Smith, Melvin James 1931 ~ 2013 SAN DIEGO -- Mel passed away on Wednesday, July 24 2013, from complications of Alzheimer's and pneumonia. He was born in North Dakota to Harry and Lucille (Scott) Smith. After graduating from Wheatland High School, he joined the Marines and honorably served for three years. Upon discharge, he returned to North Dakota to work on the family farm and attend business school. In 1955, he married Marilyn Smeby; together they moved to San Diego and had two daughters. Marilyn passed away in 1971. In 1958, he joined the San Diego County Sheriff's Department and worked in various assignments in the North County and Central Jail. In 1977, he was entrusted with the challenge of opening the Las Colinas Women's Jail. Mel retired as a Captain from the Sheriff's Department after 30 years of dedicated service throughout San Diego County. In 1985, Mel married Betty Minnehan who brought joy back into his life. He will be remembered for his competitive spirit, investment savvy, loyalty to family and friends and his generosity to all. More than missing him, we are thankful for having known him. He is survived by his wife, Betty; daughters, Sheri and Sandra; grandchildren, Faith, Cody, Grace, Evan and Hope; great-grandson, Damian; brothers, Marlow, Milton, Merlon (Maggie), Mahlon (Laurie) and Manard (Judy); sister, Mavis; sister-in-law, Phyllis; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother Marvin. Services will be held in Fargo, ND.