Dr. Melvin Canell, age 77, of North Platte, NE, died Thursday, December 1, 2016, at Great Plains Health.
Mel was born April 10, 1939, to Irving Isaac and Helen Biller Canell in New York City and grew up in Manhattan. On May 3, 1952, he celebrated his Bar Mitzvah. Mel was a student at the High School of Music and Art and Julliard School of Music in New York where he graduated in 1957 with a scholarship to the University of Iowa.
During his freshman year, Mel met Janice. They were married in 1958 and later blessed with four children, David, Leah, Pamela and Laura. Mel proudly volunteered for the U.S. Army in 1958 because he felt it was his patriotic duty to do so, though as the sole surviving son was not required to serve.
Following his discharge in 1960, the family returned to Iowa so Mel could continue his education. He earned a BA in Speech then went on to receive his Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology and a Doctorate in Educational and Counseling Psychology with honors from the University of South Dakota in 1976. Mel worked as a therapist before setting up his private practice in psychology and becoming involved with the foster care program.
In 1979 Mel moved to McCook, NE, for a job opportunity and met the love of his life and sole mate, Jane Neet. They were united in marriage on June 7, 1980, then settled in North Platte where they opened their private practice, Affiliates in Psychology. Mel and Jane became active in their church and continued helping children through the foster parent program.
Mel had a passion to give to others and help them heal. He was an active volunteer with the American Red Cross, assisting those with post-tramautic stress and offered his expertise to countless children, adults, families and veterans. Mel was also a member and officer for the Lincoln County Guardianship Committee, was the Mental Health Supervisor for the American Red Cross, a member of Gideon International where he served as Chaplain for a year, and a member of Platte Valley Lodge #32 AF&AM.
Mel will be greatly missed by his family which includes his wife of 36 years, Jane, of North Platte; children, David (Donna) Canell, of Cedar Falls, IA, Leah Lane and Laura (Michael) Salazar, of Scottsbluff, NE, and Pamela Brunalis, of Colorado Springs, CO; special children, Bo Nesslein, of Omaha, NE, and Adam Canell, Anthony (Misty) Plunk and Michelle (Scotty) Godbey, all of North Platte; seven grandchildren, Rose Canell, Shelby Lane, Kassidy Lane, Keaton Lane, Mikka Salazar, Alexandra Salazar and Savanah Salazar; great-grandson, Ledger Salazar; and papa’s special grandkids, Isaiah, Elijah, D’Avion, Ericka, Cheyenne, Angeleena, Alexandria and Malakai; as well as other family including his great-niece and nephew, Amy and Tanner Schulkey.
Mel was preceded in death by his parents, Irving and Helen; son-in-law, Dustin Lane, great-nephew, Brandon Schulkey; and brother-in-law, Steven Neet.
Funeral Service will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, December 6, 2016, at Messiah Lutheran Church with Pastor Tim Eighmy officiating. Burial with military honors will follow in Fort McPherson National Cemetery.
Visitation will be 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday with family greeting friends from 5 to 7 p.m. followed by Masonic Rites at Odean Colonial Chapel at C & Sycamore. In lieu of flowers, memorials are to Messiah Lutheran Church or the Red Cross Disaster Relief. Condolences may be shared at odeanchapel.com. Odean Colonial Chapel at C & Sycamore is in charge of arrangements.