You were a wonderful son, a loving father, the best husband, a caring grandpa and a loyal friend..we will miss you. Love you always..... your wife
Around 1966, our family moved into the house next door to the Elias family, and as there were three sisters in my family and three in the Elias family the same age as us, we instantly paired up and became close friends. Mel was “the older brother” who roamed around with his two best friends (Derek was one) and listened to music in his basement room (off limits to girls!). As a young man, he played football for Jasper Place Composite High School, proudly wore his football jacket everywhere and was very fit and strong. Of course he loved music, particularly the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Neil Young and the Beatles, and later he developed a taste for classical music. I particularly remember his fondness for Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and Chopin. He also loved reading and although he freely admitted he was not a fast reader, he was a steady one and got through an amazing number and variety of books. He was a terrific reader aloud, and I remember being present evening after evening as he read aloud works by John Fowles, Robertson Davies, Robert Henriques, Wallace Stegner and other authors. Mel enjoyed gardening as well, and for a while was greatly taken with growing roses, even entering some of his own special roses into shows and winning prizes. He also became interested in cooking and at Christmas time would devote a great deal of time and energy to Christmas baking, making different kinds of scandalously calorie-laden cookies. A dedicated birdwatcher, he had an impressive list of sightings, and once in a while, I'd go along on one of his bird-watching trips to Stanley Park or the Reifel Bird Sanctuary. We also combed Vancouver's old, stuffy smelling second-hand bookshops, looking for good finds. Mel got caught up in a number of creative fads way back then, including making bead necklaces (hippy days), dipped flowers, driftwood lampstands, and so on. He loved photography and early on got a Polaroid camera. You could always tell Mel was around when you heard a SNAP! followed by the strange scratchy whirr of a Polaroid photo emerging from his camera. I knew him through to the early 1980s but gradually lost touch after I moved to Japan and later to the UK. However, I was fortunate to be able to see him again in June 2012. He was philosophical and realistic about his illness at the time, and I felt that was a cue for how I should regard it as well. I will always remember him as a man of kindness, tolerance, humour, realism, and dignity.
Hi Mel ... I saw 3 hummingbirds yesterday and thought of u ... I was only lucky enough to meet u once, but I'm sure we would have been close friends had I been geographically closer to u and your lovely wife Christine. I speak to Christine as often as possible, and want u to know she's doing ok. Please keep sending the hummingbirds, cause Christine sees them too ... and it gives her great peace. I know u and Gaby are together, and that's amazing ... she's happy you're there with her ... u are both missed very much by your loved ones on this side ... but we know that you're out of any pain and happy where u are. Keep in touch with us and u know what I mean ... love always ... Kym
I was fortunate to work with Mel and enjoy his friendship for over 12 years. He was a "Steelman", mentor to anyone on the Purchasing side of the business, all around good guy and a true and loyal friend. I miss him very much.
Yesterday I read in the local paper of a sighting of a bird so rare to our part of the world it has never been seen in Canada and only twice before in North America, and it happens to be in the park a block from our house! (A red-flanked bluetail, for those interested.) All I could think of was how excited Mel would have been, and how he would have driven over and we could have had lunch and wandered around the park together looking for the little bird . . . .