Mel was a loving husband, father, grandpa, brother, son, and friend. He passed away unexpectedly at the age of 78, after a brave fight with cancer.
Mel was born in Oakland, California and moved to Turlock as a young boy. He was involved in the Boy Scouts and participated in the Order of the Arrow. He also enjoyed camping, fishing, and spending time in the mountains. He graduated from Turlock High School in 1963. During High School, he joined the National Guard and proudly served his country. Mel met and fell in love with Nancy Johnson in 1966 and they were married in 1967. Over the years, Mel and Nancy enjoyed spending time on Balboa Island and in Pacific Grove, traveling in their fifth-wheel trailer, and sailing on Lake Don Pedro with their dogs, Maci and Sadie.
Mel and Nancy were involved with the Horseless Carriage Club and Don Pedro Sailing Club. Mel was also a member of the Turlock Masonic Lodge #395, Scottish Rite, Aahmes Shriners Club, and SIRS. He worked at several businesses locally, but most of his career was spent as a Substation Technician at Turlock Irrigation District. He retired from TID after over 33 years of service.
Mel was such a proud dad, spending countless hours supporting his girls and cheering them on at recitals, pageants, competitions, and Nutcracker performances. He also took great pride in his home, especially his garden and yard.
Mel is survived by his wife Nancy of 56 years, his daughters Jill (Christopher) GeRue and Lisa (Jack) Jaggers, his four grandchildren, Connor, Liam, Ginger, and Axel, and his sister, Nina Ratliff.
He is preceded in death by his parents George and Anita Gardner.
Visitation will be held at Allen Mortuary on Thursday, September 7th from 4:00pm-7:00pm. A funeral service will be held at Allen Mortuary on Friday, September 8th at 3:00pm.