Melvin C. Adler died Jan. 12, 2020, surrounded by his wife and children. Born at home on Feb. 8, 1939, to Clifford and Caroline (Heil) Adler outside Theilman, Mel grew up on a farm without electricity, within the federal land grant known as the Half Breed Tract. After graduating from Elgin High School, he joined the Army, serving during the Cuban Missile Crisis and continuing in the Army Reserves after his honorable discharge. He also enjoyed a stint as a competitive boxer during these years.

He met his wife to be, Brenda Crowson, over Thanksgiving in 1962 and gave her a ring for Christmas. They married in April 1963 and began their family of four children outside Rochester.

Mel worked in construction before becoming an expert tire recapper, his skills highly sought-after during the height of the muscle car era, when street drag-racing often meant winning or losing a car. He joined IBM as a press operator in the early 1980s and retired in 1995.

Moving to northern Wisconsin, Mel worked at Glenwood Boys Camp as Maintenance Director, where boys would get into trouble just for the honor of being on his "chain gang." He also worked maintenance at the Winter School before starting his own business here, MEL's (Magnetic Energy Lifestyle) jewelry. He sold his handmade jewelry in area trade shows and festivals.

Mel also served as Adjutant General of American Legion Post #394 for many years.

He is survived by Brenda, his wife of 56 years; their children, Bret, Brenda Lee, John, and Jeff; 12 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Mel would like all memorial contributions to go to the Winter School STAR Program and/or Winter School Lunch Program, Winter, WI 54896.

A military service will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 16 at Northern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Spooner, Wis. A Celebration of Life will be 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 17 at Calvary Lutheran Church in Draper, Wis.

Online condolences can be made at