Melvin Eugene Bolte was born on July 30, 1931, in Seward, Nebraska, to Albert and Louise (Lange) Bolte. He was called to his heavenly home on October 1, 2022, in Seward, Nebraska at the age of 91 years, 2 months and 1 day. He lived in Seward his entire life and was admitted into Ridgewood Care and Rehab on February 5, 2020.
Mel was a life-long member of St. John Lutheran Church in Seward where he was baptized on December 25, 1931 and confirmed on March 25, 1945. He grew up in Seward where he attended Seward schools and graduated from Seward High School with the Class of 1949. After graduation, Mel worked with his dad in the petroleum business. Mel was drafted into the U.S. Army on February 26, 1952. He completed his basic training at Ft. Bliss. On July 3, 1952, Mel was united in marriage to Clarice Bartels at Trinity Klein Church in Spring, Texas and to this union three children were born. While serving at Ft. Bliss, he was a member of the 65th Army Band. He was honorably discharged on February 25, 1954.
After his military service, Mel and Clarice returned to Seward where he continued to work with his dad in the petroleum business. He later took over the business, Bolte Oil & Supply, and owned gas stations in Goehner, Milford, Seward, Utica and Unadilla. After he sold the stations, he continued to sell oil and filters from their bulk plant. He was a member of the Nebraska Petroleum Marketers, serving as president from 1993 – 1995. Mel was devoted to his faith, his family, his church, and his community. He was quite the talker and jokester, and never knew a stranger. His life was devoted to serving others, and his death has left a big hole in all our hearts.
Mel played in the Seward Municipal Band from his freshman year of high school until 2015. He played Taps for military funerals for many years. He was a member of the Fire Barn Five +, which played at local events, area parades and Czech festivals. He served on the board of the Parks and Rec Department, was a member of the swimming pool committee, a member of Seward’s First Impression Committee, and the Seward Bandshell Renovation Committee. He was a key leader on the Fourth of July committee and shot off the fireworks display for over 50 years. He was the first person to do fireworks in the north stadium at the Husker football games under Coach Callahan. He served on the Foundation Board of Directors for the Memorial Health Care Systems from 2005 – 2014.
Mel was instrumental in refurbishing the courthouse chimes as well as the building of the softball fields at Plum Creek Park and the walking path through Plum Creek Park. He was a former member of the Seward Volunteer Fire Department where he served as Secretary and President. He was a lifelong member of St. John Lutheran Church where he served as Sunday school superintendent, an elder, the tape delivery ministry and on the worship board for many years. Over the years, Mel received numerous awards in recognition of his service including the Good Samaritan Award in 1964, the Seward County Community Service Award in 1973, the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska Award on July 4, 1986, The State of Nebraska Outstanding Festival Volunteer Award in 2000, Concordia University’s Distinguished Service Award to the Seward Community and Beyond in 2005, the 50 Years of Service Award from the Seward Volunteer Fire Department in 2007, The Seward Area Chamber of Commerce Community Spirit Award in 2008, the Seward Area Chamber of Commerce First Impressions Award in 2013, the NCAA Volunteer of Year Award in 2014, and plaques to commemorate 50 Years in the Seward Municipal Band and 50 Years of service on the City of Seward’s Park and Recreation Board in 2015. Mel and Clarice celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary at Ridgewood Rehab and Care on July 3, 2022.
Mel was preceded in death by his parents, and son, Todd Bolte, brother-in-law, Don Buchholz.
Survivors cherishing his memory include his wife of 70 years, Clarice Bolte, Seward; daughter, Melanie Nutt and husband, Bob, Cozad; son, Stan Bolte, Stillwater, MN; seven grandchildren: Amber Cochran and husband, Joey, Kearney, Brandon Ross and wife, Kelsey, Kearney, Michaela Bradshaw and husband, Mark, Cheyenne, WY, Mallory Nutt, Lincoln, Ashley Bolte, Rosemount, MN, Shannon Bolte, Rochester, MN, Jessica Miller and husband, Tom, Lincoln, NE; eleven great-grandchildren: Carter Cochran, Mackenzie Cochran, Lawson Cochran, Jameson Cochran, Cy Cochran, Austyn Ross, Kannon Ross, Brantley Bradshaw, Lennox Bradshaw, Araya Miller, Evie Miller; one sister, Janice Buchholz, Lincoln; brother-in-law Vic Bartels, Houston, TX, brother-in-law and sister-in-law Jack and Darlene Bartels, Holly Springs, NC; several nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, cousins and a host of friends.
To this obituary we add our thoughts, prayers and memories of a life shared with Mel. Mel’s family would like to thank Ridgewood Rehab and Care Center, HoriSun Hospice, and the ministerial staff of St. John Lutheran Church for the love, concern, visits, and care shown to Mel and our family.