VENICE, Fla. – Melvin L. Flickinger, 72, of Venice, Florida, passed away on Sunday, May 31, 2020, with his family by his side after a short but courageous battle with leukemia.
Mel was born on Feb. 19, 1948 in Sterling, the son of Dwight and Barbara (Gaul) Flickinger.
He grew up in the northern Illinois area and was a 1966 graduate of Kaneland High School.
Mel loved building and he enjoyed a successful construction career, leading many residential and business projects. He had an attention for detail in his work and never took shortcuts when it came to quality and doing things right.
In the early 1980s, Mel took on several movie theater renovations, including the Hub Theater in Rochelle, where he met his future wife, Consuelo “Connie” Ramos. The couple married on Dec. 3, 1983 and lived in Hillcrest for a few years before relocating to Venice, Florida in 1986.
He continued working as a private contractor and he was also employed many years at PGT in Venice, manufacturing specialized windows before retiring in 2018.
Mel loved to play softball and became known in the local co-ed leagues as a crafty, veteran pitcher who never lost the competitive spirit even after two knee replacements. He also enjoyed snow skiing and often planned winter trips to Wisconsin and Colorado where he could get back on the slopes. He believed staying active kept him young and his most recent ski adventure north was to celebrate his 70th birthday.
He also enjoyed home improvement projects, restoring his Jeep, big family cookouts by the beach and trips to Cocoa Beach to ride the waves on body boards with his children and grandchildren.
One of Mel’s greatest pleasures was coaching in Venice’s Pop Warner football program, and he enjoyed teaching young players sportsmanship and proper blocking and tackling techniques. Many of the players he coached excelled at the next level, and he loved running into former players years later and reminiscing about their times together on the football field. Mel was also an avid supporter of the Venice High School football teams, rarely missing a Friday night home or away game.
Mel was a devoted husband and father, who loved his family and prided himself on always being available to support and offer help when called upon.
He is survived by his wife, Connie, of Venice, Florida; three sons, Ryan (Krissy) Flickinger, of Memphis, Tennessee, Nick (Rachel) Flickinger, of Venice, Florida and Alex (Katrina) Flickinger, of Venice, Florida; one daughter, Emily (John) Milton, of Tokyo, Japan; five grandchildren, Sophia, Aubrey, Evan, Annie and Carson; one brother, Larry (Sandra) Flickinger, of Sugar Grove; one sister, Charyl (John) Paris, of Oswego; and one uncle, one aunt, three nephews and several cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents and one niece.
A small private family service will be held, while a celebration of life event is being planned for a future date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made at www.healthwellfoundation.org by donating to the Health Access Fund.