Mel was born on January 17, 1933 to Henry and Jessie (Shannon) Gullickson in Deer River, MN. He graduated from Deer River High School June of 1951. In June 1953, Mel drafted into the Army and served as an Army Aircraft Mechanic. After he returned home from the Korean War in 1955, he met and started dating Lily Mae Barnes. They were married on July 21, 1956.
In 1960, Mel started working at Blandin Paper Company (BPC). In 1970 started a potato farm; in 1981-86 he was an officer of BPMWU; in 1981 his family was awarded The National Family of the Year by Special Olympic; in 1987 he started Deer River Hired Hands (DRHH); in 1992 he retired from BPC; in 1993 he started Mel’s Grave Digging “Mel Will Be The Last One To Let You Down!”; in 2012 he retired from DRHH. Mel and Lily Mae have been foster care providers to people with disabilities for 45 years. He also was an active member of the VFW, American Legion, Wrestling Fans Club, and ARC. Mel enjoyed fishing, hunting, golfing, watching generations of his boys wrestle and play football and his great granddaughters play sports, and loved spending time with all of his grandchildren.
Mel is survived by his loving wife of 61 years Lily; son Micheal (Teri); daughter Cheryl (Jeff Rolfes) Gullickson; “sons and daughter” Scott Brisson, Darrin Babcock and Bonita Cloud; grandsons Kevin, Steve (Abby), Jason (Nikki) Miller, Matt and Brent Miller; granddaughter Kari (Todd) Schultz; 12 great-grandchildren; siblings Alvina Forsythe and Richard Gullickson.
He is preceded in death by his parents, brothers Irvin and Vernon, sons Steven and Mark, and great-granddaughter Shelby.
Funeral and visitation were held at Bethany Lutheran Church. Visitation was held on Sunday, January 14, 2018, 6:00-8:00 PM. Funeral was Monday, January 15 at 11:00 AM.
Arrangements by Carroll Funeral Home, Deer River & Bigfork, Minnesota.