Williamsburg- Melvin R. Schemmel, 83, recently of Williamsburg, Iowa, died Wednesday, February 1, 2023 at University of Iowa Hospital after a month’s long battle with cancer. Melvin was born February 26, 1939 in O’Brien County to Clarence and Viola Schemmel.
He moved to Iowa City as a young man and began his lifelong career in the grocery business as a meat cutter at Smitty’s in Coralville, where he met Martha Matthes, whom he married in1961. He was the meat market manager when Smitty’s was sold to the Randall’s Corporation in 1960. Mel advanced to store manager when Randall’s opened its new store in Sycamore Mall in 1967 and remained in that position for 20 years.
When the entrepreneurial spirit moved him, Mel became an independent grocer, owning and operating stores in Marion, Sumner, Jefferson and Des Moines. He concentrated his time and energy in 1989 by building Mel’s Holiday Foods in North Liberty, which he operated for the next 15 years.
He enjoyed golfing, where he would gladly share the stories of how he amassed six 'holes in one' over his storied amateur career, playing cards where he would remind you that skill beats luck almost every time, fishing trips to Canada where the grandkids were at fault for scaring the big ones away, but most especially he enjoyed his family.
Mel was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Robert, his sister Barbara Brewer, and
Martha, his wife of 61 years.
He is survived by his wife Madonna; his daughters Barbara Chipman (Alan) of Williamsburg and Karen Leigh of Iowa City; his grandchildren Chris Chipman of Williamsburg, Jennifer Olson (Adam) of Marengo and Angela Chipman (Seana Jardin) of Alexandria, Virginia; great grandsons Robert and Gabriel Olson, Marengo and his brother Clem (Joyce) of Cherokee, Iowa, and multiple nieces and nephews.
A Funeral Mass will be 10:00 am on Saturday, February 4, 2023 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Williamsburg. Visitation will be held Saturday from 9:00 until service time. Burial will be at the Memory Gardens Cemetery in Iowa City. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the American Cancer Society. The family desires to give special thanks to all clinicians who aided Mel during his battle with Cancer and in the days leading up to his passing, as well as Rachel of Iowa City Hospice for her care and compassion during Mel's final days. Powell Funeral Home in Williamsburg is caring for Mel and his family. Messages and tributes may be left at www.powellfuneralhomes.com