Melvin Floyd Paulsen, 86, Luverne, formerly of rural Steen, died Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne.
A funeral service will be Thursday at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, at the Reformed Church of Steen. Burial will follow at a later date at Maplewood Cemetery in Luverne. Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 20, at the Hartquist Funeral Home in Luverne.
Melvin Paulsen was born June 14, 1929, to Fred and Laura (Aukes) Paulsen in rural Steen. His parents settled on a farm northwest of Steen when he was six months old. He spent his childhood on the farm and attended school in Steen and Hills, graduating with the class of 1947. Following graduation, he continued to help his dad on the farm. On July, 13, 1951, Melvin enlisted with the United State Air Force and served during the Korean War.
He married Jo Ann Schoonhoven on Feb. 5, 1954, at the Calvary Reformed Church in Ripon, California. The couple lived in North Syracuse, New York, where Melvin was stationed with the United States Air Force. Upon his honorable discharge on July 13, 1955, the couple returned to the family farm northwest of Steen. Melvin’s love was farming but he also was a school bus driver for over 58 years. He retired in October of 2008. During the 1980s, Melvin also drove an equipment truck for gospel singer Sandi Patti’s tours. Additionally, he found time to drive tour bus for Jack Rabbit Bus Lines on a part-time basis. During retirement years he remained active with his fishing and gardening.
Melvin was baptized and confirmed at the Steen Evangelical United Brethren Church. He was a charter member of Pitcher Hill Reformed Church in North Syracuse. When Melvin and Jo Ann returned from New York, they joined the Steen Reformed Church. Melvin served as the Sunday School treasurer for 25 years. He and his wife, Jo Ann, were RCYF sponsors and also coordinators for “Open Doors for International Friendship”, an exchange program with the Reformed Church and a high school in Tokyo, Japan. Melvin also served on the Steen School Board.
Melvin loved animals. Throughout the years, he raised many exotic chickens and fed sheep. He was known for his beautiful flowerbeds. Besides their travels abroad, Melvin was able to visit all 48 lower states and visited Hawaii and Alaska with friends.
Melvin is survived by his wife, Jo Ann Paulsen, Luverne; his children, Floyd (Marianne) Paulsen, Alexandria, Indiana, Mark (Lisa) Paulsen, Marshall, and Glen (Marla) Paulsen, Harrisburg, South Dakota; 10 grandchildren, Riley (Amanda), Emily, Jen (Cameron), Ryan, Bryce, Bryant, Tavvy, Mykel, Grant and Morgan; two great-grandchildren, Jaylen and Ayda; his sister, Shirley Longnecker, Auburn, Washington; and brothers-in-law Wayne Randall, Mora, and Otis Wells, Hilmar, California.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Donna Randall; his parents-in-law, Henry and Marie Schoonhoven; a brother-in-law, Gilbert Longnecker; and a sister-in-law, Joyce Wells.
Arrangements are by Hartquist Funeral Home of Luverne, hartquistfuneral.com.