Melvin Alfred Schuster, Our Dad or Papa Mel, passed away peacefully on June 15, 2019 at home in Dubuque of Congestive Heart Failure at the age of 87.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, June 20th, 2019 at St. Columbkille Catholic Church with Rev. David Schatz officiating. Burial will be in Dubuque Memorial Gardens with full military honors by American Legion Post #6. Visitation will be from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 19th, at St. Columbkille Catholic Church where a wake service will be at 4:00 p.m. Family and friends may also gather after 9:00 a.m. Thursday at the church until time of mass. Leonard Funeral Home & Crematory, Dubuque, Iowa is assisting the family.
Melvin was born at home, on the family farm, on September 30, 1931. He was the youngest child of John and Mary (Wendler) Schuster. He joined 9 other brothers and sisters. He arrived about 5 years after his closest sibling. He was the "Bonus" child. He was adored by his sisters who spoiled him rotten and always called him "Melvie". Mel grew up on a farm outside of New Vienna, IA. When he was 21, he was drafted and served in the Korean War from 1954-1956. He was part of the generation that was shaped forever by the Great Depression. Save your money. Use everything twice. Save your money.
Family always Comes first. End of discussion.
Save your money. Work hard. Save your money. Give your employer an honest days' work for an honest days' pay. Save your money. Don't be afraid to give to those less fortunate. It will come back to you tenfold.
After many nights of dancing at the Melody Mill, Melvin purposed to Rita Vonderhaar also of New Vienna, IA. They were joined in marriage on November 21, 1959 at St. Boniface Catholic Church in New Vienna, IA. Together they raised 4 children. He was employed by the William C. Brown Publishing company for 34 years. He retired in 1996. Dad always had the highest respect for Mr. Brown.
Mel loved to play baseball in his younger years. He was a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs. He went to many games with his children and grandchildren. He loved to play a good game of cards and was very sharp. He was a humble and kind man who would help anyone that truly needed it. All he ever wanted to do was be a husband, a father and a provider. We are all very blessed that he was a part of our life. We never had a doubt in our mind that we were loved. He showed us every day.
Melvin is survived by his children, Deb (Dave) Burkart, of Dubuque, Dan (Tamara) Schuster, of Sigourney, IA, Ann (Tony) Wolf, of Central City and Steve (Ann) Schuster, of Peosta. 16 grandchildren, 14 Great-grandchildren; sisters-in-Law Shirley Schuster and Margie Vonderhaar. Brothers-in-Law Francis (Elaine) Vonderhaar and John (Judy) Vonderhaar.
Melvin was preceded in death by his wife Rita and his parents. All his siblings proceeded him in death. Sisters, Florence (William) Kiernan, Leona (Mike) Koenig, Irene (Lee) Evers, Armella (Eddie) Kern, and Germaine (Butch) Friedman. Brothers, Elmer (Margret), Arnold (Germaine), Raymond and Wilfred (Norma).
This is how Mel summed up his life:
"I've lived a long and happy life, living the perfect idea of the American Dream. I can honestly say I am at my happiest watching a Baseball game or spending time with my family. I love nature and gazing out the window when the birds come to the feeder every morning. I've had a nice long life and loved every minute of it. I can't say that I've known anyone who has been blessed with a happier life than me."
Mel would like to thank Hospice of Dubuque, Karena Sauser and Ashley, for the kind care he received. Also, to Anne Link from Happy's Place for always making his day just a little bit better.
In lieu of flowers please make a donation to Hospice of Dubuque. A special thank you to his hospice team Tammie, Julie and Nicole who were so very kind and helpful to all.
To send flowers to Melvin's family, please visit our floral section.