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July 23, 1933 - August 31, 2023
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Melvin Richard Ross
Mel was born on July 23, 1933, in Matamoras, Pennsylvania where NJ, NY, and PA join in Pike County, Pennsylvania. When he graduated high school, he joined the U.S. Navy, in 1951, following an older brother who lost his life in WWII, when the USS Juneau CL-52 was blown up at Guadalcanal. He enlisted in the US Air Force in 1957 and retired in 1974 from the PMEL Lab at Ellsworth, giving 23 ½ years in service to his country. He opened Black Hills Fly Shop in Hill City, SD and uncovered the oldest commercial log building in SD that he renovated.
He was a hunter and lifelong fly fisherman who tied many flies with much detail and perfection to the art. He was also a fur dealer. He decided to move to Rapid City in 1987, and continue his wholesale business, USA Tackle, selling tackle and live bait, which he continued through his 80’s.
His wife, Helen June and children, Chris Banzet, Melanie Ross and Melissa Sykora, took time to honor him in peace before writing an obituary.
He was a Husband, Father, Grandfather, and Great Grandfather and we all miss him!
He passed away at Monument Health in Rapid City on August 31, 2023, and is now in God’s hands at Black Hills National Cemetery. Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements and his military services.