1914 4th Street. Marysville, WA 98270

Melvin Gottfred Kelln May 30, 2024

Melvin Gottfred Kelln passed away November 20, 2022.

He was born September 3, 1936 in Shattuck, Oklahoma to Gottfred Henry and Mary (Bay) Kelln, the second of five children. His older brother, Leroy passed away in January 2022. His parents moved from Oklahoma when he was young and raised their family on a dairy farm in Ferndale, Washington. He has three younger siblings, Lillian (Grady Lowman), Ruthie (Gerald Edmonds), and Bobby (Kathy).

Mel went to Western Washington University where he majored in education and met the lady who made his heart pitter patter, Jeanne Hardy. They were married on June 12, 1960. He began his career as an industrial arts teacher and basketball coach in Granite Falls, Washington. This is where he and Jeanne began their family. They had five children, Kevin, Tim (Lora Lee Leathers), Cindi (Doug Davis), Kari (John Brickey), and Jill (Brant Wood). He later got a Masters degree in Administration and became an assistant principal at Marysville Pilchuck High School, dedicated to serving the Marysville community for over thirty years.

He was an active member of the Marysville United Methodist Church, where he had many roles. Some of them included driving the church van-picking up senior citizens with his children on Sundays, maintaining the church lawn, and serving as a member of the pastor parish relations committee. He loved doing the work of the church.

Mel enjoyed sitting on the back deck of his home at Arcadia entertaining family and friends. He would tell stories of fishing, crabbing, and working in the woods back when he first met Jeanne, his wife of 62 years. They enjoyed traveling together and sharing their adventures with family and friends. You could be sure Dad would have the Huskies games on, watching basketball, football, and baseball. When the Seahawks were playing you can be sure he was with family or friends cheering them on.

Mel’s favorite season, without a doubt, was Christmas. He built advent candle holders, took his family for Christmas tree hunting adventures-which always included sledding and cocoa, hung lights on the house, and spent hours setting up his Holiday Villages. He couldn’t wait to spend time with his family.

Mel shared fond memories with his grandchildren and great grandchildren. His grandchildren include Levi (Brandi) Leathers, Jordan, Parker, and Paige Davis, Ryan (Jordyn) and Tyler Brickey, and Kyle and Kris (Sara) Wood. Special memories include camping on the boat in the San Juans, hikes in the Cascades with m&m “energy pills”, singing along to silly songs on his guitar, watching movies, and camping. Any reason to get together for a shared meal was okay with Mel.

He had six great grandchildren: Julian and Chase (Levi/Brandi), Anastasia and Adisyn (Paige), Ryleigh and Ayden (Ryan/Jordyn). His love for them would always bring out their smiles and make them feel at ease.

There are so many more memories to share. We hope you will join us for a shared memorial for Melvin and Jeanne on Saturday, January 21, 2023 at Marysville United Methodist Church, 5600 64th Street NE, Marysville, WA at 3pm.  In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite charity.


  1. Linda Bunch Zamani says

    I feel lucky to have known your dad, who was also my family’s neighbor at Arcadia. He had abundant energy and was definitely a leader in all areas of his life. I will never forget how friendly your parents were and how much they cherish their family.

  2. Donna (Taber) O’Brien says

    He was such a wonderful teacher! Such a sweet man. He was my drivers Ed teacher. I think of him every time I parallel park like a professional!

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