Mel Litke, 63

Mel Litke, a resident of West Fargo, N.D., lost his courageous battle with cancer surrounded by his family, Saturday, March 3, 2012 at the VA Hospital, Fargo, N.D.

Memorial services will be held Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 3 PM at West Funeral Home Chapel, West Fargo with visitation one hour prior. Graveside Service will be Friday at 1 PM at MN State Veterans Cemetery, Little Falls, MN

Melvin G. Litke was born Jan. 21, 1949, at Little Falls, to Lawrence and Evelyn (Gau) Litke. He grew up in Pierz and graduated from high school there in 1967. He joined the U.S. Coast Guard in 1968 and served for four years. He married Marcy Seppelt in 1969. They lived at Andover. He worked for AT&T for 33 years. On July 4, 1999, Mel married Shelly Van Essen in Las Vegas, Nev. They made their home in West Fargo. Mel owned and operated Norden Construction along with his partner, Brad Norden for 15 years. He was a life member of the West Fargo VFW and former member of the Andover Jaycees where he served as president. Mel, Shelly and K9 companion “Ace” enjoyed camping, hunting and fishing.

Mel is survived by his wife, Shelly of West Fargo; daughter, Robyn (Duane) Litke of Fargo; son, Keith Litke of Rochester; stepdaughter, Tina (David) Timm of Brainerd; stepson, Dan Van Essen of California; seven siblings, Arvin (Jean) of Pierz, Ray (Ruthie) of St. Cloud, Elmer (Janet) of Grand Rapids, Larry (Virgie) of Pierz, Diane (Willie) Schirmers of Pierz, Jake of Pierz and Geralyn (Bump) Sawyer of Battle Lake; along with many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Ronald and two sisters-in-law, Sharon and Jeanette.