Melvin Fluth, 86, Bridgewater, SD died Sunday, August 27, 2017 at the Diamond Care Center in Bridgewater.
Memorial services will be 2:00 pm Saturday, September 2 at the Hettinger-Bittner Funeral Chapel in Emery. Burial with Military Honors will be in the Bridgewater Cemetery.
Melvin Clarence Fluth was born on February 21, 1931 to Clarence (Pete) and Marie ( Tietz) Fluth. He lived in the Bridgewater / Emery area his entire life. After graduating from high school in 1949, Melvin served his country in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War where he was an expert marksman with an M1 Garand and on the Marine Rifle Team.
He married Irene Matthaei on March 13, 1952 and for a short time, they lived in North Carolina during his stint in the Marines. They returned to South Dakota where Melvin farmed a large acreage until he retired. His passions were hunting, fishing and trapping. His trapping passion, which began as a young boy, become a lifelong dream as he started his own trapping and fur buying business, M & M Furs, with his brother, Marvin. He started this business on the farm in the “old” chicken coop until it grew too large and was moved into Bridgewater into a building he had built on the edge of town. Along with farming and his trapping business, he also had the Bridgewater Catalog Company from which he sold trapping supplies. He had a worldwide presence with this business. He attended many Trapping Conventions and at times was a speaker. He sold his fur business and it is now known as Potter Furs.
His fishing hobby took him far and wide, the most memorable of which is his trip to Alaska to fish for halibut. His hunting found him acting as a guide to his Texas friends when they came up to South Dakota for Pheasant Season. Additionally, he would take hunting trips to Montana and Colorado.
Melvin was a member of the American Legion, Post 11, the Eureka (#195) Masonic Lodge and the El Riad Shriners. He was also a member of the South Dakota Trappers Association and the National Trappers Associations. He traveled the central plains states as well as into Canada with his fur business. Melvin was a member of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Emery, SD where he was, for a time, an elder of the church.
After retiring, he and Irene was spent their winters in Florida spoiling their only grandchild. Melvin would also take advantage of the trip to go deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.
He is survived by his brother, John J Fluth, of Jamestown, North Dakota, his daughter, Nancy Moore and her husband, Byron of Pinellas Park, Florida and his granddaughter, (Mattie) Irene Moore, of Gainesville, Florida and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by parents, his wife, Irene, brother Marvin D Fluth and sister Joyce Cheeseman.