Melvin “Abie” Kretsch, 93, of Redwood Falls and formerly of Wabasso died Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at Redwood Area Hospital. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, January 31, 2014 from St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Redwood Falls. Burial, with military honors, will follow at St. Anne’s Catholic Cemetery, Wabasso. Visitation will be held Thursday, January 30, 2014, from 4 until 7 p.m., with a prayer service at 6 p.m., all at Nelson-Martin Funeral Home in Redwood Falls. Visitation will continue on Friday at the church for one hour prior to services.
Arrangements are with Nelson-Martin Funeral Service of Redwood Falls. E-mail condolences may be sent via
Melvin C. Kretsch, the son of Albert B. and Mary Catherine (Schmidt) Kretsch, was born March 4, 1920 on the family farm, located between Wabasso and Lamberton. Melvin spent his early childhood on the farm and attended District 78 country school. In 1932 he moved with his family into Wabasso where he attended St. Anne’s School and Wabasso Public School. Melvin graduated from Wabasso High School in 1938 and following graduation was employed at the grain elevator. On May 12, 1942, Melvin was inducted into the United States Army where he served with the 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment. Initially, he was shipped to Camp Grant, Illinois for training in the Medical Corps, but because of very high casualties in the infantry, Melvin joined the infantry. He was shipped overseas to Casablanca, moved across North Africa, up through Sicily and on into Italy. Staff Sergeant Kretsch was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service in ground combat, leading a platoon during the Rone-Arno and Po Valley campaigns. Following his honorable discharge on November 5, 1945, Melvin returned to Wabasso.
On June 28, 1949, Melvin married Margaret Ann Wagner at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Wabasso and they made their home in Wabasso. In 1960, he purchased the Chevrolet dealership in Wabasso and owned and operated Kretsch Chevrolet until 1977. The following year, Melvin officially retired and he and Margaret moved to Redwood Falls. He was a member of the Victor Hirsch American Legion Post 263 in Wabasso, the Wabasso Lions Club, the Wabasso Commercial Club, and St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Redwood Falls.
Melvin is survived by his children Mary Sue of Redwood Falls, Michael of Seattle, Washington, and Patricia of Payette, Idaho. He was uncle and great-uncle to many nieces and nephews. Melvin was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret in 2006, one son, nine brothers, and three sisters.
Blessed be his memory.