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Obituary for William "Bill" Mellem


William “Bill” M. Mellem, 77, of La Crosse, passed away Sunday, July 30, 2017, at Benedictine Villa in La Crosse. He was born March 30, 1940, in Victory, Wisconsin, to Bernard and Mabel (Stellner) Mellem. Bill attended DeSoto High School in DeSoto, Wis. After high school, Bill and his two buddies moved to Belgrade, Mont., for the summer where they worked on his cousin’s cattle ranch. After they returned to La Crosse, Bill met his future soul mate, Darlene Miller at the North Star outdoor theater. On April 23, 1960, they were married at St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Barre Mills. Bill and “Blondie”, as she was lovingly referred to, enjoyed traveling with their children in the summers and camping almost every weekend. After the kids grew up, Bill and Darlene purchased a motorhome and traveled out West on many vacations. In later years, they eventually purchased a cabin in Chetek, Wis., where they enjoyed many happy times. Bill enjoyed hunting and fishing. He also enjoyed coaching the Packers from his recliner. Bill was employed at the La Crosse County Highway Department for 31 years retiring in 2001. On November 3, 2004, Darlene preceded him in death. Survivors include two sons, Jeff Mellem of Deaver, Wyo., and Rick (Pam) Mellem of Stoddard, Wis.; two grandsons, Billy (Karlene) Mellem and their son, Grayson, of French Island and Justin Mellem of Stoddard, Wis.; and one sister, Shirley (Tony) Kiefer of Kevil, Ky. In addition to his wife, Bill was preceded in death by his parents. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m., Tuesday, August 8, 2017, at Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Home, Woodruff Chapel, 4239 Mormon Coulee Rd., La Crosse. Pastor Bruce Iverson will officiate. Burial will follow in Mormon Coulee Memorial Park Cemetery. A visitation will be from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Monday and from 9 a.m. until the time of service Tuesday, both at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred. Online condolences may be sent at www.jandtfredrickson.com.