Madonna Melcher

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Madonna F. Melcher, 92, of Decorah, formerly of Harpers Ferry and Waukon, died on Oct. 18, 2019, surrounded by family at Wellington Place, where she had resided since December 2016. Funeral services were held Tuesday, Oct. 22, at Living Faith United Methodist Church in McGregor, with Pastor Deb Parkison officiating. Burial was at the Evergreen Cemetery, in rural Waukon. Martin Funeral Home in Waukon is handling the arrangements.

Madonna Frances Melcher was born Nov. 8, 1926, in Giard Township, Clayton County, rural McGregor, the daughter of Edward “Lee” and Mildred (Campbell) Wilkins. She was baptized in Monona by Pastor George W. Turner and was a member of the Living Faith United Methodist Church in McGregor. Madonna was active in the women’s organizations and received a 12-year perfect attendance pin while teaching Sunday school. She will be remembered for the time she spent with her “Upper Room” devotional and her Bible.

Madonna received her education at Linton #2, #4 and Fairview #5 rural Allamakee Country schools through eighth grade and graduated from Waukon High School in 1944. She worked at the Peter Pan Bakery in Cedar Rapids for one year. Madonna married Vernon Melcher on Oct. 12, 1945, and they later divorced on Oct. 30, 1975. From this union, two sons were born: Arlan in 1948 and Darwin in 1950. Madonna was a homemaker and worked at Veterans Memorial Hospital, Gambles, Good Samaritan Center and Uptown Motel, all in Waukon. She enjoyed traveling and spending time with her family and friends, and devoted several years caring for her aging parents. Madonna also liked working with photo albums and making scrapbooks of newspaper clippings.

She is survived by her grandchildren: Shane (Rachel Martyn) Melcher, Shana (Paul) Atkins, both of Decorah, Christina Melcher of Postville, Brandi Melcher of Des Moines and Alysia (Brien) Coffield of Brooklyn Park, Minn.; great-grandchildren: Gabriela and Genevieve Melcher, Elia and Bonham Atkins, Arlan and Harlee Cooper, Raven, Nick and Summer Plumley, Allisea Pooch, Dakota and Ezra Coffield; and a nephew Bryan Wilkins of Brandon. Madonna is preceded in death by her parents; her two sons: Arlan Lee and Darwin Duane Melcher; a brother and sister-in-law Keith and Elaine (Ball) Wilkins; and a nephew Leland Wilkins.

Casketbearers are Shane Melcher, Shana and Paul Atkins, Christina Melcher, Brandi Melcher and Alysia Coffield.

Online condolences may be left at

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