Michael Dean Mellen

Michael Dean Mellen (65) resident of St. Maries, ID died January 26, 2019 at Kootenai Health in Coeur d’ Alene, ID.  He was born January 20, 1954 to Spud and Betty (Baldock) Mellen at Elmendorf AFB, Anchorage, AK.  Mike grew up in St. Maries and graduated from St. Maries High School with the class of 1972.  Following graduation, Mike enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. and was stationed in Japan.  He was on his way to Vietnam when the war ended.  He served in the Marine Corps for four years.

After his discharge from the Marine Corps, Mike briefly returned to St. Maries.  He went to work for Flag Steel in Spokane driving Truck.  Mike also attended Spokane Community College where he studied Business and Bookkeeping.  He also worked and managed a chicken farm for National Foods.

Mike started long haul truck driving for Systems Transport.  Following the death of his mother, Mike returned to St. Maries and worked as a log truck driver.  In 1995, he was re-introduced to his high school girlfriend Susan Vannatter at a Paul Bunyan Days dance.  They were married June 10, 2010 at the St. Joe Lodge.  Mike returned to work for Systems Transport, and he and Susan traveled together on those trips. Mike also drove log truck for Craner, Humphrey, and Buell trucking.  Because of health issues, Mike was forced into retirement.

Mike enjoyed camping, fishing, hunting, four wheeling and “BS”ing.   He loved helping anyone who needed it.  Mike also enjoyed escaping to his shop to work on wood projects or mechanic.  His special joy, however, was spending time with his family and grandchildren.  Mike was a member of American Legion Post 25 of St. Maries.

Mike is survived by his wife Susan at the family home; his father Spud Mellen of St. Maries; sister Nita (Brad) Duke of St. Maries, ID, and sons Michael James Mellen of Post Falls, Jeremy Vannatter (Sonesta-Kalispell) and Brandon (Jenny) Vannatter both of St. Maries.  Also surviving are 11 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.  He was preceded in death by his mother Betty Jean Mellen.

Visitation will be Friday Feb. 1, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Hodge Funeral Home.  Funeral services will be Saturday Feb. 2, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at the St. Maries Eagles Lodge.  Interment will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery with a Potluck gathering of family and friends to follow back at the lodge.