Melvin Eugene Ciphers died suddenly at his Nevada City ,Calif., home Friday, Oct. 5, 2012. He was 79.
Mel was born Jan. 25, 1933, in Ashland, Ohio. His family moved to a farm in Michigan, and at 17, he joined the Marine Corps, serving in the Korean War.
Mel married Sally Kay Misener Dec. 1, 1956, in Flint, Mich., and he went to work for Pacific Telephone and Telegraph in San Diego, where his daughter, Laura, was born. Transferring to San Jose, Calif., in 1967, he completed his B.S. in business administration at the University of San Francisco. He retired from Pacific Bell as a construction budget manager in San Francisco in 1984. Desiring a total change of pace, he completed tour director training and, for the next eight years, led groups of seniors (the best travelers, he said) through the national parks, Canada, the South Pacific and South America. On May 2, 1987, Mel and Judith Dhuyvetter were married in Walnut Creek, Calif.
The last 20 happy years were spent in Nevada City, where Mel served on the Grand Jury and enjoyed volunteer activities with Foothill Theatre Company and the Nevada County Historical Society. He treasured the experiences that came with his far-flung travels with Judith. Recently, he returned to his roots, attempting to coax tomatoes and berries from his shady yard. He rarely missed a 49ers, Giants or Sharks game and often enjoyed the experience. Mel had a quick wit and dry sense of humor. His memory was encyclopedic, and he told wonderful stories of his teachers, family and childhood friends.
Mel is survived by his wife, Judith; his daughter, Laura Arechiga; son-in-law Rudy and grandson Dominic of Campbell, Calif; brother Gary Ciphers of Bellair, Mich.; and Sally Ciphers of Eugene, Ore., who remained a valued friend.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Donald and Nellie Ciphers, and brother Donald Ciphers Jr.
At his request, there will be no memorial service.
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