March 15, 1933 – March 19, 2020
In Memory Of Melvin William Arthur McMullen.
It is with heavy hearts we announce Mel’s passing on March 19, 2020 at Talarico Place in Castlegar, BC, 4 days after his 87th birthday. The family would like to extend their gratitude to all of the staff at Talarico Place and to Dr. Merritt and Dr. Vasil for providing the best care possible during his transition. For all of your support we are forever grateful. Thank you.
Mel ‘s life began in Calgary, Alberta on March 15, 1933. Born to proud parents Nellie and Norman McMullen, Mel was an only child.
The family relocated to Vancouver, BC when Mel was a small boy in grade school. He completed his education graduating from Burnaby High and thoroughly enjoyed reconnecting with old friends when he attended their 50th grad reunion.
Mel’s dedication and commitment to family was evident at a young age. The move to Vancouver didn’t go as planned and in order to help his Mom, Mel began his working life at a very young age. Mel began doing odd jobs, delivering newspapers and eventually delivered pop for Coca Cola. Mel even gave up attending university in order to help his Mom and Step Dad on the farm in Lethbridge.
It was at a wedding in Castlegar where Mel would meet his future bride, Geraldine DeFoe. The couple were married August 30, 1958 and celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary last summer. Mel and Gerry resided in Hosmer for a brief period before settling in Castlegar where they raised their three children Dan, Berni and Lori.
Mel worked on the construction of the local pulp mill and began working for Celgar Pulp in 1961 where he completed the Millwright apprenticeship program. Mel was a dedicated PPWC union member and spent endless hours working hard for the rights of his union brothers and sisters, much to the dismay of the staff. Mel retired from the Pulp Mill in the 1990’s after 35 plus years of employment.
Mel’s commitment to community and belief for fighting what was right did not stop at work. He was also very dedicated to monitoring City Council and how the City was being governed. He was not afraid to voice his opinion, attended many council meetings and wrote many letters to the editor of the local paper in hopes of raising awareness of what Council’s decisions meant to the local taxpayer and tried to offer alternatives that he believed were better for the community. Quite often his point of view was not well received but that did not stop him from standing up for what he thought was right.
Mel was instrumental in the construction of both Kinsmen Parks and also volunteered to help the local sports organizations his children participated in. His primary focus though was hockey. He spent many hours volunteering for the Castlegar Minor Hockey Association and was the first president of the Castlegar Rebels. He spent countless days and months building a foundation for the Rebels so the Castlegar KIJHL team would thrive and continue to be a success long after he stepped down. He was asked on several occasions to come back and help.
Mel’s proudest legacy, however, is his family. He would express frequently what a great family he had and how happy he was to see the successes each and every one of them had achieved.
It was a tragic accident that left Mel a paraplegic at the age of 76 that perhaps best illustrates the type of man Mel was: strong willed, tenacious, courageous, brave, dedicated, committed, hard working and able to make the best of a situation.
Mel was predeceased by his son Dan, parents Norman McMullen, Nellie and Ernie Baker, and his in-laws Betty and Noah DeFoe.
Left to mourn his loss are his wife Geraldine (DeFoe), daughters Berni (Joe) Nevakshonoff and Lori McMullen, grandchildren, Liz McMullen, Crystal (Adam) Bressette, Josh McMullen (Tamara Doering), Dyllon Nevakshonoff (Marissa Kalmakoff), Tori Nevakshonoff, Brenda Ross (Ian Wilson), Alex Ross, and several great grandchildren.
In respect of being socially responsible, a celebration of Mel’s life will be held at a later date. Until then we remain:
Happy to Meet, Sorry to Part, Happy to Meet Again.
You had a good run Dad. See you on the flip flop.
Love you lots.
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