Melvin Kella

Melvin E. "Mel" Kella

Monday, September 27th, 1926 - Sunday, February 16th, 2020
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Melvin ‘Mel’ Eugene Kella

Melvin ‘Mel’ Eugene Kella, 93, passed away in his sleep on February 16, 2020 in Sidney, Nebraska.
Melvin was born September 27, 1926 in Kansas City, MO to Harry Younger Kella and Georgia (Bailey) Kella. He was the youngest of three children. Melvin attended school in Kansas City where he was a member of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age 17 to fight in World War II. He completed basic training at Farragut, Idaho and advanced training at the Naval Reserve Training Center in St. Louis. After graduating from NRTC he was assigned to the U.S.S. Fillmore. Upon arrival in the Philippine Islands, he was assigned to the U.S.S. Lee Fox. After Japan’s defeat, Mel was reassigned to the U.S.S. Currier where he was an Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class. The U.S.S. Spangler was the last ship he served on.
Following his service, Mel went to work for Consolidated Aircraft in San Diego, CA. It was in California that he met Doris Nurse. They were married on March 5, 1948 in San Diego.
After a short time, they moved to Denison, IA to be near Doris’s family. Later, they moved to Omaha, NE where Melvin sold cars and real estate. While in Omaha, Melvin began a long career with AT&T. Due to his security clearance and his knowledge of electronics, he helped set up the communication system for Offutt Air Force Base. In 1958 Melvin and Doris adopted their son, Tim, and in 1961, their daughter, Susan. In 1964, Mel began a supervisory position at AT&T that moved the family to North Platte, NE and then to Sidney, NE in 1972. He retired from AT&T in the mid-1980s but kept busy by working for the post office and for several car dealerships in their parts departments.
Melvin loved to camp, boat, fish, golf and bowl. He was constantly busy working on a car or tinkering in his garage. Melvin and Doris spent several years wintering in Arizona where they became very involved in square dancing, sometimes going 4 times a week. Melvin was a long-time member of the First United Methodist Church, the Masons, the American Legion, the Elks Club and the Eagles Club.
Melvin is survived by his wife Doris, son Tim, daughter Sue Hiett (Darin VanNatter), grandsons Brandon (Sarah) Hiett and Brett Hiett, great-grandchildren Jacob and Catherine Hiett, and numerous nieces and nephews. Melvin was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters and brothers-in-law Ruth and Frank Zoglin and Dorothy and Bill Francesconi, and three infant children, James, Leah Jane, and Baby.
Memorial services will be held Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 11:00 A.M. at the First United Methodist Church in Sidney with Pastor Corey Jenkins officiating. Inurnment will be at a later date in Dunlap, Iowa. Friends may stop at the Gehrig-Stitt Chapel on Friday from 1-7:00 P.M. with family present from 4-6:00 P.M. to sign Mel’s register book and leave condolences for the family.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Mel’s name to the Sidney VFW Youth Program or the First United Methodist Church in Sidney. You may view Mel’s Book of Memories, leave condolences, photos and stories at
Gehrig-Stitt Chapel & Cremation Service, LLC is in charge of Mel’s care and funeral arrangements.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, February 28th, 2020 | 1:00pm - 7:00pm
    Friday, February 28th, 2020 1:00pm - 7:00pm
    Gehrig-Stitt Chapel
    1140 10th Avenue
    SIDNEY, NE 69162
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, February 29th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Saturday, February 29th, 2020 11:00am
    First United Methodist Church
    2622 11th Ave.
    SIDNEY, NE 69162
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Pastor Corey Jenkins


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