Melvin Droppers, age 89, of Yankton, South Dakota, died Friday, September 21, 2012 at Avera Yankton Care Center in Yankton.
Memorial services are 10:30 AM, on Tuesday, September 25, 2012, at First United Methodist Church in Yankton with Reverend Ron Johnson officiating. Burial will be in the Garden of Memories Cemetery with military honors by the Ernest-Bowyer VFW Post No. 791. The family will receive friends from 5:00 to 8:00 PM, on Monday, at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton with a prayer service at 7:00 PM.
Honorary pallbearers are his grandchildren.
Melvin was born June 6, 1923 in Armour, South Dakota to Henry and Henrietta (Ligtenberg) Droppers. When Melvin was a young boy, the family moved to Hand County, SD. He graduated from Miller High School in Miller, SD and then attended one year of business college in Rapid City, SD. Melvin then joined the United States Navy. He served during World War II in the Pacific Theater aboard the USS Robert K. Huntington destroyer. They escorted the officials to the peace treaty signing in Japan. After his discharge, Melvin taught country school for one year and then graduated from Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, SD with his degree in education.
On November 22, 1950, Melvin married Helen Jean Henthorne in Corsica, SD. Melvin’s first teaching position was in Fulton, SD and then in Ethan, SD. He received a Master’s Degree from Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD and then became the school administrator at Corsica, Sully Buttes, and Geddes, SD. In 1977, he and Jean moved to Rapid City where Melvin worked at the South Dakota Furniture Mart for 7 years. He returned to his career as a school administrator at Sioux Falls Christian High School and then Christian Center Elementary School, retiring in 1994. In 2005, they moved to Yankton.
Melvin and Jean were foster parents for 34 children and they were the first family in South Dakota to receive a permanent foster child through the Casey Family Foundation. Melvin was a member of the American Legion. He enjoyed fishing and hunting with his family, woodworking and doing crosswords puzzles. Melvin also loved reading his Bible.
Melvin is survived by his wife, Jean Droppers of Yankton; six children: Sue (Ken) Buysman of Sheldon, IA, Ken (Cindy) Droppers of Pierre, SD, Barb Hirsch of Yankton, Jim (Karen) Droppers of Sioux Falls, Roger (Lori) Droppers of Tripp, SD and Mark (Syndee) Droppers of Yankton; two permanent foster children, Pat Lewis and June Stambaugh; 25 grandchildren; 41 great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Melvin was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers: Lyle, Morris and Cal Droppers; two sisters, Mona Sue Harvey and Evelyn Laity.
To send an online sympathy message, please visit wintzrayfuneralhome.com.