A much loved father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend Melvin Bernard Wilber, 84, of Petoskey, Michigan, passed away peacefully in his home on May 3, 2018 surrounded by members of his family. Mel was born on October 6, 1933 to William and Bernice (Souder) Wilber in Marlette, Michigan. He and his family later relocated to Petoskey, Michigan when Mel was a child. Petoskey is where he met his future wife Wilma while they were still in school. He would marry Wilma on August 22, 1953. Mel was later drafted and spent two years serving his county while stationed in Korea. When Mel returned form Korea, he and Wilma started their family. They had three children; Richard Wilber, Linda Stackus, and James Wilber. He and Wilma raised their children in the house he built with the help of his brothers-in-law, and remained there until his death.
Mel was an avid outdoorsman, woodworker and craftsman; much of his beautiful woodwork can be found in the homes of many of his family members and friends. He built countless items, ranging from canoes to furniture to musical instruments, right down to children's toys. As a career, Mel was a carpenter and had a hand in building many homes in the area. He also extended his work into helping anyone who needed things fixed on their homes, and even traveled to other states to help rebuild after natural disasters. Mel also spent many years doing any and everything outdoors. Any one who knew Mel knew that if you wanted to find him, it was best to look out back or in his wood shop. Mel also spent years making syrup fro his many maple trees. It was hard work, but he loved doing it. Being a man with a fighting spirit, and an intense dislike for sitting still, Mel still found things to keep himself occupied in his last months. It was hard to say no to him when he wanted to go work in his wood shop, or start a new hobby.
A religious man, Mel spent years attending church, and even mentoring young people who needed guidance. He was respected member of any congregation he was part of. Religion remained very important to Mel throughout the course of his life. Even in the realization of the gravity of his illness, Mel learned heavily on his spiritual beliefs, and wanted no one to be sad for him, as he was, in his words, "going home".
Mel is survived by his wife of 65 years, Wilma Wilber; son Richard Wilber; daughter Linda Stackus; son James (Amber) Wilber; brother Billy (Karen) Wilber; granddaughters, Courtney, Emily, Amber, and Tianna. He is also survived by great-grandchildren Terry and Evelyn; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by brothers, Marvin and Cecil, and their spouses.
A memorial service will be held on June 9, 2018 at the Curtiss Cemetery, with details currently being worked out. Information will be available from any of Melvin's immediate family.