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CREVE COEUR ~ Mel Gass, 59, of Creve Coeur, passed away at 8:55 p.m. Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at his home.

Born October 3, 1957 in Peoria to Henry and Bettie (Snoke) Gass, he married, Donna (Tonjes) Getz, his “lovely bride” on February 29, 2004 in Groveland.

Surviving are his wife; son, Joshua Gass of Manito; his mother and step-father, Bettie and Everett Copeland of Missouri; sisters, Debbie (Pat) Murphy of Canton, Joni (Scott) Andrews of Tremont, and Sandy (Fred) Garfield of Missouri; step-sister, Linett (Mike) Sturch of Sycamore; several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father and one brother, John Gass.

Mel served in the United States Army.

A gentle giant, the only thing bigger than Mel’s sense of humor was his generous heart. With his larger-than-life personality, he was known by many as “Uncle Mel” and he never meet a stranger.

Mel loved fishing, hunting and spending time with his family and friends, sharing stories tinged the wit and sarcasm only he could offer.

He worked as a Steamfitter at TSI in Mossville since 1996, retiring in 2015. He was also a member of Steamfitters Local 353 in Peoria.

His memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Sunday, January 22, 2017 at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Creve Coeur. Pastor Dana McNeil will officiate. Visitation will be from 1 to 3 p.m. at the funeral home.

A gathering celebrating Mel’s life will begin at 6 p.m. Monday, January 23 at Schooner’s of Morton, 630 W. Jackson St., where it all began for Mel and Donna in the summer of 2000.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the Children's Home Association of Illinois, 2130 N. Knoxville Ave., Peoria, IL 61603 or donor’s choice.

To express condolences online, visit www.preston-hanley.com