After 97 years of faithful service, Melferd Edward (Mel) Bartel’s heart of gold gave out, and he passed peacefully from this life on July 28, 2023.

Mel was born July 24, 1926, to August Edward and Hattie Farrell Bartel in Franklin County, MO. He graduated from Union High School in 1944 and enlisted in the United States Navy, where he served as a signalman in WWII. Upon his discharge in 1946, he returned to Missouri, where he worked as a mechanic and truck driver. He secured a job with the US Postal Service in 1958, serving as a special delivery messenger until his retirement in 1977.

After retirement, he occupied himself with a variety of part-time jobs and hobbies, including school bus driver, owner of Mel’s Trenching, co-owner of a sharpening business with his brother Robert, farmhand, remote control airplane pilot, rabbit hunter and lawn mower. He was sincere, kind, loyal, caring, generous, witty, straightforward and honest to a fault. He loved his family, and he would do anything for any of them. He had a lifelong love of dogs and passion for motorcycles. Above all else, he did what he wanted to do and how he wanted to do it, and he didn’t really care much what anybody thought about it.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Bernita Ford Bartel; two daughters, Cyndy (Joe) Crider and Nancy Cooper; a son, Ed (Lori Stokes) Bartel; four grandchildren, Betsy (Morgan) Cassels, Ashley (Jon) Thornhill, Heather Bartel and Landon Bartel; eight great grandchildren and many cherished nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Marie Bartel; son Ron Bartel; son-in-law Gary Cooper; granddaughter Christin Cooper; nephew Robert W. Bartel and great niece Kate Kromann.

As per Mel’s ardent wishes, there will be no services. He spent his final days at Caring Hearts and Hands Hospice House of Columbia, where he was treated with kindness, compassion, and dignity. Memorials in his name are welcome at or by mail at Caring Hearts and Hands of Columbia, 1307 W. Broadway, Columbia, MO 65203.

Robinson-Yager Funeral Home is honored to serve the Bartel Family.