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Melvin A. Hietpas, age 82, of Kimberly, passed away unexpectedly at his residence on October 2, 2019. He was born on October 10, 1936, son of the late John and Gertrude (Timmers) Hietpas. Mel grew up on the family farm in Kaukauna and joined the Army with his twin brother Marvin and became a tractor scraper operator in April of 1955. After the Army, he returned home and met the love of his life, Grace, and they were married on May 30, 1959; just celebrating 60 years of marriage this past May. Early in his career Mel worked two jobs, while his wife stayed home with the children to provide for his family. Once he was able to go onto school, he received his pipefitters apprenticeship, and then just worked one job, but worked long hours and retired after 42 years from the Kimberly mill. He and Grace loved travelling the world and also enjoyed fishing together. It was always an adventure going fishing with him for something seemed to always happen making each trip full of fun and laughter. After retiring, they loved spending time on Shawano Lake in the summer and traveling to Arizona and Florida in the winter in their motor home with friends until his health no longer allowed. Mel always had time and was willing to help family and friends with any remodeling projects often trading help with good friends Don Van Cuyk and Emil St. John. He was there on the first day and stayed until the job was done, with a smile on his face and having fun and laughter while he worked. Mel was also a member of the American Legion Post #258 in Little Chute.
Throughout his life Mel was full of mischief in so many ways. He gave his children and grandchildren some great memories while letting them each know life doesn’t have to be so serious, but to be enjoyed.
Mel is survived by his wife, Grace; children: Lori (Ben) Dietzen, Kaukauna, WI, Becky (Bill) Thomas, Madison, AL, Jeff (Cheryl) Hietpas, Unity, WI, Dan (Diane) Hietpas, Shawano, WI, Jim (Jan) Hietpas, Appleton, WI, Mike (Anita) Hietpas, Kaukauna, WI; grandchildren: Bob (Sarah) Dietzen, David Dietzen, John Dietzen, Amanda Dietzen, Beth (Daniel) Affeldt, Brett Thomas, Bohdan Thomas, Tom Hietpas, Emilie Hietpas, Ashlie Hietpas, Anna Hietpas, Kinleigh Hietpas, Lydia Hietpas, Bryce Hietpas and Colby Hietpas; Kennedy, Landon, and Raegan Dietzen, Stella and Bennet Affeldt, Braleigh, Kinley and Josh Jr. Wallace; brothers: Roger (Ceil) Hietpas and Marvin (Imelda) Hietpas; brothers and sisters-in-law: Nancy Hietpas, Earl Wallace, Rose Verhagen, Donna Eake, Pat VanGrinsven and Jeanne Wallace; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
Mel was preceded in death by his parents, John and Gertrude Hietpas; a brother, Nick Hietpas; sister, Joyce Smith; father and mother-in-law, Jim and Stella Wallace; in-laws: Carla Wallace, Kenny (Mary) Wallace, Oscar Wallace, Gene Verhagen, Dennis Eake, Vic VanGrinsven and Bill Wallace.
Funeral services will be held at 12:00 noon on Saturday, October 5, 2019, at St. Paul Catholic Church, 410 Wallace Street, Combined Locks, with Fr. Andrew Kysely officiating. Visitation will be at the church on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the Mass. Full military honors will be performed following the Mass by the American Legion Post #258 and the United States Army. Interment will be in St. John Cemetery, Little Chute. For online condolences, please visit www.verkuilenfh.com.
The Hietpas family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at Aspire Senior Living, Gold Cross Ambulance and Fox Valley Metro Police Department for their compassionate care.