Melvin Lee Kahnk
April 9, 2024

Melvin Lee Kahnk, a beloved father, grandfather, and friend, passed away on April 9th, 2024, at the age of 77 from cardiac arrest. Born and raised on a farm in Delano to Donald and Meta (Hamer) Kahnk, Mel was the eldest of three siblings.

After graduating from Delano High School in 1964, Mel bravely served his country in the Vietnam War as a River Patrol Boat Pilot in the US Army. He was honorably discharged in December 1971 as a Specialist 4th Class.

Mel’s professional journey was diverse, including roles as a crane operator with Local IOUE 49 Union, a welder at VSK Equipment, and finally as a jack of all trades at Wright Electric.

Known for his sociable nature, Mel made friends wherever he went. Mel’s sense of humor was legendary, and he always had a joke at the ready.

He had a passion for tools and was happiest when building, fixing, or tinkering with something.

He was a devoted family man and cherished the time he spent with his daughters, Patty and Debbie, and his grandchildren, Kevin, Billy, and Graydon.

He took joy in cheering on his grandson’s games and was a constant source of laughter and joy to those around him.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Donald and Meta Kahnk; siblings Donna Kirchenwitz and David Kahnk; and nephew Robert Kirchenwitz.

Mel is survived by his daughters, Patty Yantes and Debbie Mannion; grandchildren, Kevin Yantes; Billy (fiancé Abby Christenson) Yantes; Graydon Mannion; son-in-law, Jeff Yantes; brother-in-law, Ken Kirchenwitz; nieces/nephews, Angela (Jeffrey) Templin; Daniel Kirchenwitz; Kathy (fiancé Jake Richard) Kirchenwitz; great nieces/nephews, Gracey Templin; Breana Templin; Aurora Hagemeyer; Gwenevere Jacobson; Jamyson Richard.

A service in Mel’s honor was held at Iten Funeral Home in Delano on Friday, April 19, with visitation from 4 pm to 7 pm, followed by the service from 7 pm to 8 pm.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Mel’s memory to organizations such as the Disabled American Veterans.