Melvin Edwin Stamberger
Feb. 13, 1926 – Jan. 12, 2020
Mr. Melvin Edwin Stamberger, 93, Rochester, was surrounded by his loving family when he passed away at 1:33 a.m. Jan. 12, 2020, at Miller’s Merry Manor, Warsaw.
On Feb. 13, 1926, Melvin Edwin Stamberger was born in Bureau County, Illinois. He was a treasured son of Herman Oscar and Hilda Margaret Lamps Stamberger. Growing up, he shared his childhood with two brothers.
At the Clarion Evangelical Lutheran Church at LaMoille, Ill., Melvin married the love of his life, Miss Wilma Jean Horn, on Aug. 18, 1957. They enjoyed 62 years of life’s adventures. From their union came three wonderful children, Kathy, Chuck and Steven. The family tree continued to grow with the added blessings of two more generations including nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
In 1969, Melvin and Wilma moved their family from Mendota to Newcastle Township to set up their home and family farming operation. They erected the windmill that graced the landscape of their farm in Illinois. Melvin was primarily a grain farmer, annually planting wheat, corn and soybeans. He also enjoyed overseeing the livestock operation consisting of crossbred hogs, black Angus and Herefords. He could be seen turning the soil, then planting annually each spring atop his classic J.I. Case shiny tractors.
Melvin was an active member of the Calvary Lutheran Church, Plymouth. He was a more than 30-year member of the Hesston Steam Power Society in LaPorte County. An avid train buff, Melvin built two locomotive steam-powered engines on an 1.5-inch scale, powered by coal and water, with each steam engine being perfect. As the patriarch of the Stamberger family, Grandpa Melvin served as engineer and sometimes conductor.
Establishing a family tradition, Melvin and Wilma spent most summer weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day taking to the 7-inch train track with their locomotive steam engine, allowing friends and new acquaintances the thrill of a historic ride. Other family members joined in the fun, serving as conductors or selling tickets at the depot.
The appointment of the annual “Corn Day,” was led by Melvin. Each spring he planted a special field of tender, juicy sweet corn, monitoring it until the kernels were blistered to perfection. When he declared the corn was ready, his family was notified, and the corn was harvested the evening before the “Big Day.” Everyone pitched in, completing their assignments from shucking, to overseeing the blanching in a huge black butcher kettle to cutting the corn from the ear. Much love and many legendary stories were told during the day’s events. The Stamberger family collaborated to freeze more than 400 pints for winter’s use, enough for more than 10 families to enjoy.
Left to cherish the memory of Melvin are his wife, Wilma, at home; a daughter, Kathy Stuart and husband Gary, Rochester; a son, Chuck Stamberger and wife Melva, Rochester; daughter-in-law Jayne Stamberger, Mishawaka; nine grandchildren, Christine Smith and husband Adam, Erin Nelson and husband Brett, Daniel Snipes and wife Kelly, Cory Mauck and wife Melissa, Melinda Owens and husband Jason, Michael Stamberger and wife Tana, Timothy Stamberger and wife Katelyn, Jordan Lloyd Stamberger and Cynthia Renee Stamberger; 13 great-grandchildren, including the Smiths, Austin, Kaitlyn and Allison, the Nelsons, Brooke and Addison, the Maucks, Lane, Harley, Alexis and Conner, the Owenses, Kensie, Jacob and another blessing due in the spring, and the Stambergers, Clair and Kennedy; brother-in-law Arnold Horn and wife Kay; and many nieces and nephews.
Melvin was preceded in death by his parents, Herman and Hilda Stamberger; a son, Steven Stamberger, on Aug. 2, 2012; and three older brothers, infant Earl, Wayne and Robert.
A celebration of the life of Mr. Melvin Stamberger will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, at Calvary Lutheran Church, 1314 N. Michigan St., Plymouth. Pastor Eric Ahlemeyer will officiate. Friends may visit with his family 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, at Good Family Funeral Home, 1200 W. 18th St., Rochester, and one hour prior to the service Thursday at the church. A graveside service is at 2 p.m. Thursday at Rochester IOOF Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Calvary Lutheran Church. Online expressions of sympathy may be made to Melvin’s family at www.goodfamilyfh.com.
Richard Allen Schippers
Aug. 1, 1963 – Jan. 9, 2020
Richard Allen Schippers, 56, Rochester, passed away at 7:57 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, at Parkview Regional Medical Center, Fort Wayne.
He was born on Aug. 1, 1963, in Muskegon, Mich., the son of William and Ruth Ann (Redman) Schippers. He was a veteran, having served with the United States Air Force.
Mr. Schippers was currently employed with Rochester Metals. He was a member of the Freedom Riders and enjoyed riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle, fishing, hunting, playing golf and hanging with his friends.
Survivors include his daughter, Shelby Krol-Schippers, Muskegon, Mich.; mother Ruth Ann Schippers, Rochester; sisters Eileen and husband Don Larabee, Holton, Mich., Patricia and husband Frenchie Lamay, White Cloud, Mich., Kathy and husband Jim Ruby, Argos, and Jody Martin, Muskegon, Mich.; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father.
Friends may call from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, at Zimmerman Bros. Funeral Home, Rochester. His funeral service will be at 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, at Throop Funeral Home, Ravenna, Mich., where friends may visit from noon to the service time. Burial will follow the service at Ravenna Cemetery, Ravenna, Mich. Online condolences may be expressed at www.zimmermanbrosfh.com.