Melvin Conner, 85, Albert Lea

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 26, 2005

Mel’s earthly journey ended in the early evening of April 23, 2005, at the Albert Lea Medical Center. His body was cremated.

Melvin Frances Conner was born on Jan. 15, 1920, to Alva and Edna (Nelson) Conner at Naeve Hospital; not expected to survive he was baptized the same day.

Since 1962, he made his home at 701 Fountain St., and helped in the operation of the family business, Conner’s Rest Home. He later became a resident at the same place now known as &uot;Just Like Home Place,&uot; operated by his niece, Laurie and Rollie Keyeski.

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Mel enlisted in the Army in 1942, and for two years he helped guard the &uot;locks&uot; at Sault Saint

Marie. He was extremely proud of the time he served his country. His uniform has hung in his closet all these years.

As a young boy, Mel loved to play basketball, ice and roller skate, and watch boxing at the Armory. For many years he did woodworking; making Christmas sleds and ornate shelves. The Twins and Vikings have lost another faithful listener.

As a sister, I remember him for his soft heart for animals. Pictures of Mel most always included rabbits, horses, chickens and recently his cat, &uot;Kiki.&uot; Many dogs throughout the years depended on him for their walks. At the home he had squirrels eating out of his hands, and he always had his eyes on the many birds at the feeders. His most recent joy was when Rollie would take him to feed the geese and then stop for an ice cream cone. He was very upset when a flock of geese was intentionally rundown and killed. &uot;How could anyone do this?&uot;

Survivors include his sister and brother-in-law: Dorothy and Paul Pierson; his nieces and their families: Jodi and Steve Ladwig, and Josh, Matt, Katherine and Annie; Kathleen and Jeff Fitzpatrick, and Aleigh and Jack; and Laurie and Rollie Keyeski, and Conner, Cole and Camryn; and cousins: Margaret (Conner) Dean, Jeanne (Nelson) Roll, and Richard Nelson.

He was preceded in death by his parents: Alva in 1953, and Edna in 1996.

A graveside service for family and friends with military honors will be held Saturday, Aug. 27, at 11:30 a.m., located on the north side of Graceland Cemetery just beyond the first entrance going west on Wedgewood.

Memorials will be used to purchase bird feeders at the home.