Longtime Denali and Healy resident Don Mellecker passed away on April 8. He was kind, generous and considered the best friend of many. Don was always willing to give his time, energy and laughter. His passing leaves a hole in the community – he is greatly missed!
Don asked that any memorial donations be given in his name to the Scott Menke Memorial Fund. We are honored by his request. To make a contribution in Don’s name:
- Write a check to Denali Education Center and write “in memory of Don Mellecker” in the memo line. All funds will be put in the Scott Menke Memorial Fund. Send to: P.O. Box 212, Denali Park, AK 99755
- Contribute online…if you do so, we request that you send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating that your online contribution is in memory of Don.
Don loved to bike, wind surf, snow machine, play poker and spend time with friends. He was one of the first Denali Borough Assembly members and the general contractor who built the McKinley Park Community Center. He had worked throughout the borough including the Usibelli Coal Mine, Skyline Lodge and as a tour bus driver in Denali National Park. A full obituary ran in the Fairbanks Daily Newsminer on April 14.
Scott Menke was a treasured and inspiring young member of Healy who encouraged the creation of Denali Backcountry Adventures. The Scott Menke Memorial Fund was created to honor Scott’s memory. Funds raised benefit all of our youth programs and are channeled toward direct costs such as gear replacement, food, supplies and campground fees. In addition, the fund benefits local students and embodies the incomparable spirit Scott shared with us.