Melvin "Mel" Merle Thiessen

August 22, 1956September 4, 2020

Mel was born to Edgar and Anna Thiessen on August 22, 1956, the second of three children. Mel lived his entire life in the Abbotsford/Mt. Lehman area where he married and had two daughters. Mel worked for Otter Co-Op for 36 years and ran the family farm for 29 years. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, two daughters, son –in-law, and remaining family and friends.

On the outside, Mel was a light-hearted, easy-going man. He was best known for his super-cheesy jokes, supersized coffees, country music, lawn tractor racing, thumbs ups, and “That’s just awesome!” Mel was also known for his generous spirit. Quick to help in a time of need, Mel touched the lives of many people; he always helped when he could, made people laugh when he could, and hugged when he could.

But on the inside, Mel was being tortured by his own mind. He fought a long and bitter battle against depression, turning more and more frequently to alcohol for solace. On September 4, 2020, when drink was unable to numb the pain and despair, Mel took his own life.

Mel wasn’t able to express what he was feeling because he had never learned how, and he refused to seek counselling because he’d been taught it was a s sign of weakness. Depression is not weakness; it’s an illness that slowly steals the best parts of your life. Asking for help is not weakness; it’s exactly what you would do for any other kind of illness or injury.

Mel left this world believing he was beyond help and we’d all be better off without him; he was wrong. If that’s how you’re feeling; you’re wrong too. There are no words to describe the pain and devastation of those of us left behind. Your life matters!

Please learn from Mel’s story and fight back against the darkness. This first step is both the simplest and the hardest; tell someone how you’re feeling.

Mel lost his earthly battle with depression, but nothing can separate him from the love of God: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16

In lieu of cards or flowers, please reach out to the people around you and remind each other of these three truths: You are precious. You Have purpose. You are Loved.

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Melvin "Mel" Merle Thiessen

have a memory or condolence to add?

Gary Zurowski

November 27, 2020

My sincerest condolences go to Mel's wonderful family.....I have so many very fond memories of Mel Thiessen.....he was such an amazing person.....I remember stopping by Otter co-op to say hello and Mel shared his Dad's cookies with me..... the next time I stopped by I brought him Subway cookies.... RIP Mel.....I will miss you buddy

Brent and Angie Neufeld

October 14, 2020

Uncle Mel was someone very special to us and our kids and will surely be missed. We have SO MANY fond memories of our trips to Uncle Mel and Aunty Judy's farm - playing canasta until the early morning hours, racing uncle Mel's lawn tractors, uncle Mel treating us to his favorite chinese restaurant, swimming in their pool, watching uncle Mel play the banjo, his sense of humor...just to name a few. We can still picture the smile on his face as he would come in the back sliding door after work and see us there. Uncle Mel was one of the most generous men we know, and was a role model to us when we were raising our children. Sending big hugs to you Aunty Judy, Rachel, Jason, and Alicia . Much love from Brent, Angie, Isaiah, Brooklyn and Carter xoxo

Gerda Peachey

October 11, 2020

Dear Judy: To you and your precious girls, I can only offer a few inadequate words that cannot ease the pain of your loss.

I remember your Mel as a really nice guy. Alway pleasant. Hard-working salt-of-the-earth sort of man.

Obviously I never saw the pain of his struggle with depression.

You did a noble thing by writing with such honesty about Mel's journey. May God use your honesty to help someone else caught in what seems like a hopeless place of pain.

May God give you grace for each moment of every day to find renewed peace and joy in your lives.

Sue Taylor

October 5, 2020

The loss is immeasurable, but so is the love left behind. He had a heart of gold,and I will miss him forever. Too many memories to share,but every one is a great one,just like my bro!!

Grace Fast

October 3, 2020

My deepest condolences to Mel’s wife Judy and family. Also, to his sister and brother, Susan and Byron and their families. My memories of Melvin go back a long way, he was pleasant, kind, and accepting. I pray that you all will experience God’s help and comfort at this time.

Margaret Goertzen

October 2, 2020

Heartfelt condolences to Judy, Susan, Byron and families. So very sorry for your loss.

Ellen Saenger

September 28, 2020

Deepest sympathy to Mel's family. He was a gem of a man and the best neighbour anyone could have. He will be missed.

Jackie Scarff

September 25, 2020

My deepest sympathies go out to you and your family. May God give you the peace that you seek. I am thinking about you and sending love .

Rose Yurkiw

September 16, 2020

Melvin was always so loving and loved to visit and laugh. Last visit I had with him was in 2018 at Aunt Anna’s birthday party. His hug was warm and his smile was wide, and we had an awesome visit. He is greatly missed and will be warmly remembered for his love for life and for everyone. Sending Sue, Byron, Judy, and all family members my greatest love and prayers as you keep Melvin’s memory alive in your hearts.

Gerald Thiessen

September 12, 2020

I have many good memories of growing up with Mel. He was a fun loving guy and did most everything,with all his heart.We played a lot of ice hockey and floor hockey games,together. We took a trip down to Scio Oregon, in the early 70’s , to work for Mel’s Uncle Ben. Mel loved to sing and I remember we sang most of the way to Scio and back. I will miss him, his voice ,and his cheerful teasing disposition.