Melvin Lostroh was born in rural Emerald on Oct. 17, 1924, the son of Arthur and Ida (Ninneman) Lostroh of rural Emerald. Melvin went to be with the Lord on Feb. 22, 2021, due to cancer, at the age of 96 years, 4 months and 5 days.
He attended Lancaster County District 80 school and high school in Emerald. He attended Milford Trade School where he learned welding. He married the love of his life, Joanne Merrill, on Aug. 15, 1948, in Pleasant Dale.
Melvin was an excellent farmer from his youth, a leader in the community, a dear brother in Christ, a great father and a much loved and wonderful grandfather of 18, and great-grandfather of 34.
Melvin was a true cornhusker! What Melvin did as a boy was to walk through the corn field, picking and removing the husks before throwing each ear of corn into an old-style wagon that was pulled alongside him by a team of horses without a driver. He lived to see self-driving combines.
As a teenager, Melvin was hired as a consultant, manager and operator for several farms where the landowners knew improvement was sorely needed. By succeeding in this, he built up a reputation that earned him the admiration of his future father-in-law, Wiston Merrill, and the attention of his future wife, Joanne. Melvin spent his whole farming experience implementing conservation techniques that earned him awards. The Lostroh farm that he lived on nearly his entire live recently celebrated 150 years since Melvin’s grandfather Heinrich Lostroh submitted paperwork under the federal Homestead Act.
Joanne and Melvin loved square dancing, round dancing, ballroom dancing and he served as president of the Lincoln Square & Round Dance Council.
Melvin served on the Emerald elevator board, the District 80 school board and the Seward County Co-op board.
Melvin and Joanne faithfully attended church all their lives, first at Pleasant Dale United Methodist, then at Hillcrest Evangelical Free Church in Seward. Both Melvin and Joanne loved to read the Bible and pray together.
Melvin was often seen in public holding hands with Joanne. They celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary in August, 2014. Joanne went to be with the Lord on Feb. 3, 2015, at the age of 85 years.
Melvin is survived by children and spouses, David and Lorraine Lostroh of Seward, Kathleen (Lostroh) and John Frohner of Lincoln, Kevin and Julia Lostroh of rural Lincoln; grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Julie (Lostroh) and Edwin Hughlett of Anthony, Kansas, Stephen and Amy Lostroh, Austin, Ryley, and Audrey of Miramar, Florida, Katie (Lostroh) and Bradley Ulrich, Brayden, Sienna, Kiera, Tenley, and Zane of Lincoln, Amy (Lostroh) and Tom Thalls of Seward, Bethany (Lostroh) and Zach Soflin, Brynlee, Piper, Annika, and Liam of Seward, Jonathan Lostroh of Lincoln, Matthew and Amanda Lostroh, and Zipporah of York, Michael Lostroh of Lincoln, Mary Lostroh, Reuben Blowers of Lincoln, Brenda (Frohner) and Ryan Sisel, Alexis, Logan, and Carson of Lincoln, Jennifer (Frohner) and Ryan McGhee, Samantha, and Sadie of rural Lincoln, Melissa Frohner of Lincoln, Stacy (Lostroh) Nordmeyer, Jaiden, Ava, Lane, and Tessa of Malcolm, Denise (Lostroh) and Travis Pritchett, Calen and Kyler of Lincoln, Mark and Ashton Lostroh, Kase, Evan, and Barrett of Lincoln, Lesley (Lostroh) and Matthew Turek, Mason, Cale, Emma, Jackson, and Mila, of Malcolm, Teresa Lostroh and Todd Meysenburg, and Graham of Lincoln, and Emily Lostroh of rural Lincoln; sister, Alta Schweitzer of Ft. Collins, Colorado; brother, Paul and Violet Lostroh of Rapid City, South Dakota; sister-in-law, Helen Busboom of Seward; brother-in-law, Charles Ott of Omaha; and many nieces, nephews and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Henry and wife, Jean Lostroh; sister, Velma and husband, Alvin Luebben; sisters, Laverne Lostroh, Ardith and husband, Sid Siegrist; sisters-in-law, Cheryl Ott and Julia Lee and Gene Melichar; brothers-in-law, Harold Busboom and Floyd Schweitzer.
A funeral service was Feb. 27 at Hillcrest Evangelical Free Church in Seward with interment at Pleasant Dale Cemetery. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Lostroh Family for future designations. Condolences may be left for the family and the funeral service may be viewed under Melvin's obituary at www.zabkaperduefuneralhome.com.