Reverend Melvin Rogers Sucher, 93 of Perham passed away on Sunday, June 8, 2014 at Prairie View Assisted Living in Perham. Melvin was born April 4, 1921 in Big Fork, MN to Clyde and Ida Sucher. At age 2 his mother died and Melvin went to live on a farm with his Great Uncle Nels Nelson and family near Albion, Iowa, where he later graduated from high school. He attended 3 colleges (Luther College and Waldorf Junior College in Iowa and St. Olaf College in Minnesota) and Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN.
On June 8, 1947 (on a Sunday, exactly 67 years before his death), Melvin was ordained as a Lutheran minister in Story City, Iowa. Three weeks later he married Phyllis M. Carlson in Jamestown, New York. Over the next 39 years Melvin served 5 parishes: Bear River, MN (Bear River, Silverdale and Celina churches); Warren, MN (Our Savior's, McCrae and Melo churches); Benson, MN (Our Redeemer's Lutheran Church); rural Lanesboro, MN (North Prairie and Pilot Mound churches); and rural Clarks Grove, MN (Central Freeborn and North Freeborn Lutheran Churches).
In 1986, Melvin retired from the ministry (though he continued with many family weddings and baptisms and ministry of family and friends even after retirement.) After retirement they moved to Story City, Iowa and later to Perham (with winters in Mesa, AZ). Mel loved to travel, visiting the Holy Land, Germany, Scandinavian countries, Hawaii and many places throughout the US deer hunting (he shot a deer at age 91!). Fishing, gardening, playing softball (pitching well into his 60s), music and playing cards (he won more than was appropriate!) were some of his many pastimes. Watching all sports on TV and doing crosswords kept his mind active in later years. During his 93 years, Melvin touched the lives of many across the nation.
Mel is preceded in death by his parents, foster parents, 6 siblings, daughter Karol (Jim) Clemens (age 31), and great granddaughter Larissa Kirchenwitz (3 months). He is survived by wife Phyllis of Perham, son Timothy (Paula) Sucher of Ottertail, MN, daughters Miriam (Jim) Hatlevig of Richville, MN, Mary Beth (Bruce) Royer of North Mankato, MN, and Kathy (Randy) Eason of Casper, WY. He is also survived by 17 grandchildren: Kersten (Kyle) Buskirk, Megan (Justin) Kirchenwtiz, Annalise (Aaron) Shippee, Bethany (Bill) Anderson, Kyle (Sara) Sucher, Rachel Garcia, Cameron (Jamie) Davis, Courtney Davis, Matt (Shannon) Royer, Philip (Vanessa) Royer, Luke (Jenna) Stevens-Royer, Paul (Julia) Clemens, Rachel (Ben) Cuthbert, Dan Clemens, Anna Clemens, Tiffany (Andy) Linck, and Karissa Thunselle; 19 great granchildren: Kael Buskirk, Kaylie and Emily Kirchenwitz, Sadie, Carter and Lilliana Shippee, Madisyn Garcia, Archer and Erika Davis, Elle and Andre Royer, Olivia and Elyse Royer, Louisa Royer, Jonah, Thatcher and Oliver Cuthbert, Kinley Linck, Kayden Carothers, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held Monday, June 16, beginning at 11:00 AM at Calvary Lutheran Church in Perham, MN. Visitation will be Sunday, June 15 from 5:00 – 7:00 PM at Calvary Lutheran Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Calvary Lutheran Church or Waldorf College Foundation, Forest City, Iowa.