Melton Edwin Breed "Mel" was welcomed by his Lord on November 16, 2021. He passed peacefully after receiving wonderful care in the Mayo Critical Care Unit. He was born February 13, 1947, in Sterling, IL, to Royal and Beverly (Anderson) Breed. With his four brothers and one sister, he called Sterling his home and attended Sterling High School, where he was involved in choir, band, and track. He attended Augustana College in Rock Island, IL, for one year, and finished his education at Illinois State University in Normal, IL, where he received a Master's in School Psychology. There, he also met the love of his life, Leann Coble. They were married August 25, 1968, and remained happily wed for 53 years. They moved to Kankakee, IL, for Mel's first job as a School Psychologist. Mel and Leann had a passion for children in need and began a non-profit foster care agency called Kaleidoscope. With offices in Chicago and Bloomington, IL, Kaleidoscope provided foster care education, placement, and group home services. Mel led that organization from 1972 until 1987. During that time, Mel and Leann had two children, Amy and Joel, and settled in Merna, IL. They would vacation at the Breed family cabin on Long Lake in New Auburn, WI, and developed a love for the area. In 1993, they were given the opportunity to invest in Brotoloc Health Care Systems, Inc. with two partners and relocated to Eau Claire, WI. Brotoloc allowed him to follow his passion of helping those less fortunate by providing residential services to adults with developmental disabilities, mental illness, and other disorders. He was the President and Owner until his full retirement in 2017.
Mel was a pillar of his community and a rock to his family. He was an avid fisherman who loved to spend time in Canada with his brothers, son, grandchildren, and friends. His love of travel took him, quite literally, around the world. He combined his love of travel and service by developing relationships in Tanzania, Africa, supporting schools and hospitals in that country. He even has a bus named after him.
Mel and Leann's generosity is well known throughout the area. They have contributed to many causes and organizations based on their passion for kids, education, service, and the Arts. From The Eau Claire Children's Museum, to Educate Tanzania, to The Eau Claire Children's Theater, The Chippewa Valley Symphony, The Boy's and Girl's Club, to First Lutheran and Spirit Lutheran, to The Pablo Center, and others, they have given wholeheartedly. If there was a worthy cause, he would give his time, talent, wisdom, and resources. In 2015, Mel and Leann received The Award for Outstanding Philanthropist by The Chippewa Valley Fund Raising Professionals.
A family friend said it best. "This is what he taught us: how kindness wins, how community is crucial, and how family is everything. His big-spiritedness at every turn. His dogged commitment to helping others and asking nothing in return."
Mel is survived by: his wife, Leann; his children, Amy and Joel; his grandchildren, Berit Rhody (husband, Jake), Harrison, Emerson, and Jackson; his brothers, David (Anne, divorced wife, deceased), Gary (Nancy, divorced wife), Dan (Diana, wife), and Marty (Trisha, wife); numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family (LeAnn, Rhylee and Reagan), and former in-laws Jessica and Torry). He was preceded in death by; his parents, Royal and Beverly Breed, his sister, Cammie, and nephew, Randy Breed.
In lieu of flowers, Mel's family requests that donations be made to: The Pablo Center at the Confluence, https://www.pablocenter.org/support/donate.
A Celebration of Mel's Life will be held on Saturday, December 4, 2021 at 11:00 AM at The Pablo Center at the Confluence with Reverend Jim Ahlquist officiating. A visitation will be held two hours prior to the service at The Pablo Center. Arrangements were entrusted to Lenmark-Gomsrud-Linn Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 814 First Avenue. Online condolences may be left for Mel's family at www.lenmarkfh.com. Mel's family requests all attendees follow the COVID safety protocols; including, proof of vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours of the Celebration of Life.