|Birth: ||Oct. 13, 1926|
North Dakota, USA
|Death: ||Jan. 3, 2010|
Lewis and Clark County
Obituary from The Independent Record 1/06/2010:
Lawrence W. "Larry" Melech, with his family at his side, passed away peacefully at home on Jan. 3, 2010, after a short battle with lung cancer. Larry was born Oct. 13, 1926, in Bismarck, N.D., to Ida Mae Melech and Pete Zevik. His arrival into heaven was awaited by his wife, Frances Melech; his parents; daughter, Pamela Melech; toddler son, Lawrence "Little Larry" Scott Melech; and infant granddaughter, Jenny Smyth, along with many others.
Larry attended schools in Bismarck and Belfield, N.D., and Phoenix. At age 14, Larry was diagnosed with osteomyelitis and narrowly avoided death. He spent the next 14 months at Shiners Children's Hospital in Chicago in a wheelchair, where he helped take care of the younger children in the hospital, despite his own illness. After his lengthy stay at the hospital, he picked himself up and learned to walk all over again. His determination and caring nature followed him throughout his life.
When Larry was 16, he became a pinsetter in Phoenix — this began a lifelong love of bowling. He met his first wife, Frances (who also loved bowling), while bowling in Santa Monica, Calif. He and Fran fell in love and married in 1949 and raised six children. Larry was a roofer for 27 years and together they built the Civic Center Apartments in Concord, Calif., and started Blue Ribbon Roofing until his roofing retirement in 1973. Then his love for bowling led him to another dream, of owning his own bowling center. He and Frances purchased and operated Central Lanes in Oroville, Calif., from 1973 to 1983, until they retired when Fran's health began to fail. During her illness he never left Fran's side until her death in 1996. After 10 years of retirement, Larry and his family bought Sleeping Giant Lanes in Helena in 1993, where he later met, fell in love with and married Montez Briggs in 1999. (Yes, bowling has been very good to Larry). They had 10 wonderful years and many adventures traveling around the country, bowling across the states and wintering in Mesa, Ariz. Larry continued to bowl until just a few months after his diagnosis.
He is survived by his wife, Montez Briggs-Melech of Helena; sons, Lynn (Michelle) Melech of East Helena, and Dan (Tanya) Melech of Atlanta; daughters, Bonita (Rick) Smyth of Phoenix, Michelle Melech Anderson of East Helena; stepchildren Ron (Sue) Briggs of Lewistown and Ruth (Rick) Wiechman of Spokane, Wash.; grandchildren, George Clark of Concord, David (Kim) Clark of Roseburg, Ore., Krystal Melech of Helena, April Melech of Oroville, Jerry Smyth of Phoenix, Nicole Smyth of Anchorage, Alaska, Jenna Anderson and Amanda Anderson of East Helena, Caden and Danielle Melech of Atlanta, Jennifer Briggs of Helena, Steven Briggs of Billings, Jason Wiechman of Spokane, Kristen Meagher of East Helena; 12 great-grandchildren, soon to be 15; and many other relatives. Larry is also survived by his very large bowling family, and the Country Cousins in Mesa that include so many wonderful friends.
He was a caring person that everyone fell in love with instantly. He had wit and charm and was mischievous till the end. "A great husband, dad, grandpa, friend and our hero," we will miss you so much.… Until we meet again in heaven.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to be made to the Helena Junior Bowlers Scholarship Fund, c/o Valley Bank, PO Box 5269, Helena, MT 59604; Cancer Treatment Center c/o St. Peter's Hospital, 2475 Broadway, Helena, MT 59601; a hospice of your choice; or the Shriners Children's Hospital.
Visitation will be at Retz Funeral Home in Helena Thursday, Jan. 7, from 1 to 5 p.m.; services will be Friday, Jan. 8, at 11:30 a.m. at Retz Funeral Home. A reception will follow at Sleeping Giant Lanes at 12:30 p.m. Viewing hours will be from 12 to 2 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, at Moore's Mission Funeral Home in Concord, Calif. A committal service will take place directly following at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Lafayette, Calif.
Queen of Heaven Cemetery
Contra Costa County
Created by: A Marine's Daughter
Record added: Jan 06, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 46401254