Melvin W. Grossman
Born: April 15, 1929
Died: November 18, 2020
OHIO - Melvin William Grossman, 91, of rural Ohio, Illinois passed away unexpectedly late afternoon on Wednesday, November 18, at his home.
He was born April 15, 1929, to William and Darlene (Whitmyer) Grossman on his parents' farm, which was ¼ mile south of Melvin's home on rural North Avenue, Ohio. Melvin attended a one room school house for elementary school, and graduated from Ohio High School. Following high school, he farmed and operated a custom corn shelling and trucking business with his father and eventually assumed the primary operation of that business for a number of years. Following the sale of that shelling and trucking business, Melvin began and ran a field tiling and drainage construction business for many years. He then began with general excavation and farm building demolition work which he performed until very recently.
On December 6, 1953, he married Janet M. Andersen at the Manlius Baptist Church in Bureau Township. Together, they purchased the farm in Ohio where they have resided for nearly 67 years.
Melvin is survived by his wife Janet, son Richard (Cynthia) Grossman of Lake Barrington, IL, and daughter Elaine (Dr. Jeff) Gotro of Dove Canyon, CA; five grandchildren Dr. Erin (Jeffrey) Foster, Lindsey Holmes, Emily Grossman, Steven Grossman, and John Grossman; and three great-grandchildren, Parker Holmes, and Caden and Kai Foster; very special niece Carmen (Robert) Sissel, and other nieces and nephews, and sister Lauraine Hays.
Melvin was preceded in death by his parents and sister Caroline Koos.
In 1989, Mel and Janet purchased a hand-built circus calliope organ at a music rally in the state of Ohio, and mounted the calliope on a 1937 Chevrolet truck purchased from Mel's uncle, beginning over 30 years of parading and performing at community festivals and events throughout the Midwest. Their first appearance was at the Princeton Homestead Festival, winning the Most Humorous Entry trophy. They also led the Evanston, IL, Fourth of July Parade for 28 years. They were members of the Music Box Society and other mechanical musical instrument organizations or associations, winning many awards, and making innumerable friends and acquaintances through the years. They also thoroughly enjoyed many years of camping with a club of fellow campers.
Melvin was a lifelong member of the First Lutheran Church of Ohio, serving in numerous positions over the years and was active in the church's Brotherhood group and dartball leagues. He was an Ohio Grade School Board Member and Ohio Cemetery Board member for many years.
Melvin always made fast friends with most everyone he met and was always ready to assist as a volunteer in community projects as well as helping others with repair projects. His passions included working in his shop on anything mechanical, travelling, and attending Northwestern University football games in Evanston and at bowl game locations. He doted on his grandchildren and made sure they always had enjoyable things to do when visiting the farm.
A visitation will be held on Sunday, November 22, from 3-5 p.m. at the Grant Johnson Funeral Home in Princeton. Strict adherence to mask-wearing and social distancing will be observed, and the numbers of visitors at any point in time will be managed. A private funeral service will be held Monday, November 23, at 10 a.m., at the Ohio First Lutheran Church, with burial to follow in the Oakland Cemetery, Princeton. A life celebration will be scheduled next year as public health may permit.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Ohio First Lutheran Church or to Buddy Bags, Princeton.
Published in Bureau County Republican on Nov. 21, 2020.