Melvin & Marian's Obituary
It is said that having a partner in this lifetime—to grow together, to love completely, to ride out every storm, and to overcome all of life's challenges—ls one or the most beautiful blessings of marriage. Melvin and Marian Page, partners in life for 74 years were so blessed.
As many friends are aware, our sweet and loving dad got his call to be with the Lord on May 1, 2020, He lived a wonderful, long life of service to God, his family, and others for 95 years. His cherished wife and life partner, Marian, was with him then, right by his side, as she had been for their 74 amazing years of marriage. On July 24, following a brief illness, the Lord graciously called Mom to join Mel in heaven. She, too, was an example of selfless giving, boundless energy, dedication to her family, and faith in God.
Mel was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts on March 16, 1925, and grew up on a farm in Chester, New Hampshire A talented musician, he began studying piano at the age of 8. While preparing for a career in music. he set aside aspirations of attending the Boston Conservatory of Music and joined the US Navy, serving in the dental corps during World War Il, While stationed at Great Lakes Naval Base in Chicago, he met his wife and the love of his life, Marian, on a blind date, and they married in 1945, He attended Marquette University and graduated from the Illinois College of Podiatric Medicine in 1954. He began his practice in Milwaukee and moved to La Crosse in 1961 where he practiced podiatry until his retirement in 1990. He continued to make house calls until the week he retired.
A 60-year member of First Presbyterian Church, Dr. Page served as a deacon, member of the choir, and a valued member of the worship committee. He was a partner in starting the first prostate cancer support group in La Crosse, and continued to participate in the group until his late 80’s. An accomplished musician; Dr. Mel was a longtime member of the Coulee Chordsmen, and wrote and arranged music for them and for his church choir. He enjoyed fishing, gardening, and many years of bow hunting, with his claim to fame being that he never harmed Bambi or his mother.
In his retirement, he remained active in his church and served the community through the local Mobile Meals program, volunteered at the Mayo Franciscan Health Center, and performed at local nursing homes including Bethany Riverside where he later became a resident.
Marian, the loving matriarch of the family, was born in Milwaukee on October 18, 1926, and was raised in Wauwatosa, graduating from Wauwatosa High School in 1945. She was loved and admired by all who knew her as a great friend, patient listener, and wise advisor. Her friends and family will always remember her selflessness, kindness, and priority of putting family first. Both a gifted administrator and compassionate healthcare professional, Marian assisted her husband with operations both administrative and surgical in his office. She was a talented cook, baker, and all-around homemaker with a heart for hospitality and making people feel special. Marian was also the instigator of many hilarious family adventures, getting in and out of memorable scrapes, and coining her favorite phrase, "Are we having fun yet?" Most of all, she was an exceptional wife and mother, intensely interested in the activities and achievements of her children and grandchildren, attending every concert, play, and ceremony. She was the maker and keeper of family traditions, whether the Christmas Eve buffet following church, herring on New Year's Eve, the annual trip to Warrens for crafts, or the celebratory dinners at the Freighthouse.
Marian was also a 60-year member of First Presbyterian Church where she served as a deacon and in other areas of outreach. After retirement, Marian continued working as a volunteer at Franciscan Skemp Healthcare for 19 years, as well as delivering Mobile Meals with Mel.
The highlight of each year was the annual family vacation Up North with their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. The 37-year tradition they began in 1984 still continues.
Mel and Marian are survived by their daughters Lynn (Cory) Groves of La Crosse, Nancy (Scott) Reed of Collierville, Tennessee, grandchildren Timothy Groves of Palm Springs California, Bethany Pogreba of La Crosse, and Mark (Anna) Reed of Bartlett, Tennessee, and great grandchildren Josh and Sam Pogreba, and Ava, Zoey, and Noah Reed. Mel was preceded in death by his mother Hazel (Hunt) West, stepfather John West, father Harry Page, brother Donald Page, and sisters Sylvia Falzone and Norma Cammett. Marian was preceded in death by her parents William and Lillian (Haug) Preis, a sister Adeline Preis, and brothers William and Bert Preis.
The family wishes to thank the professional and caring staff of Riverside Transitional Care who went above and beyond to allow Mom and Dad to be together in challenging circumstances, the Mayo Hospice staff, especially Dr. Hilary Bingol, Lindsey, and Trin who provided amazing personal care and insight, Pastor Lisa Shank, and the compassionate staff at Mayo Health Systems. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the First Presbyterian Church Music Department, Freedom Honor Flight. or Onalaska United Methodist Church Sanctuary Choir.
A joint memorial service will be held in the near future for Mel and Marian. As always, they are doing everything together.