Cal Gordon Melick

Services for Cal Gordon Melick, 66, Lawrence will be Saturday, August 23, at 10:30 a.m. at the St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center in Lawrence. He died in an auto accident while biking on Wednesday, August 13, 2014.

Cal was born November 11, 1947, in Hartland, NY, the son of Gordon Jay and Bernetha Helen (Rossow) Melick.

He graduated from Barker Central School and State University of NY at Geneseo.He served in the US Army.

He received his MA in Library Science from Emporia State University. As a faculty member and Public Services Librarian at Washburn University for more than 30 years, he taught, counseled and inspired hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students, including his spouse, in the values of higher education and the adventure of ideas across the sciences, arts and humanities. He was Reference Librarian for information literacy, genealogy, education, music, art and theater, and published library guides for conducting research on these subjects.

Cal was a fixture of the Lawrence and NE Kansas cycling community for 40 years – on and off the bike as a racer, an officer of the Lawrence Bicycle Club (LBC), an organizer of LBC-sponsored rides including the Lizard Under the Skillet and the Octoginta, and a mentor and inspiration to many cyclists, experienced and beginners.

He had a keen interest in history research and genealogy and published a book “John W. Vedder: Hartland Volunteer” in 2013 about his ancestor and other men of Niagara County, NY, in the Civil War. He frequently wrote articles for the Hartland Historical Society.

He married Chulwoo “Choru” Shin on February 21, 2014 in Council Bluffs, IA. He survives at the home.

Other survivors include his brother, John Melick and wife, Jean, of Canastota, NY; a niece and two nephews, Julie Rosenbalm, Bruce Melick and Peter Melick and their families.

Memorials may be sent to St. Lawrence Catholic Center, Lawrence, KS, and may be made in care of the mortuary.


15 Condolences

  1. Melody Wendland on August 17, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    I was very fortunate to work with and for Cal at Mabee Library, starting in 1990. When the library automated I learned so much from him. He encouraged me to go to Library School to get my MLS at Emporia and I graduated in 2002. We also shared a love of hot cinnamon candy and tried to out do the other. He won that contest hands down! I am now working at Mission Valley Elementary School, and there were several times I called him with questions and he would tell me what to do and if he didn’t know he would put me in touch with someone who could help. He was a great boss and a good friend and I will miss him dearly.

  2. Mary Walker on August 17, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Many condolences for Mr. Melick’s family and friends. I knew him while I was a student at WU. He helped me tremendously with several research projects. He will be missed.

  3. Mark Kaufman on August 17, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Cal was a friend and colleague for the past 15 years that I have been a teacher at Washburn University. He was one of the kindest, most thoughtful, ethical, and hardest working persons at this university. It would be hard to overstate how-well liked and respected he was here at Washburn. He is deeply missed. – Mark Kaufman

  4. Donna Allen on August 17, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Cal was a kind, loving and honorable man. I am wholeheartedly at a loss for explaining the wonderfulness of Cal. Without a doubt he was one of the sharpest riders I have even. He had such precision on his bike that riding alongside him for a draft from his height was like a breeze blowing because he was usually going so fast! I am honored that God put my lifetime along the side of Cal’s.

    For the family, he was such a loving man. I am so sorry for your loss and am so saddened by this tragedy.

    Donna Allen

  5. Dr. Nan Palmer on August 17, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Cal was part of my beloved Washburn family. He was a living ambassador of the University and of gracious living. My heart goes out to Choru and I keep family and friends in prayer. How does one say “Good Bye” to such a lovely spirit? We can honor Cal through our own patience, kindness, love for learning and serving. I am so very sorry. Dr. Nan Palmer.

  6. Janet Clearwater on August 18, 2014 at 9:08 am

    I, too, was very fortunate to know Cal through work. I worked at Mabee Library from 1988 to 1998 and thoroughly enjoyed Cal’s quiet, friendly attitude, his sharp wit, and his sparkling blue eyes. He was a pleasure to work with and a pleasure to know, and I feel we’ve lost a good soul.

