Melvin Lee Cruse, 89, of Tangier, Indiana, passed away Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023, in his son’s residence. He was a retired operating engineer with local 841 for 55 years and auctioneer for 45 years. He was also a sales representative for Promotional Concepts Inc. since 1970.
Mel was born Nov. 3, 1934, at Jessup, Indiana, to the late Walter Cruse and Mary Morlan Cruse.
His wife of 61 years, Norma Jean Little Cruse, whom he married June 4, 1955, in Howard, preceded him in death April 10, 2017.
Survivors include: two sons, Mike (Christy) Cruse of Kingman and Steve (Cheryl) Cruse of Perrysville; seven grandchildren, Amanda (Taylor) Walsh, Ryan Cruse, Montana (Tanya) Faulkner, Samantha (Craig) Eldridge, Casey (Eric Thrasher) Cruse, Michael (Dana) Cruse and Seth (Ginni Thompson) Cruse; 10 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by daughter Deborah Lynn Cruse and brother Max Cruse.
He was a 1952 graduate of Rosedale High School. He was drafted into the United States Army in November 1957 serving at the Western Area Command Headquarters G3 in Kaiserslautern, Germany. He was a Liberty Township Advisory Board member since 1996 and the township trustee for 16 years. He was an avid square dancer caller for more than 50 years. He was a 53-year member of the Kingman American Legion Post 384, 50-year Mason he was a Past Master, and a member of the Kingman Masonic Lodge# 314 and received his 50-year Award of Gold in March of this year, and Order of the Eastern Star Fountain Chapter 204, Parke County Low 12 Club, AMVETS Post 61 in Rockville, and the 32-degree Scottish Rite Valley of Terre Haute, as well as a lifetime member of the Montezuma Fish and Game Club.
Mel also was a member of the West Liberty Church of Christ in Covington. He was instrumental in the building of the Tangier Community Center and assisted with the buried beef for 43 years. If you knew Mel, you know the definition of a working man.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 20 at Gooch Funeral Home, 112 W. Howard St., Rockville, with Pastor Kurt Flora officiating. Burial will follow at Rosedale Cemetery with military graveside honors by Parke County veterans. Visitation is 2-6 p.m. Sunday, with Masonic memorial services conducted at 6 p.m. at the funeral home.
Memorials, should friends so desire, may be made to the Tangier Community Building, 9812 N. Towpath Road, Tangier, IN 47952; or to the West Liberty Church of Christ, 2806 State Road 32, Covington, IN 47932, in his memory.
Online condolences may be shared at www.goochfuneralhome.com.