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Melford James Mikkelsen

May 9, 1930 ~ March 19, 2018 (age 87)

Melford James Mikkelsen went to the Lord peacefully on March 19, 2018, while on vacation in Hawaii with his wife of 62 years, Norma.

Melford was born May 9, 1930, in Cavalier County, North Dakota. He was the oldest of 11 children, one girl and 10 boys. Growing up, the Mikkelsen boys even had their own baseball team, Melford was the catcher. At the age of 18 he enlisted in the United States Air Force in which he served his country proudly for the next four years.

Following his time in the service he returned to his hometown in North Dakota where he worked for the county as a road grader operator. It was at that time that he met the love of his life, Norma. Norma had never met Melford but when she saw his picture in the local paper all decked out in his dress blues she thought he was so handsome and knew that one day she would marry this man. She drove a gravel truck as a young girl and she had Melford’s picture taped to her dash before she met him.

They both met soon after and were married on June 16, 1956. Together they had five children and in 1966 they moved to Seattle, Washington in hopes of a better career opportunity. Mel found work as a finish blade operator and worked in and around the Seattle area for the next 27 years. He was very well known and highly respected by others in the industry.

As kids growing up, Mom and Dad always made sure we did not go without and just about every weekend we were either going on picnics, to a baseball game or going camping somewhere. Dad was a wonderful provider, a great role model and a loving, loyal and faithful husband to his beloved wife.

He retired in 1993 and following his retirement Mel and Norma were always traveling somewhere. Their favorite place to go was Hawaii and they had visited the Hawaiian Islands many times over the past several years.

After he retired Mel volunteered at the National Cemetery in Kent, WA, where he served as chaplain and performed hundreds of graveside services over the course of 10 years. He was a very proud veteran.

Just a few months ago, Mel told Norma that he wanted to make one final trip to Hawaii, he was 87 years old and just walking had become a daily challenge. Together they spent three weeks on the Islands, part of the time with other family. Two days before they were to depart and return to Seattle Mel unexpectedly passed away while sitting out on their lanai where together they enjoyed the beautiful views of the ocean.

Mel is survived by his six brothers, his beloved wife Norma, and his children, daughter Cherie and husband Mike Alling; sons, Shawn and his wife Beverly Mikkelsen, Michael and his wife Anna Mikkelsen, David and his wife Tina Mikkelsen and son Troy Mikkelsen; also grandchildren, Shanna, Nikita, Tristan and Sarah and three great-grandchildren Lyncoln and Samantha. Melford was preceded in death by his parents, sister, three brothers and his granddaughter Jamie, who passed away on 11/23/2017. Together they await in heaven for the rest of us to arrive.

A memorial service and reception will take place at noon April 18 at St. Barbara Church in Black Diamond, WA, followed by a graveside service at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, WA.

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