Obituaries » Alan & Marilyn Melis
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Burial Date: September 30, 2017
Funeral Home Pawlak Funeral Home
We announce the deaths of Alan Lee Melis (12/02/1929 – 07/01/2017) and Marilyn Jean Melis (02/13/1935 – 08/05/2017).
They are predeceased by his parents, Lloyd Melis and Edith Sundin Melis, and brother, Lloyd Melis; by her parents, Arthur Matthew and Bess Schlukebir Matthew; by their grandson, Sundin Melis; and by their many dearly loved pets.
Al and Marilyn are survived by their beloved children, Matthew (wife Evanne) Melis and Michelle Melis, their nephews, and many who were longtime friends through many interesting career and hobby connections.
Both were lifelong educators and met during their first teaching jobs at Grand Haven High School. Al was a graduate of Iron Mountain High School in Michigan’s upper peninsula, and held degrees from Northern Michigan College of Education (Bachelors), University of Michigan (Masters), and Cranbrook Academy of Art (Masters Fine Arts). Marilyn was a graduate of Grand Haven High School in lower Michigan, and held degrees from Michigan State University (Bachelors) and the University of Toledo (Masters in Library Science).
Just after graduating from Cranbrook Al and Marilyn relocated to Toledo Ohio where Al took accepted a teaching position in the art department for the University of Toledo located at the Toledo Museum of Art. At the time of Al’s retirement, he had served, for over three decades, as a professor of art for the University. Throughout his tenure Al was responsible for leading the metals program at the Museum but taught many other discipline areas in the curriculum over the years. Numerous co-workers and students he met throughout the years would come to identify him as a mentor. Al was a contributor to the Toledo’s art history. He was an active participant at the genesis of Toledo’s glass art movement in the 60’s and had a number of significant commissions during his career which included making a ceremonial mace and presidential medallion for the University of Toledo, and a gold coin annually given to recipients of the Glidden L Brooks Award at the Medical College of Ohio. Over his entire career, he would design and make dozens of wedding rings for couples who appreciated his particular style in jewelry design. As he approached his retirement, Al shifted focus to making ornamental knives with blades of pattern welded steel, a passion which continued in the years after retirement. He never lost his love for Brooktrout fishing in Northern Michigan and returned often throughout his life to the streams he had fished as a young man.
After the move to Toledo, Marilyn worked at the Toledo Library while returning to school at the University of Toledo to get her masters in Library science. Upon graduating, she accepted a job in the Bedford Public School System in Michigan where she would work until retirement. At the time of Marilyn’s retirement, she had worked for over thirty years at Bedford. Her passion lied in Library Science and she worked early career in the elementary school library and media centers. Mid-career, Marilyn returned to the classroom teaching business and typing for a brief time but ultimately, she returned to the place where she was happiest and finished out her tenure at Bedford managing the Bedford High School Library and media center. Marilyn had a sustained level of enthusiasm for remaining current with technology developments in her field, and as the early computers became available, she embraced them as useful tools in both work and personal life. One of the early adopters of the Apple Computer, Marilyn remained proficient with computers to the very end of her life. Another passion Marilyn had throughout her life was knitting and many will recount she co-owned a yarn shop with a friend, Christine Whiting, called The Yarn Basket. She would go on to also create a trendy teddy bear shop called Teddy Bear Square with her daughter, Michelle. In her post retirement years, Marilyn taught for a number of years at Monroe County Community College and added weaving to the list of her proficiencies. She often sold her knit and woven creations at local shows.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Humane Society (Toledo or Huron Valley in Ann Arbor – where grand-dog Kayleigh was adopted) or the Toledo Museum of Art.