Darwin Melcher

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 1:00 am

Darwin Melcher, age 66, of Decorah, died Saturday, May 14, 2016, at his home, in his sleep of natural causes.

Visitation will be held from 3-7 p.m. Thursday, May 19, at the Schluter – Balik Funeral Home, 604 South Avenue, Decorah. Burial of Darwin’s cremains will be held at a later date in the Evergreen Cemetery, Rossville.

Darwin Duane Melcher was born May 10, 1950, the son of Vernon D. and Madonna (Wilkins) Melcher.  He was baptized and confirmed in the United Methodist Church in McGregor, IA.  He received his education in the Waterville Elementary School and graduated from Waukon High School in 1968.  He then attended Upper Iowa University in Fayette, IA.  In June of 1969, he was united in marriage to Janann Zapf.  They were later divorced.  From this union, two children were born: Shane and Shana. In 1970, he started employment at the Winneshiek County Hospital working as the department manager of the ambulance service.  He was also responsible for the operation of other departments, including respiratory therapy, EKG, and the emergency department. He developed the ambulance service from a basic service into the advanced paramedic service it is today.  Darwin retired in April 2005; ready to enjoy his many hobbies including: hunting, fishing, horseback riding, motorcycling, and other outdoor activities as well as collecting guns. Darwin loved everything about hunting in Iowa, Wyoming and Montana; including cattle drives on the Black Feet Indian Reservation. He especially loved spending time with family and friends.  He enjoyed teaching young people to hunt and shared with them his love for the outdoors. 

Darwin is survived by his two children: Shane (Rachel) Melcher, Decorah, IA, and Shana (Paul) Atkins, Decorah, IA. Four grandchildren: Gabriela Serina & Genevieve Elena Melcher and Elia Sophia & Bonham Magnus Atkins. His mother: Madonna (Wilkins) Melcher, Decorah, IA. Two nieces: Christina (Thomas) Cooper, Prineville, OR, and Brandi Melcher, Des Moines, IA.  His favorite hunting dog: Bailey, along with a host of friends, co-workers, neighbors and hunting buddies.

Darwin was preceded in death by his father: Vernon Melcher and step-mother: Bunny Melcher.  His brother: Arlan Lee Melcher.  Grandparents: John and Eiffie Melcher, Edward Lee and Mildred Wilkins. Special friend: Pat Seiler.

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