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Melvin A. Asay

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Melvin A. Asay Obituary
It is with great sadness and sorrow that the family of Melvin A. Asay says good-bye for now, to our father, grandfather and husband, who passed away on March 31, 2017 at his beloved home in Blackfoot, ID. We want to pay tribute to this wonderful man and celebrate the fulfilling life that he lead for 90 years.
Melvin was born the seventh child of 10 siblings to Eleazer and LaPreal Asay in Elsinore, Utah on Aug. 17, 1926. His parents at the time were homesteading a place in Pass Creek, or Leslie, Idaho, nestled in Crows Nest since 1917. Melvin grew up on this ranch working alongside his father, mother and siblings raising sheep and other livestock on 160 acres.
Life was good there according to the stories that Melvin would tell his children and grandchildren. His mother and father and all of his siblings except one baby sister, Lela Warner, have all passed on but along with Lela, and a lot of nieces and nephews, they still live in the Leslie, Mackay, and Arco area.
Melvin left home when he was a senior in high school to begin work at a new plant that was starting about 25 miles from home in the Arco desert in 1943 which was ran by the Navy and at the time was called, The Naval Proving Ground (NPG) which now is called The Idaho National Engineering Laboratory.
Mel was one of the earlier employees hired there with a low employee S#198. It was there that one of the huge barrels from the guns they were testing, toppled over from a crane while trying to lift the barrel into the base of the gun, with Mel on the one side of the barrel trying to guide it.
The huge several ton barrel fell on his left leg crushing and pinning his leg and while trying to lift it off of him, it was rolled across the leg ripping and tearing all the muscles in his calf and knee and twisting it to so that the knee cap was now behind the leg.
He spent a year in the Pocatello hospital while the doctors worked to try and save his leg rather than amputate it. Eventually they gave him a metal knee cap so he could walk again but he lived with a lot of problems because of the injury.
He came back to the site when they were beginning to build EBR-1 which is now a historical site, where he started as a heavy equipment operator and it was here that he met his future father-in-law who was his Foreman, who also had a beautiful 15 year old daughter, Mary Ann Hensley.
They eventually married in 1949 and lived in the booming little town of Atomic City and during that time they had a daughter, Margo Denise and a year later a son, Larry Lee.
When a good road was built to Blackfoot, the family moved there where they had another daughter, Rhonda Renae. The family lived in Gem and Westside Trailer parks as they started to build their home in 1957 on the corner of Meridian and Ruby Street.
Melvin and his wife Mary Anne built the home side by side laying the foundation, the brick, the roof, piece by piece living in the basement of the home for six years as they finished the upstairs.
Mel or "Ace" as his co-workers liked to call him, was a prankster and loved to tease everyone, especially his co-workers at TRA where he worked until he retired in 1989. He was known for gluing people's lunch boxes to the benches and offering people sandwich's which were hidden with something super hot.
He was famous for writing his initials MA whenever there was new cement being poured at TRA facility. Even when he wasn't there, someone would write his initials for him in the newly poured cement a tradition his son Larry, carried on when he worked there.
Melvin loved to fish with his longtime friend, Jim Shikashio who passed away in 2010. Up until Mel passed away he would talk about his friend Jim and all the fish they had caught and how the Fish & Game almost caught them with too many fish at one time. I'm sure now they are together catching up on all the fish stories.
Besides fishing Melvin loved kids and would light up even in his last final days, whenever one of his great-grandchildren would come over to see him. He couldn't talk but he would have a big ole grin on his face and would reach to hold their hand.
His son, Larry, took care of him right up until Larry passed away, December 2015. Larry was there every day checking on his Dad, taking care of his every need, making sure that his Dad and Mom were okay and fixing things that needed fixing with their home. When Larry passed away, a little bit of Melvin passed away as well, he missed and loved his son so much that we're sure they are together also now catching up on old times.
Melvin belonged to the Pipefitter Local #648 for 36 years. He also belonged to the Office of the Seventies in the Blackfoot, 14th Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Melvin is survived by his wife of 67 years, Mary Anne (Hensley) Asay, his daughters, Margo Toulouse, Rhonda Oberhensley and a son-in-law, Gary Oberhensley, one sister, Lela (Asay) Warner (Leslie, ID). Also 12 grandchildren along with their spouses, Tiffany (Thomas) & Troy Henderson (Blackfoot, ID), Trishia (Thomas) Christensen, (Bountiful, UT), Anja (Thomas) & Cory Trautner (Idaho Falls, ID), Jared Thomas, Jacob and Annie (Allen) Thomas (Pocatello, ID), Zeke and Kylee (Shawver) Thomas (Blackfoot, ID), C.J. Toulouse (Pocatello, ID), Erica (Asay) and Dustin Farnes (Shelley, ID), Natalie Asay and Geoffrey Ancheta (Blackfoot, ID), Jason and Susanna Oberhensley (Rexburg, ID), Justin & Kara Oberhensley (Blackfoot, ID), James & Katie Oberhensley (Rexburg, ID. Great Grandchildren: Connor and Jodie Henderson, Tucker Dean Henderson, Emmie Henderson, Ethan Christensen, Krew Christensen, Bridger Ace Trautner, Stone (Chewy) Trautner, Ryan Trautner, Teegan Thomas, Everly Thomas, Oliver Thomas, Winston Thomas, Talon Farnes, Mia Asay, Kennedy Asay, Addasyn Ancheta, Harvey Oberhensley, Samuel Oberhensley and Edmund Oberhensley.
In the words of our beloved brother, son and father, Larry Asay, his daughter, Erica found his notebook written by him about his father Melvin preparing for his Dad's funeral:
"I never had a better friend, it is with a somber heart that I say goodbye my dear father and may the great spirit give you light to your path and clouds of sorrow never rest upon your journey and may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
The greatest gift my father gave me was his acceptance of minorities. He always gave me unconditional love."
Melvin's family wants to extend their many thanks to the Blackfoot Health Care for the tender loving care they gave their Dad right up until he passed away peacefully at home.
Also a thank you to the Hawkers Funeral Home for the compassion and care they have also shown for their Dad and his family. The family will be holding a private family gathering at Hawkers.
We love you and will miss you Dad and your wonderful stories that have made us laugh so hard!
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.hawkerfuneralhome.com.
Published in The Morning News on Apr. 6, 2017
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