Melvin Winckler, 84, of Tyndall, SD passed away peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, December 25, 2016.
Melvin Winckler was born August 25, 1932, to Otto and Emma (Hahn) Winckler in Tyndall, SD. As a young man, he helped his father on the family farm six miles north of Tyndall. Mel was married to Jane (Weiss), and they waltzed through nearly 58 years of marriage together. They made their home in Tyndall, SD, where they raised their daughter, Laurie.
Mel was a renaissance man, with many talents, interests, and hobbies. He picked up the accordion at an early age and before long was teaching lessons. He played in various bands over the years, and was known for his talent and showmanship. He delighted his family with his music, and they would often be found dancing to his music at family get-togethers, even into his last years. He completed a vocation course in Auto Mechanics at Southern State Teachers College in Springfield, and ran Mel’s Body Shop for much of his life, building and restoring many vehicles on the side, including a Model A and a collection of vintage scooters. Mel organized and participated in go-cart and stock car races, earning many trophies. He enjoyed airshows and flying his Cessna 170 airplane. He loved giving his nieces and nephews airplane rides or flying his daughter and their friends to the movies on a whim.
He served in the army during the Korean War. Chosen for selective service for his accordion skills, he received a letter of commendation for his excellence in showmanship and devotion to duty. He also served as an active member of the Tyndall Fire Department for over 9 years.
He is survived by his wife Jane of Tyndall, SD; daughter, Laurie and husband Todd Luke of Avon, SD; grandchildren Toni (Matthew) Grant of Lincoln, NE and Wyatt (Cassandra) Luke of Harrisburg, SD; great-grandchildren Analiese, Ellanore, and Shaeleigh Grant and Keegan and Asher Luke; brother Art Winckler; sister Hilda Tycz; and many beloved nieces, nephews, and their families. He was preceded in death by his parents Otto and Emma Winckler, sisters Edna Rokusek and Agnes Pletka, brother Alvin Winckler, and a sibling in infancy.
one hour prior to service