David Ward Melmer, age 78, died Jan. 6, 2018, following a long battle with congestive heart failure. Despite his illness, he fought hard to maintain a good quality of life until his death. David graduated from Lake Andes High School in Lake Andes, South Dakota, in 1958. He received a degree in broadcasting from Brown Institute in Minneapolis and then moved to Winona, Minnesota, where he worked as news director at KWNO and met his beloved wife Janeen of 50 years.
David later received a bachelor of fine arts (1978) and a master of fine arts (1980) at the University of South Dakota. Throughout his life, he was dedicated to working towards peace and justice and fighting for those who are marginalized in our society. He had an extraordinary love for the arts and spent many years of his life in the theater.
David’s passions lead him to build a lengthy resume of writing, directing, and performing, most notably, performing at the renowned Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. He later returned to his journalism roots writing for Indian Country Today, a national Native American newspaper.
David had a caring and loving soul which shined when he talked about his family, especially his grandchildren.
David is survived by his wife, Janeen; children, Stephanie and Christopher (Amy) Melmer; grandchildren, Tessa, Kylie, Makari and many extended family members and close friends.
David was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Leora Melmer, and brother Dennis who died in infancy.
A memorial service will be held in Hot Springs, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church April 14, 2018. Details to be announced at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to The American Indian College Fund https://collegefund.org or The Battle Mountain Humane Society http://www.battlemountainhumanesociety423.bravesites.com in Hot Springs are preferred.