Douglas “Carl” Mark Melbye, 65, of Crookston, MN, died Thursday afternoon, June 23, 2022, in the Sanford Medical Center in Fargo with his family by his side, listening to his favorite song. Carl had been battling poor health for the past several months but was known for always having a smile, joke, or encouraging word for anyone he met.
Carl was born in Crookston, Minnesota on September 18, 1956, and was the son of the late E.R. ‘Butch’ and Noella (Cardinal) Melbye. Carl grew up in Crookston where he attended Catholic elementary and middle school at St. Joseph Academy and graduated from Crookston High School in 1975. He went on to attend the University of Minnesota Technical College, earning an Associates Degree in 1977.
Carl met his wife, Maribeth Stroot, while working at Fleet Supply in Crookston in 1988. They were married at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Euclid, Minnesota on May 1, 1993. He and Maribeth made their home in Crookston, and together raised their daughter, Jordan, and son, Beau. Carl would do anything for his family and was the best dad his kids could ask for (and not just because he was the king of dad jokes).
Carl was a pillar of the Crookston community. He held a variety of jobs throughout his life and seemed to know everyone in town. He met lifelong friends as the bar manager at the Northland Lodge and sold many people their first cell phones at Cellular One. Most recently, he was the Bookkeeper and Circulation Manager at the Crookston Daily Times, known for a warm greeting at the front desk or hand delivering the paper or shopper if a house was ever missed. He eventually retired from the Crookston Daily Times in November 2021 after more than 20 years of service.
Always known to volunteer for an event or buy a raffle ticket, Carl was an active member of the community and numerous service clubs including the Crookston CERT team, Sons of the American Legion, VFW Women’s Auxiliary (leave it to Carl to find a loophole), and was a past President of the Crookston Eagles Club Aerie 873. He was an active alumnus of University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC), serving many years on the UMC Alumni Board and UMC Teambackers Board. He was recognized for his commitment and service to the community with the UMC Outstanding Alumni Award in 2003.
Carl was the life of every party and always had a joke or story to tell that involved good friends, good drinks, and good times. An avid sports fan, you could often find Carl at the “Gopher Hole” cheering on his favorite Minnesota sports teams with his friends and family. He loved music from the 1970’s and everyone knew he would be walking through the door soon when American Pie started playing on the jukebox. Carl loved pulling pranks on anyone and everyone, whether it was calling you up to ask if you had a left-handed screwdriver or trying to convince you he was his own twin, “Doug.” It seems like everyone gained their own “Carl story” over the years on his mission to make everyone laugh (although he always laughed the hardest at his own jokes as the self-appointed Funniest Guy He Knows).
Carl's life changed forever with the arrival of his granddaughter, Emily (Emmy) in 2020. Emmy became the apple of his eye. He loved being a grandpa and she brought him so much joy and happiness. They were two peas in a pod and Emmy had Papa Carl wrapped around her tiny fingers. Even at the end when he was very ill, his eyes would light up when she came in the room or he saw a new picture of his favorite little girl.
Grateful to have shared in his life are his wife, Maribeth; daughter, Jordan (Matt) Steinmetz and granddaughter Emily (Emmy) Steinmetz of Rochester, MN; son, Beau Melbye (Samantha Schneider) of Crookston MN; brother, Allen (Fern) Melbye of Thief River Falls, MN; sister, Vicki Melbye of Willmar, MN; brother Wayne (Paulette) Melbye of Crookston; sister Mary Jo (Rick) Eastes of Visalia, CA; brother Mike Melbye of Warroad, MN, sister Lori Melbye of Crookston, mother-in-law Wanda Stroot of Crookston; sister-in-law Diane (Keith) Dahlin of Euclid, MN, sister-in-law, Betty Stroot of Crookston, brother-in-law Duane (Renae Ramsey) Stroot of Crookston, many nieces and nephews, extended family, and countless friends. Carl is preceded in death by his parents, Butch and Noella Melbye, father-in-law, Bill Stroot, and brother-in-law, Ron Stroot.
A funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m., on Thursday, June 30, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Crookston. Visitation will be 5:00-7:00 p.m., with a time for sharing beginning at 7:00 p.m., on Wednesday, June 29 at the Cathedral. Visitation will continue one hour prior to services at the church on Thursday. Burial will be at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Gentilly. A celebration of Carl's life will be held on Thursday at the Crookston Eagle's club, following the services at 4:00 p.m. Bring your favorite story or memory of Carl to toast him one more time.
Live streaming for services please go to https://crookstoncathedral.com/
In lieu of flowers the family asks that you consider a donation to the Crookston Eagles Club Scholarship Fund or Crookston Youth Baseball Association.