Melvin Breyfogle

Melvin S. Breyfogle passed away peacefully at his home on Monday, July 18, 2016, in Estherville at the age of 90.

A visitation and memorial service was held on Aug. 1 at First Christian Church in Estherville.

Melvin Breyfogle, the son of Merle and Emma (Sins) Breyfogle, was born Feb. 10, 1926, in Alta. He received his education in the Alta schools, graduating from Alta High School in 1943. Melvin served as an electricians mate in the United States Navy aboard the USS Laws in the South Pacific during WW II.

In 1946, he was united in marriage to Betty Lee Bevins. The couple moved to Estherville in 1947 and Melvin owned and operated Brey’s Radio for 69 years. Betty Lee died in 1993.

Melvin was a member of the American Legion as well as several amateur radio organizations.

Melvin’s interest in radios began as a boy and at age 12, he built a single tube radio from salvaged parts and junk batteries. He said his interest in radios grew after this first success when this one-tube radio pulled in London, England.

In about 1953, Melvin was encouraged to become an amateur radio operator by local hams who helped him in testing and certification. He repaid this help over the rest of his life by helping others gain certification and often donating used equipment to get them started. He was recognized as a 60-year member of the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL), in 2013.

The simple radio shop grew in the post war 1950s to include TVs, both black and white and later color, as well as communication equipment for fire and police vehicles. He also provided over 50 years of service to the Estherville Airport navigation equipment.

Left to cherish Melvin’s memory are his children: David, Dan (Sandy) and Douglas; five grandchildren: Kirsten (Doug) Prinn, Brian and Gary Breyfogle, Mindy (Jeff) Griffith and Christopher Breyfogle; four great-grandchildren: Jared, Jace and Evan Griffith and Jack Prins.

Preceding Melvin in death were his parents; wife; brother, Donald; and his son, Dale (2014).