Bernard "Bernie" Mellecker
Bernard Stephen "Bernie" Mellecker was born Aug. 20, 1926, in Hills, Iowa, to Francis and Josephine (Doyle) Mellecker. He passed away Monday, Dec. 30, 2019, at Atrium Village.
Bernie attended grade school at St. Joseph's School in Hills and University High School in Iowa City, graduating in 1944. He was then inducted into the Army and attended Basic and Advanced Infantry Training in Texas, before being deployed with the Sixth Infantry Division to the Philippine Islands. At the end of World War II, Bernie's division was sent to Korea as part of the occupation troops, where he served as division headquarters company clerk until his discharge in November 1946. Being a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and a World War II veteran, as well as participating in the Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., on Sept. 21, 2016, were some of Bernie's proudest accomplishments.
Upon his return from the Army, Bernie went to work for Joyce Lumber Co. in Hills, where he was the manager until 1954. On May 24, 1949, he married Phyllis Stika at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Hills. They resided in Hills until 1964 and then moved to Iowa City, where Bernie worked for Iowa Lumber Co. until 1974. In between, they were blessed with five children: Margery, James, David, Julie and Susan.
In 1974, Bernie took a job with the University of Iowa as director of the motor pool, where he remained until his retirement in 1989. He and Phyllis did much traveling and camping in retirement. In 1983, they moved back to a home south of Hills, where they resided until moving to Atrium Village in 2009, where Phyllis passed away in 2010.
Bernie is survived by his children, Margery (Mike) Pottorff, James (Vickie), David (Margaret), Julie (Paul Whitten) and Susan; grandchildren, Scott (Gina) Pottorff, Cree (Brandy) Pottorff, McKenzie Mellecker, Kelly Mellecker, Chloe (Paul) Butler, Lisa Mellecker (Mike Considine) and Eli and Ava Vargason; great-grandchildren, Andrew and Michelle Pottorff, Caleb Gingerich and Harriet Butler; sisters, Delores Latta and Eileen Yotty; and sisters-in-law, Jean Mellecker and Janet Mellecker.
Bernie was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Phyllis; brothers, Gerald "Stub" Mellecker and Kenneth "Red" Mellecker; and brothers-in-law, Duane Latta and Marvin Yotty.
Bernie was a member of the VFW 6414 in Riverside, the American Legion 0457 in Lone Tree, a past member of the Iowa City Noon Optimists, Johnson County Izaak Walton League, Knights of Columbus, Hills Volunteer Fire Department and Hills Ball Association, where he played fast-pitch softball for many years after World War II with the Hills Wildcats and coached Little League baseball for several years.
Bernie had a keen sense of humor, was an ardent storyteller and a captivating conversationalist. He was an avid outdoorsman and an incredible caretaker to his wife Phyllis in her later years. A sweet man and overall "good egg" who was loved by many, Bernie will be greatly missed by his family and the many friends he acquired throughout his life's journey.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Hills with burial in St. Stanislaus Cemetery, rural Hills. Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 2, at Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service in Iowa City and will continue for one hour before services Saturday at the church.
Memorials may be directed to Bernie's family for a designation of their choice at a later date. To share a thought, memory or condolence, please visit the funeral home website at www.gayandciha.com.