Darwin Melcher

Darwin Melcher, age 66, of Decorah died Saturday, May 14, 2016 at his home in his sleep of natural causes. Visitation was held Thursday, May 19 at the Schluter-Balik Funeral Home in Decorah. Burial of Darwin’s cremains will be held at a later date in the Evergreen Cemetery, Rossville.

Darwin Duane Melcher was born May 10, 1950, the son of Vernon D. and Madonna (Wilkins) Melcher. He was baptized and confirmed in the United Methodist Church in McGregor. He received his education in the Waterville Elementary School and graduated from Waukon High School in 1968. He then attended Upper Iowa University in Fayette.

In June of 1969, he was united in marriage to Janann Zapf. They were later divorced. From this union, two children were born, Shane and Shana.

In 1970, he started employment at the Winneshiek County Hospital working as the department manager of the ambulance service. He was also responsible for the operation of other departments, including respiratory therapy, EKG and the emergency department. He developed the ambulance service from a basic service into the advanced paramedic service it is today.

Darwin retired in April 2005; ready to enjoy his many hobbies including hunting, fishing, horseback riding, motorcycling and other outdoor activities, as well as collecting guns. Darwin loved everything about hunting in Iowa, Wyoming and Montana, including cattle drives on the Black Feet Indian Reservation. He especially loved spending time with family and friends. He enjoyed teaching young people to hunt and shared with them his love for the outdoors.

Darwin is survived by his two children, Shane (Rachel) Melcher of Decorah and Shana (Paul) Atkins of Decorah; four grandchildren, Gabriela Serina and Genevieve Elena Melcher, and Elia Sophia and Bonham Magnus Atkins; his mother, Madonna (Wilkins) Melcher of Decorah; two nieces, Christina (Thomas) Cooper of Prineville, OR and Brandi Melcher of Des Moines; his favorite hunting dog, Bailey; along with a host of friends, co-workers, neighbors and hunting buddies.

Darwin was preceded in death by his father, Vernon Melcher; his step-mother, Bunny Melcher; his brother, Arlan Lee Melcher; his grandparents, John and Eiffie Melcher, Edward Lee and Mildred Wilkins; and his special friend, Pat Seiler.

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