William Kimbel Mehlbach Jr.

May 8, 1926April 12, 2018

William Kimbel Mehlbach, Jr.

DENVER- Kim Mehlbach, 91, died April 12, 2018 at Sunrise of Cherry Creek. He was born May 8, 1926 in New York, NY, the son of William Kimbel Mehlbach Sr. and Helen Adele (O’Connor) Mehlbach.

Kim graduated from Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire and enlisted in the Navy at the end of WW II. He served the USS Dyess as a Radar Man. He attended college at Middlebury College where he met the love of his live Diane (Brehm) Mehlbach. They wed August 28, 1951. Diane predeceased him. Soon after they were married they moved to Colorado where they loved the blue skies and sunshine.

Kim was a teacher for his entire career. He taught Physics at Wheat Ridge High school for many years. He was an eager learner his whole life.

He was survived by his children: Peter Mehlbach and wife Linda of Denver, Connie Widner and husband Dan of Hotchkiss and Kathe Mehlbach of Fort Collins; five granddaugters; Kathe Owens, Lara Widner, Krista MacDonald, Amy Mehlbach and Stephanie Frazier.

Services are pending.


William Kimbel Mehlbach Jr.

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Curt Biesterfeld

May 21, 2018

Mr. Mehlbach was a great teacher. He was very engaged with his students and took extra time to help with things we were interested in. My friend Larry Welshon and I did many projects outside the normal curriculum with the help of Mr. Mehlbach. One of my favorites was the photographs we took of a lunar eclipse. We went over to Mr. Mehlbach’s house at midnight or so to take pictures of a lunar eclipse with the schools Celestron telescope and a camera attached to it. It was below freezing out, so not too comfortable, but we still had a great time and got some great shots of the eclipse. It is a testament to his person, that he was willing to take so much time outside of and after school to help his students. I will always remember him very fondly.

Rick Sadok

April 19, 2018

Mr. Mehlbach was my physics teacher during my junior year back in 1965, and he was my all time favorite teacher. I loved the way he engaged his students with word problems. His favorite character was Louie L'Amour. Here's an example (perhaps not verbatim): If Louie L'amour is traveling at 10 meters/second when he passes point A and he is accelerating at 5 meters/second/second, how fast will he be traveling when he passes point B that is 100 meters away and how long will it take Louie to get there? Mr Mehlbach made the problems fun which encouraged his student to think. Only later did I discover Louis L'amour was an author of western novels. Perhaps, Mr. Mehlbach was an avid fan.

Mr. Mehlbach loved to teach. He had a big heart for his students. In fact he must have love kids in general because I often saw him at the public swimming pool in Arvada where he must have had a summer job. What a great guy! I know he will be greatly missed.

Alan Kraning

April 19, 2018

Kim Melbach piqued and then solidified my interest in a science and engineering career. He was one of the most inspirational teachers I have ever known.

His physics classes told varied stories, and made sometime dry science into small adventures. He often began a science story by drawing the “hairy old eyeball” on the classroom blackboard. This certainly captured the attention of all the students in the room.

His fictional characters “Joe Scraza” and “Louis Lamour” turned more than one lecture into a memorable story.

I was glad to visit with Kim at our 40th reunion in 2005.

Marc Espinosa

April 19, 2018

Friends and classmates,

I will always regard Mr. Mehlbach as one of the best teachers I ever had. His sense of humor and almost every day talking about a person’s big blue vein sticking out of their forehead because of excitement or anger or whatever; his practical teaching methods and his personal touch set him apart. I remember seeing him in 2005 at our reunion. He was much the same person and it warmed me. Peace to his memory.


Don Garner

April 19, 2018

Mr Melbach’s class was definitely one of the best classes I had at WRHS. A little more difficult for me than others as through a crack fell the fact I had not taken the prerequisite prior Geometry course. Mr Melbach kept me interested enough in Physics to teach myself basic Geometry to understand some of the concepts.

Thanks, John for reminding me of the Louis L’mour references, I had forgotten that aspect of his teaching style. Anecdotal humor was a teaching tool Mr Melbach wielded to great effect.

As I related to Bob Brown earlier, I was in Mr Melbach’s period when the announcement was made of John Kennedy’s assassination. That was probably the most memorable moment of my High School experience. And the only time I recall seeing Mr Melbach at a loss for words.

A great mind who really enjoyed imparting his knowledge to a sometimes less than appreciative audience. No one who knew him can forget him. Rest in the truth that you were instrumental in shaping MANY lives, and teaching your students to ACTUALLY THINK!

Don Garner WRHS Class of 1965

Loretta Taylor

April 18, 2018

Dear Connie, So sorry for your loss. I know how you feel. May the Lord bless your hurti g heart. Always, Loretta