Melvin Elmer Bert Loen, 96, passed away peacefully on January 14, 2014. Melvin was born at home on his parents' farm in Harlow, North Dakota, on September 13, 1917 to Andrew and Nettie Loen. His father had immigrated from Norway and was homesteading in North Dakota. Melvin joined his older siblings, Ornella and Arnold, as part of the family. Melvin spent his childhood and youth in North Dakota, and then in Cromwell and Tacoma, WA. In his late teens, Melvin started his own venetian blind and shade business in Bremerton, WA. As a young single businessman, Melvin met Ruth Lorene Williams at her parents' boarding house while living there. Ruth became the love of Mel's life and they were married on August 29, 1940. When WWII began, Melvin worked in the Bremerton Naval Shipyard and was there throughout the war. At the end of the war in 1946, Melvin moved his young family to Everett, WA and bought his own furniture store. In the late 1940's, his salesman skills turned to selling cars which then became the major part of his career. Over the next 30+ years, he sold a variety of cars such as Hudsons and Nashes and then spent the majority of his career working for Rodland Toyota in Everett. Here he earned numerous top sales awards. Church membership and service were always a big part of Melvin's life. He served as Sunday School Superintendent and Board Member for several decades at the Everett Church of the Nazarene. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Award as well as a Citation of Merit by his church. Melvin was also involved in community service. In 1961, he was a founding charter member of the Everett Gospel Mission. He served as Chairman of the Board and eventually was given the standing of Board Member Emeritus. Melvin served with the Volunteers of America for many years, as well. Mel was a lover of automobiles which resulted in his lifelong hobby of old car collecting. Birdwatching was also a great joy for him so he started building custom-made birdhouses to install in his yard and to give as gifts. In retirement, Mel and Ruth wintered for 31 years in Mesa, Arizona. During warm months in the rest of the year, they often traveled in their RV which was humorously named "Dad's Tranquilizer". Melvin is survived by his wife of 73 years, Ruth; sons, Kenneth Loen (Sharon) of Renton, WA, Donald Loen (Nancy) of Everett, WA; and a daughter, Sharon Loen Reimer (Rick) of Oak Harbor, WA; six grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren; one great-great grandson; and many nieces and nephews. Melvin was a loving husband, father and grandfather. His smile; his generosity; his zest for life; his pride in being Norwegian; his love for his family, his friends and people will be missed. His great legacy to his family was his love of the Lord and his Christian example for them to follow. A Memorial Service celebrating Melvin's life will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, January 24, 2014, at the Marysville Church of the Nazarene. The church is located at 8240 64th St. N.E., Marysville, WA 98270. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Everett Gospel Mission or to Nazarene Compassionate Ministries.
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Solie Funeral Home and Crematory
3301 Colby Ave. Everett, WA 98201
Published in The Herald (Everett) on Jan. 22, 2014