Melvin G. “Mel” Lucas passed away Monday, Feb. 16, 2015, after a long battle with cancer in The Dalles, Ore., with his family by his side. Mel was born in Alexandria, Minn., the fourth of eight boys, to Paul Harold Wesley and Mable (Irwin) Lucas on June 7, 1933.
When Mel was 6 his family moved to Hood River, Ore., where Mel attended local schools. He met Darline James in 1952, and they were united in marriage and moved to Cascade Locks, Ore. Together they were blessed with five children: Melody, Terry, Cal, Scott and Robyn. In 1962 the family moved to Auburn, Wash., where Mel worked for Miles Sand and Gravel. In 1971 they moved to Canby, Ore., where they lived until Darline passed away after a long fight with cancer.
In 1976 Mel met and married Patricia "Pat" Crews. Pat brought with her three children: Carolyn, Darrell and Lyle. They moved to Hood River and combined their families. Mel was employed in the roofing business. In 1985 Mel and Pat moved to Arizona where he and Pat managed senior and assisted living facilities. In 1991 they returned to Oregon, moving to The Dalles, where they opened Flagstone Assisted Living. In 1998 Mel retired from Flagstone.
Mel and Pat enjoyed 39 years together, sharing good times with their eight children, 12 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. Also, the couple were foster parents to many children who were in crisis situations.
Through the years the couple enjoyed traveling. In addition to numerous road trips they loved cruising and took several trips to Alaska plus Hawaii and through the Panama Canal where they visited several countries in Central America.
Mel served four years with the National Guard. He was also an active member of several organizations including the Mid-Columbia Veterans Memorial Committee, helping with the building and completion of the monuments at Sorosis Park. He was also involved with the Mid-Columbia Community Meals program, serving on the board several years in addition to being president of the service group.
Mel touched the lives of many people with his generous spirit, soft heart and helping hands. He was also well known for “Mel's Famous Fudge.” Numerous offices, professional people plus his large contingency of close friends were always pleased when he dropped by with a plate of the “best fudge in the Gorge.”
Mel was preceded in death by his parents and six brothers. He is survived by his wife, Pat Lucas, of The Dalles; brother Bob Lucas, of Springfield, Ore.; his children: Melody (John) Snyder, of Lake Tapps, Wash., Terry Lucas, of Salem, Ore., Cal (Angie) Lucas, of Milwaukee, Ore., Scott Lucas, of Salem, Ore., Robyn Jones, of Caldwell, Idaho, Carolyn (John) Layson and Darrell Clemmer, of The Dalles, Ore., and Lyle Crews, of Hood River, Ore. In addition Mel is survived by 12 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews plus numerous friends.
A celebration of life will be held Saturday, March 7, 10:30 a.m. at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 2819 W. 10th, in The Dalles, with interment to follow at Mountain View Cemetery in Hood River.
Memorials may be made to Home at Last, 200 River Road, The Dalles, OR 97058. “We take comfort in knowing Mel is face-to-face with his Lord and this is not ‘good-bye,’ only ‘see you later.’”
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