“Never throw out old rusty nails. They must be straightened, and placed in an old tobacco can in the workshop for future use.” Mel McDougall left us with many life lessons, this was but one.
Mel passed away in peace and comfort with family by his side on March 4th at Gateby in Vernon, BC at the age of 87 years. A life well lived such as his, is difficult to summarize in few words. It was so much more than just the dash between 1929 – 2016. His life lessons below are a testament to how he lived and the legacy he left behind – He had a great love for his family and friends, music, travel, life experiences, his church and getting the best deal he could at the cheapest price. He had a ready smile, kindness, love, and politeness for all he met.
Mel loved his family and always had room for more – If you take in foster children, while your daughter is ill, you may as well go for an even dozen or more kids over the years.
There was nothing better than family camping trips, rescuing the kids when their bike broke or they missed the bus.
Mel had a great appreciation for food. He could often be heard saying – “Micki, this is a fantastic lunch, what is it?” Or “Okay kids I’ll cook my famous grilled cheese sandwiches” – again. It was always important to read the directions every morning before making porridge. His grandkids knew when you are too short to reach the freezer to sneak a cookie out of the tin before dinner… Grampa would always help.
Mel had a zest for life experiences –
If you get 5 avid skier friends together, you can build a 200-foot ski hill on the prairies with a rope tow, and then teach the kids how to ski. If you want to teach the kids to skate, build a backyard rink and flood it every night. He was always willing to
teach kids to water ski as long as they asked their dad for 5 bucks for gas. His take on Fishing – You are rarely bored on a golf course.
When it came to leveling the RV, all you need to level a travel trailer is a gallon jug of wine. If it isn’t level, take another sip until it’s level. Mel also knew the elevation of every place he visited. He always had an altimeter in his vehicle – you will never be lost with an altimeter and compass.
He found reading 10 books a month keeps you informed but makes you want to travel.
If you drive the electric scooter to McDonald’s and plug it in, Mel figured you can have two cups of seniors coffee while it charges for the trip home. If you saw Mel driving the scooter, you knew not to wave, he will surely try to wave back.
Mel loved getting the best deal at the cheapest cost. Never hire a handyman, be one – plumber, electrician, and carpenter.
Don’t extend any credit to anyone at the store, unless they need it. Record every gas purchase in case you miss an oil change and keep the car polished! Enter every purchase in the cheque book. He would bring Old Milwaukee to family gatherings, but only drink the Corona, because he really liked it. What he liked about homemade Saki wine is its great abundance at a cheap price. Sticking to his roots, Scotch trumped it all of course.
Mel love his music – When you play guitar, learn 400 chords and you will be asked to be a studio musician for famous artists at the local fair or the big dance hall week after week.
He didn’t preach his values, he lived them. If you do go to church every Sunday, they might have oatmeal cookies at the meet and greet.
Mel was married to Micki for 65 years, and they shared a wonderful life together having three children Barry, Terry and Shauna, with six grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. He is predeceased by his three brothers and has one surviving sister.
After graduating high school Mel took agriculture at the University of Manitoba to prepare him for a future as a sewing machine salesman, accountant, grocery store owner and a gentleman rancher.
Mel was a member of The Sons of Scotland, The Lions Club, The Good Sam’s R.V Club and the Explorers Group.
Rest in peace Grampa, we know you will be singing and dancing with the angels.
Thank you to all that cared for Mel in his last years.
Funeral services will be held at the All Saints Anglican Church (3205 27th Street,Vernon, BC) on Friday, March 11th, 2016 at 3:00pm
Those wishing to do so may make donations in Melvin’s memory to the Heart and Stroke Foundation (4 – 1551 Sutherland Avenue, Kelowna, BC V1Y 9M9)