William Mell III (1943 - 2016)

Obituary
  • "Carol, So sad for you. We always enjoyed Bill at the..."
  • "Dear Dr. Mell, Thinking of you today during this sad and..."
    - Lila McDonald
  • "Carole, my thoughts are with you. There will be some tough..."
    - Jacqui Ertischek
  • "Carol, Our thoughts are with you during thus difficult..."
    - Pam Lloyd
  • "So sorry to hear of Bill's passing. He was a mentor to me..."
    - Glenn Wright

Dr. William "Bill" F. Mell III died on Oct. 1, 2016, at Providence Alaska Medical Center. He was born on May 14, 1943, to Lois and William F. Mell Jr. in York, Pa. As a child in a military family, he grew up and attended schools in many parts of the country. He remembered fondly his elementary years in Fairbanks, Alaska. After graduating from high school in New Jersey, he returned to Alaska and spent summers working for the Alaska Department of Fish and Wildlife counting and sampling fish in the Ugashik lakes area and flying with some of the legendary bush pilots.
After earning degrees in art and history, he began a thirty-two year career with the Anchorage School District. He taught both art and history, went back to school to earn a masters degree in political science and returned to become a building level administrator at Wendler Middle School, Service High School and Steller Secondary School. He earned a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Southern California and entered central office administration. He spent many years as Executive Director of Secondary Education. Two of his most fulfilling accomplishments were the establishment of the student rights and responsibilities document and the career and college fair. During this time he also taught occasional classes for the University of Alaska Anchorage and other universities. Upon retirement from the school district, he spent the next eight years at the University of Alaska Anchorage, where he taught courses in leadership and policy management and served as department chair and assistant dean.
Bill had a wide variety of interests. He was an avid reader, particularly in the areas of history and science fiction, as well as a film buff. He painted in acrylics, for which he won several awards. He enjoyed the theater and travel, often combining the two. He participated in almost every sport at some time during his life, but his long time favorites were sailing and fencing. Many summers were spent at the family cabin, adding decks, docks and porches, as well as swimming and sailing. He had a great sense of humor and a strong moral compass.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lois and William F. Mell Jr. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Carol; and his brother, John (Winona) and family. He also leaves behind his mother-in-law, Marjorie Tomsic; sisters and brothers-in-law, Donna (Herb) Ross and Drs. Margie (Steve) Tomsic/Schellenberg; nephews, Jonathan and Geoffery Schellenberg; and his beloved dog, Jack. He will be greatly missed.
Services are scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, at Janssen's Evergreen Memorial Chapel.
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Published in Anchorage Daily News on Nov. 13, 2016