Mr. Melvin E. Stamberger 93 of Rochester was surrounded by his loving family when he passed away at 1:33 AM, January 12, 2020, at Miller's Merry Manor in Warsaw.
On February 13, 1926, Melvin Edwin Stamberger was born in Bureau County, Illinois. He was a treasured son of Herman Oscar and Hilda Margaret Lamps Stamberger. Growing up he shared his childhood with two brothers.
At the Clarion Evangelical Lutheran Church at LaMoille,IL, Melvin married the love of his life Miss Wilma Jean Horn, on August 18, 1957. They enjoyed 62 years of life's adventures. From their union came three wonderful children Kathy, Chuck and Steven. The family tree continued to grow with the added blessings of two more generations including nine grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren.
In 1969, Melvin and Wilma moved their family from Mendota to Newcastle Township to set up their home and family farming operation. They erected the windmill that graced the landscape of their farm in Illinois. Melvin was primarily a grain farmer annually planting wheat, corn and soybeans. He also enjoyed overseeing the livestock operation consisting of cross-bred hogs, black Angus and Hereford's. He could be seen turning the soil, then planting annually each spring atop his classic J.I. Case shiny tractors.
Melvin was an active member of the Calvary Lutheran Church in Plymouth. He was an over 30 year member of the Hesston Steam Power Society in LaPorte County. An avid train buff, Melvin built two locomotive steam powered engines on an 1.5 inch scale, powered by coal and water building the perfect steam engine. As the patriarch of the Stamberger family, grandpa Melvin served as engineer and sometimes conductor.
Establishing a family tradition, Melvin and Wilma spent most summer weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day taking to the 7 inch train track and engineering their locomotive steam engine, allowing friends and new acquaintances the thrill of a historic ride. Other family members joined in the fun serving as conductor or sold tickets at the depot.
The appointment of the annual "Corn Day," was led by Melvin. Each spring he planted a special field of tender, juicy sweet corn, monitoring it until the kernels were blistered to perfection. When he declared the corn was ready, his family was notified and the corn was harvested the evening before the "Big Day." Everyone pitched in completing their assignment from shucking, overseeing the blanching in a huge black butcher kettle and cutting the corn from the ear. Much love and many legendary stories were told during the days events. The Stamberger family collaborated to freeze over 400 pints for winter's use, enough for more than 10 families to enjoy!
Left to cherish Melvin's memory are his wife: Wilma at home, a daughter Kathy Stuart and husband Gary, son Chuck Stamberger and wife Melva all of Rochester; daughter-in-law Jayne Stamberger of Mishawaka, 9 grandchildren Christine Smith and husband Adam, Erin Nelson and husband Brett, Daniel Snipes and wife Kelly, Cory Mauck and wife Melissa, Melinda Owens and husband Jason, Michael Stamberger and wife Tana, Timothy Stamberger and wife Katelyn, Jordan Lloyd Stamberger, Cynthia Renee Stamberger; 13 great-grandchildren including the Smith's: Austin, Kaitlyn and Allison, the Nelson's: Brooke and Addison, the Mauck's: Lane, Harley, Alexis and Conner, the Owens: Kensie, Jacob and another blessing due in the spring and the Stamberger's: Clair and Kennedy, brother-in-law Arnold Horn and wife Kay and many nieces and nephews.
Preceding Melvin in death are his parents Herman and Hilda Stamberger, a son Steven Stamberger on August 2, 2012, three older brothers: infant Earl, Wayne and Robert.
A celebration of the life of Mr. Melvin Stamberger will be at 11:00 AM, Thursday, January 16, 2020 at the Calvary Lutheran Church, 1314 North Michigan Street, Plymouth. Pastor Eric Ahlemeyer will officiate. Friends may visit with his family from 4:00 - 7:00 PM on, Wednesday January 15th in the Good Family Funeral Home, 1200 West 18th Street, Rochester, and an hour prior to services at the church. Graveside services will be at 2:00 at the Rochester IOOF Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Calvary Lutheran Church. Online expressions of sympathy may be made to Melvin's the family at www.goodfamilyfh.com