  7. Ginger D. Webber on August 18, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Oh Cal Oh Cal. I have worked with Cal at Washburn from the beginning until the end and there are no words that I can say to express how much I respect and adored him. Enough said! AMEN

  8. Ginger D. Webber on August 18, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Oh Cal, Oh Cal, oh how I will miss you! I have worked with Cal at Washburn from the beginning til the end. There are no words that I can say about how much I respected and adored him. A man of humility and persistence! Enough said. AMEN

  9. Chuck Wehner on August 18, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    One of my fondest memories of Cal was being on his wheel for some 20 miles at the end of a tail wind century ride. I watched the master shift his gears and I in turn follow his lead. That day and ride will forever remain in my memory.

  10. Nancy Babbick Marker on August 18, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    To John and family – so sorry to hear of your brother’s passing. I remember both of you from years ago and the fun we had when our families got together. You are in our thoughts and prayers

  11. Molly on August 19, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Condolences to Cal’s family. I got to know Cal via numerous Lawrence bike rides and on BAK. He was one of the safest riders on many of the rides so I always appreciated it when I could ride with him. I was usually not one to keep pace with the Saturday morning riders, and I really appreciated on my last ride several years ago that he hung back and rode with me. Prince of a person and will be missed.

  12. Ann Marie Cross LaMarca on August 21, 2014 at 11:53 am

    My dad, Harold Cross (Helen), had a great friend, Gordi Melick. Our parents would take the boats out on Lake Ontario to enjoy beautiful summer days and have picnics on the shore. Both men named their boats after ‘the kids’ …. The Cal-John and The John-Ann. Even though we haven’t ‘played together’ since our days as kids, my brother John and I remember wonderful times boating with our loving parents and you, giving us the gift of happy childhood memories.
    Our deepest sympathy

  13. Jim Baze on August 22, 2014 at 10:39 am

    A wise man said : Don’t die with your music in you.

    Find what you love in life and pursue it with passion.

    Cal Melick loved cycling. He pedaled every day. It was the rhythm of his life.

    He was so good at it. If you ever followed Cal in a pace line you knew how very good he was. Firmly planted in the saddle with that characteristic smooth high cadence he was one with the bike. He liked to ride fast.

    Cal was a charter member of LBC, served on its board, and treasured the history of Lawrence cycling. In several Octoginta’s he displayed his complete collection of tee shirts from that ride dating to its origin.

    Cal was the Octoginta ride coordinator for many years in the pre-LBC Oread era. From as far back as we can remember, those arrows you follow on the Lizard and on Octoginta were put there, very carefully, by Cal. He liked marking the route so he could do what he liked best on Sunday’s: RIDE!

    Many club members will have Cal stories, but among my favorites are the times when Cal would show up at a ride announcing that he was going to pedal at a “relaxed pace” because he wasn’t feeling well. By mile two you were gasping for breath to hang on his wheel at 25 mph!! “Yeah. I’m feeling better” he would sometimes announce.

    I rode with Cal last Thursday and had a nice visit with him. He said at 66 “I’m slowing down a bit.” On our return from Bloomington he passed me on a hill….. I never caught him….He wasn’t going slow.

    Cal loved to ride. He was good at it.

    He didn’t die with his music in Him.

  14. Joel Vedder on August 23, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    I got to know Cal by accident while researching our common ancestor Richard Vedder from Hartland NY. Over the last few years, he shared whatever he had about his Vedder ancestors with me. I would never have come close to all the family history I know now without Cal’s generous, generous assistance. My condolences to his family and all of his friends.

  15. Heather Collins on August 25, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    I met Cal in 2003 as a graduate student and reference assistant. I quickly found a mentor, advocate and friend. Cal cared deeply for the students and faculty and for providing unobstructed access to scholarly information. While not the type of person to brag about his work, he was truly a pioneer in library automation in Kansas, a master cataloger, a detailed reference librarian and teacher, and a scholar with a wealth of knowledge in many subject areas. We knew that when an answer couldn’t be found, to contact Cal, who would undoubtedly unravel even the most complex questions and find exactly what was needed. Most of all, he was a kind, generous, optimistic, and highly principled co-worker and friend. He will be missed. My heartfelt condolences to his family and fellow friends.

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