Thomas's Story

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Thomas Allen Melind, 82, of Zionsville, died Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, after complications from Parkinson’s Disease.. He was the son of Roy and May Melind of Evanston, Illinois, who preceded him in death.. Melind attended Oakton Elementary School in Evanston, Illinois, and was an active member of the Pershing Club of the Evanston McGaw YMCA. After graduating from Evanston High School in 1950, Tom attended Lawrence University and graduated from DePauw University in 1954. He also attended executive programs at Stanford University and Indiana University.. Melind began his career with the Bell System in Waukegan, Illinois, where he met his wife, Fran. He progressed through escalating management positions at Illinois Bell and Indiana Bell Telephone Company, retiring as a district manager after 30 years of service in 1984. His second retirement came in 1991 after senior sales roles at Stromberg Carlson and Siemens, selling telephone central office solutions to AT&T/RBOCs.. After family and career, Melind’s passion was park revitalization. He developed parks starting in Munster in 1967, where he fostered his talent for park ideas, fundraising (getting a $1-million grant), and joint municipal/Lions Club cooperation. In Munster’s park, he fostered trees and summer tennis programs.. After moving to Zionsville, Melind joined the Zionsville Lions Club in 1980. He worked from 1991 and on to spearhead great improvements to the Zionsville Lions Park, including a $600,000, four-year revitalization project completed in 1996. He was instrumental in redesign and development/funding of Michigan City Lions Park, Whitestown Lions Park, and Advance Park in Indiana. He even wrote a book, “Park Doctor, How to Revitalize your Park.”. Melind has been recognized repeatedly for his contributions to his community. In 1995 he received the Zionsville Chamber of Commerce Town Crier Award. In 2001 he was named a Lions WP Woods Fellow, and in 2009 he was named a Lions Melvin Jones Fellow. Gov. Frank O’Bannon named Melind a Sagamore of the Wabash in 2003, which is the highest award bestowed by the Governor of Indiana for distinguished service to the state. Gov. Mitch Daniels named him a Distinguished Hoosier in 2007. Community Foundation of Boone County gave Melind their Spirit of Philanthropy Award in 2013.. He was an avid tennis player and golfer, being a member of the Zionsville Senior Men’s Golf League and Indianapolis Racquet Club. He lived each day with courage and enthusiasm and always looked for the best in people. He laughed well and often. Melind’s central belief was, “One person can make a difference.”. A loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, he is survived by his wife of 59 years, Frances Melind; sons, William (Patti) and Andrew; daughter, Carrie Coquillette (Ken); four wonderful grandchildren, John & Katie Melind, and Catherine & Kevin Coquillette; and a joyful great-grandchild, Marilyn Melind.. Services were held Saturday, Nov. 22, at Zionsville United Methodist Church, 9644 Whitestown Road, Zionsville.
Published on  November 26, 2014
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