Melvin J. Ballweg, 79, of Roxbury, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, surrounded by his family.
He was born on the family farm in Roxbury Township on Jan. 21, 1939, to the late Louis and Helen (Pulvermacher) Ballweg. Melvin attended St. Aloysius Grade School and Sauk City High School where he enjoyed playing basketball and had a great three-point shot before there was such a thing. He said his parents always made sure they finished their chores early so they wouldn’t miss a game. His future wife, Pauline, took notice when her Lodi High School team played against Sauk City. Melvin’s high school team made it’s first-ever appearance at the State Tournament in 1956 where they placed third. This was a time when there were no divisions of large schools and small schools, so it was a big deal for a small community. Melvin married Pauline (Treinen) of Lodi on Aug. 8, 1961, where he continued to farm and cultivated a love for his crops and the soil.
He enjoyed bowling, golfing, curling and fishing. For decades he also enjoyed hunting with a group of guys referred to as “the hunters.” Aside from hunting trips, family vacations, and a six-month service in the Army, Melvin never desired to venture far from the farm, as he loved his home so much. He was happiest outdoors, raking, mowing, picking up sticks and walnuts, and gardening vegetables and flowers. He could grow anything. Melvin admired the deer, turkeys, birds and other animals in his yard, cornfields, neighboring properties as well as during his drives west of town. After the decision was made to sell the dairy cattle in 1974, Melvin used his talent as a finish carpenter to build homes for Heiser Builders in Waunakee while still tending to beef cattle and crops during that time. Later, he took a job with Twin City Forms in Sauk City where he retired at the age of 62. He had worked construction for about 30 years, and this, along with being a perfectionist, helped him create many woodworking pieces for his family and friends to enjoy.
Melvin was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2013 and continued to live at home until spring 2017. Even though his disease progressed and his mind deteriorated, he never lost his love for mowing the lawn. He was often seen substituting a walker for his mower in the hallways of the memory care facility. He could also be found kneeling on the floor, presumably sanding wood or smoothing the dirt in his garden, checking the construction of a countertop, chair, etc. to see how things were made or to see if something needed to be fixed. He was a handful for his caregivers. He held onto his coordination until the end as he liked to dribble his ball and play catch while reliving his basketball days.
Melvin is survived by his wife of 57 years, Pauline; children, Greg (Nicole Haselwander), Tracy (Terry Clements) and Carla (Kevin Gogin); grandchildren, Sabrina, Carson, and Peyton; step-grandchildren, Kelly Clements and Erin Clements. He is further survived by his sister Phyllis Frosch; sisters-in-law, Darlene Ballweg and Donna Kessenich; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister-in-law, Bernadine (Marx) Treinen; brothers-in-law, Daniel Ballweg, James Frosch, David Treinen, and Joe Kessenich; nephews, Dennis D. Ballweg, Dale Ballweg, Eddie Kessenich, Kevin Treinen, and Gary Treinen; other relatives, and a close friend Jack Fassbender.
A memorial Mass was held at 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, at St. Aloysius Catholic Church, 115 Madison St., Sauk City, with Fr. Miguel Galvez officiating. A visitation was held from 2-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, at the Hooverson Funeral Home, 251 Water St., Sauk City, and the from 10-10:45 a.m. the morning of the Mass at the funeral home. A private interment will be held at a later date in St. Aloysius Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in Melvin’s name to The Alzheimers & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin or Heartland Hospice.
Melvin’s family would also like to express their sincerest gratitude to the many health care professionals, caregivers, Brightstar, Heartland Hospice and FountainHead Homes for their loving care of Melvin.
Melvin, of German heritage, would often say “take care” in German when saying goodbye. To all of his friends and family – Mach’s Gut.
Hooverson Funeral Home is assisting the family. Online condolences may be made at hooversonfuneralhomes.com.