Saturday, August 15, 2020

Melvin ‘Mel’ J. Ptacek, 81, Owatonna

Melvin “Mel” J. Ptacek, 81, lifelong resident of Owatonna, entered his heavenly home on Feb. 16, 2015, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester. 

Mel was born on November 28, 1933, the son of Joseph and Irene (Wanous) Ptacek in Somerset Township, rural Steele County. 

He attended school in Owatonna and graduated in 1951. After high school he took correspondence courses through LaSalle University and studied accounting, including CPA courses. In just two years Mel completed a four year course of study to receive his degree. 

He worked for Wilson Freight and later worked for the Minnesota/South Dakota Retail Farm Equipment Association serving as Executive Director. 

Mel retired in 1999. In 1979, Mel was appointed, by then Gov. Al Quie, to serve on an advisory council for Vocational Education. He served as a lobbyist in St. Paul for many years representing agriculture. Mel had the privilege of meeting President Gerald Ford while he worked on a special committee for the handicapped in Washington, DC. 

His life interests include restoring old John Deere farm tractors, woodworking and old time music. He was a member of Sacred Heart Church, Lions Club, Jaycees, Owatonna Elk’s and Federated’s Quarter Century Club.

Mel is survived by his lifelong friend Elaine “Woody” Wodarczak of Owatonna; siblings Joseph “Joey” (Florence) Ptacek and Lavern “Vernie” (Pat) Ptacek both of Owatonna, Nancy (David) Garner of Deerfield, Wisconsin; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. 

Mass of Christian burial was held Friday, Feb. 20, 2015, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Owatonna. Interment will take place at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Owatonna.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Donor’s choice.

To leave a message or to leave a condolence, go to

Steele County Times & DCI

Steele County Times
411 E. Main St.
P.O. Box 247
Blooming Prairie, MN 55917

Dodge County Independent / ADvantage
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944

Dodge County Printing
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944


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