Melvin A. Ellis Sr., 81, passed peacefully at home in Blanchard, ID with his loving family by his side on June 11, 2021. In his last few days, he was visited by family and friends who meant so much to him and overjoyed him with love. He is free of the pain and can finally breathe again, no doubt dancing with Amy and telling her to let him lead or turning wrenches with Andy and sharing a shot of Yukon. They are gonna have to watch it, cuz Dad's home now!
Melvin was born on May 13, 1940, to Esther and Melvin James Ellis in Coquille, OR. Mel's father was killed in a car accident 6 weeks after he was born. He was raised by his grandmother and when his mom remarried, he was raised by her and his step-father, Norman.
Norman showed Mel his love of the woods and taught him logging where Mel worked by his side until he joined the Navy in 1957 and served 2 years.
In 1960 he met Leslie Fox and fell in love. Two months later they were married at age 15 and 19. No one thought those two kids could make it. Through good and bad, heartache and laughter. Two months ago they celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary. They had three children; Debi, Amy, and Andy. On a trip to Idaho Mel fell in love with the state and moved his family from Oregon in 1968 where he raised his family. Mel was an awesome diesel mechanic and worked for Peterbilt off and on for 40 years. It was said that Mel was the "best gearman in the Pacific Northwest"!
When Mel wasn't turning wrenches he loved all things John Wayne, camping, hunting, snowmobiling, LeeAnne, rum & Cokes, family, Fords, life, bonfires, and friends. Mel was a very hard worker and provided for his family well. Last year, at age 80, he was driving tractor helping people hay. The Saturday before he died he was driving the tractor on his property, hard to keep a good man down!
Melvin touched so many lives and for those who knew him, his door was always open. He loved spending time in the mountains and a yearly trip to the coast with his love.
Mel is survived by his wife of 61 years, LeeAnne; his daughter Debi and (Gary) Wells. The Man, The Legend, had 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. He was proceeded in death by his daughter Amy (2017) and son Melvin A. Ellis Jr. (1997).
We will celebrate Mels' life on Saturday, June 26 at the American Legions Hall in Post Falls, ID from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm, potluck and cash bar.
Military Honors will be at 2:30 pm.