Mary Ellen ‘Mellen’ Roessler / May 27, 1924-Feb. 14, 2010Published 10:19am Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Mary Ellen, 85, of Dowagiac, known to family and friends as Mellen or Mel, was born May 27, 1924, to Benjamin and Lydia (Schneider) Helt of South Bend, Ind.
Mel was a 1942 graduate of South Bend Central High School and married her high school sweetheart and the love of her life, James Roessler, on April 10, 1944, shortly before he shipped out as a member of the Water Division of the U.S. Army.
While Jim served in the European and Pacific theaters, Mel worked at Indiana Bell.
They lived in South Bend until 2003, when they moved to Dowagiac to be near their daughter, Cindy.
Mel loved life, and that was made manifest by the energy and joy and courage with which she lived it. She was a woman of true grace and class and created beauty all around her, in her home and in her gardens.
Some of her happiest moments were spent at the family cottage at Sister Lakes, where she enjoyed working outside, visiting with friends and soaking up the summer sun.
She and Jim also spent many happy times together during the winter, vacationing in Acapulco, Mexico, and Naples, Fla., but spring always called them back to the lake, where Mel could begin her annual ritual of planting and nurturing her beautiful flowers.
No matter the season, mornings found her working on one of the multitude of needlepoint pillows or Christmas stockings that she made for friends and family members.
Mel’s greatest sources of pride were her children – Mike, a professor at Albion College, and Cindy, an administrator for Lewis Cass Intermediate School District.
She was also thrilled and proud to watch the growth of her beloved grandchild, Kate.
Mel’s best friend in recent years was her daughter-in-law, Mary, who adored her and for whom she was a model of everything a woman should be.
Mel’s insight into human nature and generosity of spirit informed her life.
She delighted in giving to others and was a true hero to her children, who were inspired and uplifted by her abiding love and support.
She passed peacefully, deeply grateful for her many blessings and having left the world a more beautiful place.
Mellen is survived by: her husband, Jim; son Michael (Mary); grand-daughter Kate Boynton (James); and two beautiful great-granddaughters, Lola and Ruby.
Mellen was predeceased by her daughter, Cindy, in May of 2008.
Memorial contributions in her name can be made to Borgess Hospice, 348 N. Burdick St., Kalamazoo, MI 49007.
Yazel and Clark Chapel is serving her family.
Please sign her guestbook and leave a memory of Mellen at www.yazel-clark.com.