Melvin Ward Steelman, of Niles

June 17, 1915 — March 6, 2016

Melvin Ward Steelman, 100, of Niles, died peacefully on Sunday, March 6, 2016, surrounded by his family.

Melvin Ward Steelman

Melvin Ward Steelman

Melvin was born on June 17, 1915, to the late Roy and Hazel (Hayes) Steelman in Mooresville, Indiana. After graduating from Pittsboro High School Melvin went on to attend Purdue University where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering, Class of 1938. The following year Melvin wed the love of his life, Doris Rednour, at a ceremony on July 3, 1939. The couple relocated to Greenville, Michigan where Melvin worked for Gibson Refrigeration. Later on the family moved to Niles, Michigan where he worked for Davis Products and Tyler Refrigeration. He retired from Tyler’s in 1978.

Melvin and Doris wintered in Leesburg, Florida for many years after their retirement. He enjoyed boating and was active in the U.S. Power Squadron along with the South Bend Boat Club. Motorcycling was always a part of Melvin’s life. He started out with a used 1918 Harley and continued to ride up until the age of 94 when he rode his 1993 Harley Sportster. Melvin won the trophy for the Oldest Rider, two years in a row, at the annual “Blessing of the Bikes” in Baldwin, Michigan. Melvin also bowled up until the age of 99!

He was preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Hazel Steelman; wife of 62 years, Doris R. Steelman; twin brother, Marvin Steelman, brothers, Kenneth and Bill Steelman; and one sister, Martha McClain.

Melvin is survived by his children Jerry (Lorraine) Steelman of Wyoming, Michigan, Janet (Karl) Schmidt of Columbia, South Carolina and Larry (Jeri) Steelman of Niles; grandchildren, Tamara (Jeff) Brinckman, Michael (Kim) Epperson; step-grandchildren, Jennifer Navarro, Julie (Jeff) Owens, and Jeffrey (Lisa) Folkers; great grandchildren Tyler Brinckman, Jordan and Ashley Epperson; step-great grandchildren Faith and Joshua Navarro, Dakota, Ian, and Landen Owens and Emma Folkers.

A time of visitation will be held at Brown Funeral Home on Thursday, March 10, 2016, from 5 until 7 p.m. with funeral services to honor Melvin on Friday, March 11, 2016 at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church located at 1819 Oak Street in Niles at 11 a.m.

Memorial donations may be made in Melvin’s name to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.

Condolences, photos and memories may be left for the family at www.BrownFuneralHomeNiles.com .

Arrangements have been entrusted to Brown Funeral Home, Niles.

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