Gary A. Melvin, age 83 of Kalamazoo, Michigan peacefully passed away on Sunday, May 7, 2023 at his home with family by his side. He was the much-loved husband of Joan (Bode) Melvin. They met at the Wesley Foundation at Ferris in 1959, were married in 1963, and would have been married 60 years in August.
Gary was a 1958 graduate of Schoolcraft High School, and a graduate of Ferris State University where he was a member of Delta Sigma Phi. He was an agent with the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network for 41 years and obtained the Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant designations from the American College along with becoming a life member of the elite Million Dollar Round Table.
Gary was active in community affairs and served on many boards, such as: Martin School Board, Allegan County Commissioner, Pipp Hospital, Allegan General Hospital, Outlook Academy, Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity. He was a member of the Rotary Club where he received the Paul Harris Fellow Award. As a member of the Martin United Methodist Church for 40 years, he chaired many meetings, activities, and chaired the building addition in 1989. Gary trained as a Stephen Leader with the Stephen Ministry and was involved helping others for years. Gary had a very strong faith and the Lord’s guidance was a big part of his life. After moving to Kalamazoo in 2015, he joined the Westwood United Methodist Church and became an active member there serving on the trustee committee.
Gary loved reading newspapers and books, hunting, fishing, traveling, and camping with his family. As part of the NOMADS (Nomads On a Mission of Active Divine Service) team, he traveled around the United States with Joan in their RV helping others for 16 years after retirement. Joan and Gary also spent many winters in their Lake Placid, Florida condo where they volunteered at Florida Hospital. As a member of the Audubon Society, they went on many birding trips. Joan and Gary also enjoyed traveling to various parts of the world learning about different cultures.
Loved ones that have gone before include his parents, Christine and Howard Melvin and his son, Greg Melvin. He is remembered with great affection by his wife, Joan, his children Diane Melvin of Plainwell; Greg’s wife Lisa Melvin of Dexter; and his grandchildren, Courtney, Katrina, and Sam Melvin of Dexter, Christine (Zane) Snarski, of Holland, Joshua (Noel) Melvin, and a great grandson, Valen of Plainwell, a sister Kay (John) Wynne of Lexington, SC, a nephew, Patrick (Valeriane) Casciolo, and family of Darien, CT and a niece, Michelle Casciolo of Berlin, Germany along with many cousins.
Thank you to Doctor LeFevre for his kind, compassionate, professional care over many years and to Centrica Hospice that provided comfort during the end stage of his life. Visitation will be held at the Martin United Methodist Church located on 969 East Allegan Street in Martin on Friday, May 19, 2023 from 4-7 p.m.
On Saturday, May 20, 2023 a visitation will be held at 11:00 a.m. at the Westwood United Methodist Church located on 538 Nichols Road in Kalamazoo and A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 12:00 p.m. and will be livestreamed on Facebook or at the church website, www.westwood-umc.org.
As in life with his life insurance business and volunteer work, he tried to help people. Continuing that theme, Gary has donated his body for research to the Western Michigan University School of Medicine.
Memorials may be made to any of the following ministries: Martin United Methodist Church, Christian Neighbors of Plainwell, Westwood United Methodist Church or Ministry with Community.