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Melvin C. Kottke, 87

Melvin Conrad Kottke, age 87, of Howard Lake, died Monday, Jan. 19, 2009, at St. Mary’s Care Center in Winsted.

He was born Sept. 5, 1921, in Hanover, to the late Edward and Eliza (Bechtold) Kottke.

Melvin was united in marriage to Ardis L. Krone June 16, 1942, at the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church parsonage in Hanover by Pastor Herder.

Melvin was formerly employed as a milk hauler and worked for both Wally Vollbrecht and his brother, Leonard Kottke. He also worked for Western Fruit/Railway.

In addition, Melvin and Ardis engaged in dairy farming for many years near Hanover. In 1969, the family moved from Hanover to a dairy farm near Howard Lake.

A true baseball fan, Melvin attended Minnesota’s State Amateur Baseball Tournament for over 50 years. He was an avid Howard Lake Orphans fan, and had an extensive baseball hat collection including many from the state baseball tournaments over the years.

Melvin held conservative views and supported numerous conservative charities. He had a very generous and giving heart. Melvin enjoyed spending time with his family, especially when it involved picnics, singing, and softball.

He was preceded in death by an infant son; his parents, Edward and Eliza Kottke; brothers Harold, Leonard, and Donald; and sisters Verna Schlief and Arlene Eull.

Melvin is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Ardis L. Kottke of Howard Lake; and 11 children: Joan Kottke of Howard Lake, Beverly (Murray) Reimer of Souris, Manitoba, Canada, Meryl Kottke-Barthel of St. Michael, Clair (Kenneth) Miatech of Plymouth, Kathleen Kottke of Howard Lake, Shirley (John) Erickson of Cokato, Marlin Kottke, Marson Kottke, Lorrie (Wayne) Kozitka, all of Howard Lake, Nancy (Lanny) Anderson of Randall, and Sally Kottke of Howard Lake.

He is further survived by 21 grandchildren; Chad (Amanda) Johnston, Newell (Shannon) Johnston, Taylor, Cheyenne and Alystine Reimer, Matthew Barthel, Joey Miatech, Virginia (Mike) Jechorek, Nathan Miatech, Clifford Miatech, Joshua (Amber) Erickson, Jeremiah Erickson, Jenna (Brad) Shaust, Kristin Kottke and fiancé Ben Sanderson, Brandon Kottke, Joy (Matt) Decker, Kelly (Scott) Salmela, Amy Kozitka, Bethany Kozitka, Rebecca (Travis) Hoover, and Elizabeth Anderson; and seven great-grandchildren; Marlin and Brianna Johnston, Bauer and Eli Erickson, Austin and Brooklyn Decker, and Sophie Salmela.

In addition, Melvin is survived by brothers and sisters, Gerhardt (Sandy) Kottke of Hanover, Willard “Bill” Kottke of Golden Valley, Delores (Bob) Masuda of Fridley, and Bernetta (Ken) Shannon of Minnetonka; and many nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.

Funeral services took place Saturday, Jan. 24 at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hanover with the Rev. Gorden Estenson officiating. Colleen Johnson was the organist. Congregational hymns were “Holy, Holy, Holy,” “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” and “Beautiful Savior.” Melvin’s children and grandchildren sang “What a Day That Will Be.” Interment followed at St. Paul’s Cemetery.

Visitation was Friday, Jan. 23 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the church, with a prayer service at 7:30 p.m.

The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo served the family.