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Wallace Mellum

April 26, 1922-March 9, 2009

Wallace F. Mellum, 86, of Detroit Lakes, died Monday, March 9, 2009 at Innovis Health in Fargo.

Wallace Frederick Mellum was born to Clayton O. and Martha (Bauer) Mellum on April 26, 1922 in Ulen. When he was five years old, his family relocated to Frazee. Wally grew up in the Frazee area, graduating from Frazee High School in 1940. After high school, he attended Coyne Electrical School in Chicago, Ill.

In 1942, Wally enlisted in the United States Navy, where he served on the USS Osprey in the Battle of Normandy. His ship was the first casualty as it hit a mine and sank. Wally was part of the Navy fleet that escorted the USS Missouri as it traveled to Japan to sign the armistice ending World War II. After serving his country, Wally was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1945. He moved back to Detroit Lakes and started his career as an electrician. He helped wire the Fieldhouse in Moorhead along with Detroit Lakes High School and the Lake Park, Audubon and Osage schools.

On Sept. 3, 1947, Wally married Marilyn Frank in Frazee. They made their home in Detroit Lakes, where Wally began working for Ratz Electric. In 1955, Wally received his master electrician certificate. In 1960, he accepted a position with Honeywell in Minneapolis. He later went to work for the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus as an electrician supervisor. At this time, the Health Science buildings where being constructed, and Wally had the duty of inspecting all the electrical wiring. Wally retired in 1986 from the University and along with his wife, moved back to Detroit Lakes to enjoy their retirement years together.

Throughout his life, Wally enjoyed hunting and fishing and in his later years, coaching basketball and football from the enjoyment of his living room sofa. He always had a project in the works, weather it was helping his wife with her "honey do" list or assisting a friend with an electrical problem, and whatever the project, it was always done to perfection.

Wally will be remembered and missed by his wife of 61 years, Marilyn Mellum of Detroit Lakes; children, David (Sandra) Mellum of Austin, Texas, Barbara (Richard) Miller of Battle Lake, Minn., and Douglas Mellum of Isanti, Minn.; six grandchildren; and four great grandchildren.

Preceding him in death were his parents and two brothers, Donal and Lowell.

Visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, March 14, followed by the funeral at 3 p.m., in Zion Lutheran Church in Detroit Lakes, with the Rev. Dan Abrahams officiating. Interment will take place at Oak Grove Cemetery, Detroit Lakes.

The David-Donehower Funeral Home in Detroit Lakes is assisting the family with arrangements. An online guestbook is available at