Mel Schimke

Melvin Schimke, 80, Karlsruhe, died Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, in a Velva nursing home.

Melvin was born in Lincoln Valley, in Sheridan County, on Oct. 16, 1932, the son of Eugene and Marie Schimke. After moving to and living south of Harvey for some time, the family moved to Harvey. Mel attended Harvey School and graduated from high school in 1952. He was a member of the band, choral groups, the Harvey City Band and active in the First Congregational Church and choir.

Mel along with his brothers, Willard and Glenn, spent most of their spare time helping their Dad with his construction projects. After graduation, Mel went to summer school, taking classes for teaching in rural schools, and in the fall he taught at Hillsdale Country School until he was drafted into the ‘Korean War’ Signal Corps and left in May 1953. During his tour of duty, he was trained as a camera repairman and photographer and also spent time in both Japan and South Korea, returning in May 1955 with the rank of corporal.

He attended Mayville State College in North Dakota and earned his two-year teaching credentials. He married Clara Marie Braunagel and they had a son, Kenneth Dean, in 1957. He started teaching grades seventh and eighth, coached grade school basketball in Oberon Elementary School for three years. The family then moved to Ellendale, where he taught grade six and coached intermural basketball for eight years. During this time he was taking classes towards his bachelor of science degree.

In 1961, another son, Brian Keith, was born, and then the family temporarily moved to Mayville State Teachers College for the summer period and then onto the next teaching job in Williston during the fall of 1968. He taught sixth grade for six years. In 1974, Mel and Clara divorced. His brother, Willard, and he started a construction business Schimke Brothers Construction Co. in Minot.

He married Peggy Dixon and they moved to Minot, where they resided until the late 1980s. They then moved to Karlsruhe. He worked in the school as maintenance engineer. Peggy passed away in 1992. After the school closed he worked for a potato farmer and enjoyed working in the yard, crafting projects out of wood, and most of all, he enjoyed fishing.

In 1999, Mel received a letter from his high school sweetheart, Marlene Bunce, and in May 1999 he drove to California and on June 19, 1999, they got married in Las Vegas. He moved to California in the fall of 1999, spending the summer days in Karlsruhe that year. Marlene passed away on Jan. 19, 2005.

He called Ken (to find a house) and moved back to North Dakota. While in Karlsruhe, he worked in the “Experience Workers” program as the city’s maintenance and groundskeeper for two years. He entered a nursing care center for 20 days before passing on the evening of Sept. 2, 2013, at 80 years of age.

Melvin was preceded in death by: his parents, Eugene and Marie (Nutz) Schimke; an infant brother, Eugene Schimke Jr. in July 1931; wife, Peggy (Dixon) Schimke and wife, Marlene (Bunce) Schimke.

Melvin is survived by: his sons, Ken Schimke, Karlsruhe, and Brian (Joni) Schimke, Chanhassen, Minn.; brothers, Willard (Delaine) Schimke, Las Vegas, and Glenn (Bonnie) Schimke, Balsam Lake, Wis.; sister, Maryann (Chuck) Bergland, Las Vegas; grandchildren, Derrick, Brandon (Jennifer), Kaleb, Connor, Alexis; great-grandchildren, Samantha and Ava; stepchildren, Doug, Yvonne, Mary, Carol, Randy, Richard, Ryan and Renee; stepgrandchildren, Jeff, Jill, Jordan, Eric, Jon, Jamie, and Sarah; and numerous stepgreat-grandchildren.

Memorial service: Monday, Sept. 23, at 10 a.m., at First Lutheran Church in Harvey. Immediately after the memorial service a light lunch will be served.

Burial: Monday, Sept. 23, at 3 p.m., at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, south of Mandan.

Memorials: In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.

Those wishing to sign the online register and share memories may access the online obituaries section at (

(Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Minot)