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Melvin G. Happel
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Obituary for Melvin G. Happel

Melvin G. Happel, 88, of Victor, died Monday, December 25, 2017 at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics in Iowa City due to injuries sustained in a car accident.

Funeral services are scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Saturday, December 30th, at St. James Lutheran Church in Victor with Pastor Michael Kolesar officiating. Organist will be Pam Cronbaugh. Pallbearers will be Chris Furler, Greg and Shawn Prather, Tyler Happel, and Tawny and Sean Schafbuch. Burial will be in the Victor Memorial Cemetery.

A visitation will be held at Smith Funeral Home in Victor on Thursday, December 28th from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with the Happel family present from 4:00 to 7:00 Thursday evening.

Mel was born on September 20, 1929 to Paul Happel and Emma (Boettcher) Happel.

He graduated from Van Horne High School in 1946. Shortly after he was employed by Van Horne Savings Bank. Mel worked there until 1960 when he accepted the position of Bank President at Farmers Savings Bank in Victor, IA, a position he held until the time of his death. Mel worked in banking for 72 years.

Mel married Maxine Braksiek on December 13, 1952 at St. Johns Lutheran Church in Keystone, IA. Mel often referred to this day as the "greatest day of his life." This year Mel and Maxine celebrated their 65th anniversary.

From 1948 to 1954 Mel was a member of the Army Reserves.

Mel was a member of St. James Lutheran Church in Victor, where he was the Chairman of the Congregation for several years.

Mel was always known for being an avid sports fan. One of the many joys of his life was watching his children and grandchildren participate in athletics. No matter where the events were held Mel would be there. Baseball was Mel's favorite sport and he made many contributions to it. For 27 years Mel was a high school and college umpire. He was so well respected that he was inducted into the Iowa High School Baseball Hall of Fame. It was an accolade that he took great pride in. Mel also coached several years of Little League and Pony League Baseball at HLV. Mel was also a die-hard fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes, New York Giants, and his beloved New York Yankees.

Family was always most important in Mel's life. He never missed an opportunity to tell everyone how much he loved them, and always found time to tell everyone how proud he was of them. He took pride in many things, but nothing more than the joy that his family brought him. Every member of the family meant the world to him, and he meant the world to his family.

Mel is survived by his loving wife, Maxine, daughters Carol (David) Prather and Cindy Happel, both of Victor, and Gary Happel of Ladora. Five grandchildren, Chris (Amber) Furler, Greg and Shawn Prather, Tyler (Samantha) Happel, and Tawny (Sean) Schafbuch. Also, six great grandchildren, Lincoln, Landon, and Pierson Furler, and Malcolm, Quinn, and Colin Happel.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Robert, and sister, Marie.

Memorials may be directed to St. James Lutheran Church (Victor) or HLV Booster Club.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Melvin G. Happel, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Smith Funeral Home

808 4th Street, Victor, IA 52347

funeral service




1:30 PM
St. James Lutheran Church

502 Washington Street, Victor, IA 52347





2:30 PM
Victor Memorial Cemetery

200 - 7th Street, Victor, IA 52347


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