Cover photo for Verdean "Dean" Melbye's Obituary
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Verdean "Dean" Melbye

March 1, 1937 — May 4, 2024

Verdean "Dean" Melbye

Verdean "Dean" Melbye, of Hitterdal, MN passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 4, 2024, having been surrounded in recent months by loving family and friends, and the kind support of staff from Ethos Hospice and Northern Lights Assisted Living, Ulen MN.  

 

Visitation will be from 1-2 pm, followed by a memorial service at 2pm, on Saturday, May 18th, at Salem Lutheran Church in Hitterdal, MN.

 

Born in Hitterdal MN on March 1, 1937, Dean was the youngest of two sons born to John and Clara Melbye.  He was raised in their family home in Hitterdal, where he attended elementary through high school.  He worked alongside of his father as a carpenter for two years prior to moving to Wadena, MN where he began his life long career in the grocery business.  It was there he met and married Carol Pilgrim.  They were married from 1959 to 1974 and welcomed two sons, Randy and Ricky.  In his earlier years as a grocer, Dean was employed with Red Owl.  His employment required a relocation to several communities, including Detroit Lakes, Moorhead, West Fargo, Enderlin, Staples and Grafton. His happiest relocation was back to his hometown of Hitterdal MN to open and operate "Melbye Store" for 9 years, and also live in the childhood home, built by his father, which is where he lived up until a recent cancer diagnosis.   

 

Dean was lifelong sports enthusiast.  As a teen he enjoyed baseball, basketball and football and over the years he played, coached, umpired and cheered on his kids and grandkids.  Later in life he warmed up to the idea of trying the game of golf and surprised himself when he found it to be quite enjoyable and became a dedicated member of the Hawley Golf Course. 

 

While Dean never remarried, his family was of high importance.  He never turned down an invitation to join family holidays, gatherings, Dean was always a big hit with the grandkids!  

 

Dean was ever willing to be an active community member.  While living in Detroit Lakes he served on the Babe Ruth and the Angels Amateur Baseball Associations. He was active in the Elks Club for many years, serving as Exalted Ruler in 1979-80, and attended First Lutheran Church.  Dean has been described as a pillar of the Hitterdal community over the years.  He has served on Hitterdal city council, was a member of the Lions Club, and was dedicated to participating in the annual Hitterfest planning committee.  He was an active member at Salem Lutheran Church having served on church council and mentored confirmation students.  Dean served on the Clay County Thrivent Board and volunteered in Fargo as a children's leader in Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) International for several years.  Dean was a long-time, active member of Hitterdal Go-Getters, and volunteered weekly serving coffee and was always willing to help with city clean-up days. Upon closing his grocery store he took on the part-time jobs of mowing the Hitterdal cemetery lawn and Gambling Manager for Hitterdal Lions charitable gambling, which he continued up until recently.  

 

Dean is survived by sons, Randy (Cimberly) Melbye of Dent MN and Rick (Cheryl) Melbye of Fargo ND; grandchildren, Jenna (Nick) Handloff of Steamboat Springs CO, Trent (Tricia) Melbye of Moorhead MN, Tyler Melbye of Vergas MN,  Matthew (Sheena) Melbye of Fargo ND and Allison (Brian) Clark of Fargo ND; great-grandchildren, Reznor, Dhara, Eli, Isaac, Axel, Harvey, Grace, Marcus, Leon, Kira, Emmelia, Joseph and Caleb. 

 

He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Carrol Melbye.

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Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, May 18, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

Salem Lutheran Church

201 MN-32, Hitterdal, MN 56552

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Salem Lutheran Church

201 MN-32, Hitterdal, MN 56552

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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