Melvin A. Backlund was born September 4, 1923 in Stockholm, South Dakota. He passed away October 10, 2011 at Brandel Manor in Turlock, California at the age of 88.
Melvin moved to Hilmar, California with his family as a youngster where he attended elementary and high schools. He graduated from Hilmar High School in 1941. After high school, Melvin enlisted in the Army where he served as a military policeman. He was responsible for transporting Prisoners of War across the Atlantic. It wasn't long after his return from the Army that he met his bride-to-be, Audrey Anderson. After dating for a little over a year, Mel and Audrey were married in 1948. They spent their entire married life together in Turlock where they raised their three children.
Most of Melvin's work life was spent as a rural mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service. Some people around Turlock still remember his 1962 green Ford Falcon that he drove while delivering the mail! Melvin retired from the Postal Service at the age of 57 and then went to work part-time selling insurance for Tom Michael Insurance Agency.
Melvin was very active in many organizations in the Turlock community. A few of those being Turlock Little League where he served several terms as League President, Toastmasters where he enjoyed competing in regional speech contests, and Kiwanis Club in which he was still an active member. Melvin was also a longtime member of Turlock's First United Methodist Church where he served as head usher for many years. He also served as a member and chairperson on several church committees.
Melvin was a wonderful father and grandfather. At family gatherings, there was always space on his lap for a grandchild or great-grandchild or both! He loved to joke and tease and tell stories of his days as a young adult.
Melvin was preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Mable Backlund and brothers Les Backlund and Glenn Backlund. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Audrey Backlund; daughter Sandy (Dan) Bettencourt of Turlock; son Bob (Nancy) Backlund of Turlock and daughter Diane (Bob) Gillispie of Modesto, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his younger brother Virgil Backlund of Fairfield and two nieces and five nephews.
The family would like to thank Dr. Kumar and the many nurses and staff at Brandel Manor who have so wonderfully taken care of their dad and grandpa over the last two years.
There will be a viewing from 5 to 7pm on Friday, October 14th at Turlock Funeral Home, 425 N. Soderquist Rd., Turlock. A memorial service will be held at 2:30pm on Saturday, October 15th at First United Methodist Church 1660 Arbor Way, Turlock, with a reception following in the church social hall. Burial will be private at Turlock Memorial Park.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church 1660 Arbor Way, Turlock, CA 95380
Please share your memories and condolences at www.turlockmemorialpark.com
Saturday, October 15, 2011