Melvin Schwake, former commissioner, dies at 83 |

Melvin Schwake, former commissioner, dies at 83

Staff reports

Long-time Carson Valley resident, Melvin Henry Schwake, Sr. 83, died Wednesday at Washoe Medical Center in Reno.

Mr. Schwake was born in Centerville, on Oct. 28, 1913 to Henry R. and Charlotte Schwake, and lived in Carson Valley most of his life.

He was a general engineering contractor in Nevada and California, and was the founder of Nevada Contractors, Inc.

He was also a rancher in Nevada and California and a Douglas County commissioner from 1949 to 1953.

Mr. Schwake was baptized and confirmed in the Trinity Lutheran Church in Gardnerville. Rev. Emil Leising, who was the pastor of Trinity Lutheran for 25 years, remembered Mr. Schwake as a regular attendee.

“He was a faithful member of the church,” Rev. Leising said. “He also became a good friend of the family.”

Mr. Schwake was a part of the team of volunteers who built the church in the early 1950s. According to an Oct. 16, 1994 article in The Record-Courier written by Mary Settelmeyer Fair, Schwake was also responsible for hauling 187,000 bricks from Reno to Gardnerville for the mostly brick church.

As Fair said in her article, the spirit of church members who worked on the new building, which was dedicated on July 30, 1952, is evident throughout the church.

Schwake was preceded in death by a brother, Walter R. Schwake, who died in 1989 and a sister, Ellie Small ,who died in 1980.

Survivors include widow, Edrie (Cross) and son, Melvin, Jr., both of Minden; daughter Sigrid Schwake Pieretti of Las Vegas; brother William F. of Gardnerville; sisters Ardelle Powell and Ruthe Berryman, both of Reno; two grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held today at 10 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1480 Douglas Ave. in Gardnerville. Pastor Larry Miller will be officiating.

Committal service and burial will be held at the Mottsville Cemetery.

The family suggests memorial contributions be made to the church.