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Melvin R. Rich, 92, of Mt. Pleasant, passed away on Sunday, March 11, 2018, at Park Place Elder Living.
Open visitation will be Wednesday, March 14 beginning at 12 noon until 7 p.m. at Olson-Powell Memorial Chapel. Family will not be present. A private family service will be held later. Memorials may be sent to the First United Methodist Church, 309 N. Main Street, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, Trenton United Methodist Church, % Steve Sammons, 309 Birch Ave. Mt. Pleasant, IA, or HCI Hospice Care Services, 118 N. Main Street, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. On-line condolences may be directed to www.olsonpowell.com.
Born in a farm house north of Eagle School west of Trenton, Iowa, on November 9, 1925, Melvin Ray was the son of Ray G. Rich and Imal Norton Rich. He attended the rural schools of Trenton Township Henry County and graduated from Elm Elementary. After eighth grade graduation, he became a farm hand to help supplement his parents’ finances.
On April 19, 1944, he joined the United States Navy. He served as Seaman Second Class on the Battleship Iowa which was anchored in Tokyo Bay next to the USS Missouri when the Peace Treaty was signed. During time on the Iowa he was a Gunner and earned 5 battle stars. He was honorably discharged on May 10, 1946 and returned to Mt. Pleasant. He married Beryl Barton on March 6, 1949. She preceded him in death on November 1, 2013.
Melvin was employed by Ervin Motors in Mt Pleasant until 1951, when he began work as a guard at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant. He worked at that job until 1990 when he retired. During the time employed by the IAAP, he earned his GED at the age of 52.
Melvin enjoyed anything on wheels, mainly cars, but especially his motorcycle after retirement. He could fix almost anything mechanical and was called upon for those abilities. A self-taught guitarist, he enjoyed playing and singing with the local Scrubs band and the Rhythm Rockers. When able, he was an avid walker and walked 5 days a week with a goal of at least one mile. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church, the American Legion, and was a lifetime member of the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars, all in Mt. Pleasant.
He is survived by a daughter, Karen J (Brian) Carter of Mt. Pleasant, their two daughters Kimberly of Iowa City and Amy of Mt. Pleasant; a son, Curtis R Rich of West Des Moines, his son Nathan (Mary Kelly) of Lynnwood, WA, and his daughter Hilary, of Jefferson City, MO; two sisters, Wanda Hatch of Mt. Pleasant, IA and Ardith (Tom) Rump of Burlington, IA; two sisters-in-law; and nieces and nephews.
Along with his wife and parents Melvin was preceded in death by his infant sister, Thelma, a sister Merna (Chuck) Simmons, two brothers-in-law, and one nephew.