Melvin Hentges, 78

A lifelong-resident of Jordan, Melvin Joseph Hentges was 78 when he entered eternal peace on the afternoon of Thursday, October 24, 2013, with his loving family present at his side at the Belle Plaine L u t h e r a n Home. Vi s i t a t i o n was from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, October 28, at Ballard- Sunder Funeral Home, Jordan Chapel, and one hour prior to the mass at the church. Mass of Christian Burial was at 11 a.m. Tuesday, October 29, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Jordan. Father Timothy Yanta presided. Mel was laid to rest at St. John Calvary Cemetery, Jordan, with full military honors provided by the Jordan Vets Honor Guard. Memorials will be distributed in Mel’s memory by the family.

Born on the family farm, on March 9, 1935, in New Prague, MN, Melvin was the son to parents Raymond N. and Helen M. Hentges. He was the second of four children. At the age of 5, his family moved to Jordan, where he spent summers working on his grandpa’s farm. Mel graduated from Jordan High School in 1952.

Mel proudly served in the United States Army from April 18, 1956, to March 21, 1958, while being stationed in Japan. For over 38 years, he worked for Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative (REA) in Jordan. Mel started out as a tree trimmer and retired as an engineering supervisor on March 9, 1997.

On September 27, 1958, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Jordan, Mel married Ellen Sunder. They were blessed with five children, Jim, Shelley, Jon, Barry and Beth. Family was most important to him, with fishing trips creating many fond memories. Mel loved to take his family on vacations, with the North Shore being their favorite spot. Fishing trips with his sons and grandsons were very special to him, with unique trips to Detroit Lakes, Canada and Lake of the Woods. For over 25 years, the entire family has enjoyed spending a week up north with fishing, cards and campfires being a special focus.

With a love for cards, Mel taught his children, at a young age, the game of Sheephead. He also enjoyed playing poker with his sons, grandsons and daughter Beth. Later on in life, Mel taught his grandchildren cribbage and also enjoyed teaching cribbage to the children at St. John’s School. He was also involved in several card groups with friends. He enjoyed watching the Minnesota Twins and Vikings. On Sunday afternoons Mel and Beth would listen to polka music. He was most proud of attending his grandchildren’s sporting activities, regardless of the location.

Mel’s love for hostas is seen all over Scott County and beyond. He and his family spent countless hours splitting them up and giving them away, with some being planted at the memorial garden at St. John’s and Calvary Cemetery. Over the years, Mel served on the St. John’s Parish Council and the New Options Advisory Board. He also was a member of the Jordan Knights of Columbus and served as Grand Knight.

A very loving, caring and patient husband, father and grandfather, Mel was always supportive of his family. Deeply missed and remembered always by those who loved Mel, wife of 55 years, Ellen of Jordan; children, Jim (Susan) Hentges of New Prague, Shelley (Mark) Pauly of Jordan, Jon (Mari) Hentges of Carver, Barry (Trisha) Hentges of New Prague, Beth Hentges of Jordan; grandchildren, Paul Hentges, Kate Hentges and Lexi Hentges, Jacob (Samantha) Pauly, Michael Pauly, Chris Pauly, Becca Pauly, Holli Hentges, Andy Hentges, Brent Hentges, Ethan Hentges, Elle Hentges, Eden Hentges and Everett Hentges; brothers-in-law, Charles Sargent of Colorado, Tom Panek of Prior Lake; sisterin- law, Shirley Hentges of Jordan and many nieces, nephews and other loving relatives and devoted friends.

Melvin is preceded in death by parents, Ray and Helen; sisters, Rita Sargent, Jane Panek and brother, LeRoy Hentges. Pallbearers for Mel were his grandsons, Jacob Pauly, Michael Pauly, Chris Pauly, Andy Hentges, Brent Hentges, Paul Hentges and Ethan Hentges. Ballard-Sunder Funeral and Cremation Services served the Hentges family with honor, care and compassion.