and LeWayne Lukkes, Tyndall, SD and Steve and Carolyn Peters, Delmont, SD; special friends Wanda Pond and Trisha Halsall, Menno, SD; and many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

Mel was preceded in death by his parents, Marvin (1993) and Charlotte (2009) Mudder; his grandparents George and Elsie Mudder and Charlie and Jennie Odens; his former in-laws Leonard and Betty Shelman; nephew Ross Michael Doty; uncles: LeRoy Jochims, Roger Mudder, Phillip G. Odens, Dewey Olsen, Arnold Johnson and Fritz Hale; and aunts: Shirley Pudwill, Velda Olsen, Carol Ferwerda and Miriam Johnson.

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