Melvin O'Neal

June 24, 1928July 26, 2020

West Des Moines, IA

Melvin O’Neal, 92, passed away peacefully of natural causes at Regency Care Center, Sunday, July 26, 2020. Graveside services with military honors will be held 10 a.m. Friday, July 31, 2020 at Resthaven Cemetery in West Des Moines, IA. Due to COVID-19 restrictions there will be no other services planned and the family respectfully requests that masks be worn.

Melvin was born June 24, 1928 in Des Moines, IA to Henry Anton “Tony” O’Neal and Mabel Alice (Kucker) O’Neal. He grew up in Valley Junction and was a proud graduate of Valley High School in 1948. Mel enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and received an honorable discharge on October 18, 1951. He married the love of his life, Wilma Jean Sheets, on January 8, 1950, and they lived in West Des Moines all their lives. Melvin started working for Northwestern Bell in 1951 and retired in 1990. He was one of the founding members of the West Des Moines Police Auxiliary in 1961. It was Melvin’s way of giving back to the community he and Wilma loved being a part of. He retired as a Captain from the Auxiliary after 21 years. Melvin had many, many lifelong friends. He was selfless, loved fishing, hunting, building remote control boats, flying gas engine airplanes and anything that involved spending time with his family. Melvin was a long-time member of the Izaak Walton League and enjoyed the time he spent there with family and friends. The neighborhood children loved him and to them he was always, and still is, Marvin.

Melvin is survived by his daughter, Valerie Jean O’Neal (Bill Kautzky), son, Douglas Melvin (Cathleen) O’Neal; grandchildren, Kent (Shelby) Young, Casey Young, Kelsi (Dan) Gonzalez, Justin (Katherine) O’Neal and Julie (Jacob) Peterson; great-grandchildren, Cameron, Zoe, Tiara, Taryn, Savannah Jean, Ronnie and Chase; great-great grandchildren, Emmett and Nevaeh; one brother, Robert “Bob” O’Neal, many very special nieces and nephews and his friend and favorite traveling companion, Bev Howe.

Melvin was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 46 years, Wilma; parents; two brothers, Donald and Guy; and three sisters, Virgel, Elsie and Barbara; and many dear family members and friends.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation in Melvin’s name to the West Des Moines Police Reserve Association, 250 Mills Civic Pkwy, West Des Moines, IA 50265.


  • Graveside Honors with Military Honors

    Friday, July 31, 2020



Melvin O'Neal

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Dennis Curtis

August 1, 2020

I had the honor of working with Mel on the installation crew and then on the coin crew. He, along with Bill Muilenburg were great guys and I'll miss them both.

Diana Hatfield

July 29, 2020

From: Scott and Diana Hatfield & family

We truly loved Melvin and he will be dearly missed. He became a part of our family 15 yrs. ago when he and my mother (Bev Howe) became a couple. The two of them loved traveling the country and the world along with being with friends at the senior center. It was always fun having him at our family gatherings, hearing his stories and making us laugh. We could never envision Mel slowing down but he did and Bev took care of him as long as she could. Mel will always have a place in our hearts because he was truly special.

Tim & Linda Lemke

July 27, 2020

We enjoyed having Melvin as our neighbor on 10th Street for many years. His wife Wilma was the first person to welcome us to the neighborhood. We could always count on Melvin to keep an eye on all of us & our kids. He taught my kids many things like how to clean a fish, how to handle a tarantula & constantly kept us informed if any trouble was brewing. He was a joyful & caring person -liked to tease & a great safety patrol for 10th Street. We will miss him so much. The Lemkes all loved Melvin!!❤️


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