Melvin Andrew Gottman Sr. often said during his illness that his hand was in Jesus’ hand. On Jan. 13, 2020, from Melvin’s home in Hannibal, Mo, Jesus chose to take him by his hand to be with him.

Melvin was born to Irvin and Genevieve Hagaman Gottman on Dec. 6, 1940 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hannibal. He was reared on the Gottman family Century Farm. 

He graduated from Suter school, a one-room century school, and was a 1958 graduate of Palmyra High School. 

He was a life-long member of Zion Lutheran Church in Palmyra and enjoyed being a member of the Walther League (the youth group), ushering, serving on boards, and helping with the annual harvest sale.

He married Judith Kay Harris, April 9, 1966 at the Zion Lutheran Church in Palmyra. She survives. They made their home in Palmyra, before returning to the farm. 

He was a member of the Army National Guard; worked at various times at the weekly sale when it was held in downtown Palmyra, at Brown’s Furniture and at County Market in Hannibal. After he retired, he enjoyed working at the Palmyra Food Pantry.

He spent most of his life on the family dairy farm until he was unable to do the work alone, but he kept a small herd of beef cattle. He enjoyed working with the animals, working the fields, fishing and hunting (he was known for the speed with which he was able to dress fish and to field-dress deer), gardening, playing cards and chess, doing word searches, cooking and reading. 

He enjoyed watching re-runs of religious music on TV, joking with everyone to make them smile and brighten their day. He especially enjoyed spending time with family and friends and spending a few days at Mark Twain Lake or the Lake of the Ozarks with friends.

Survivors include his wife, Judy Gottman; his children, Melvin Andrew Gottman, Jr. (Mary), Palmyra, Mo.; Donald Gottman, Hannibal; and Keith Gottman, Hannibal; brother, Wayne Gottman (Kaye); sisters Miriam Savidge and Elizabeth Sutton; grandchildren, Andrew (Ashley) and Luke Gottman and their mother, Angela Gottman; Andrew Oberhellman (Relinda), Mindy Sims (Rubin) and their mother, Mary Gottman; Barbara Booth, Allison, Brandon and James Gottman and their mother, Tammy Gottman; special “grandson,” Joe Shanks (Jessica); and great-granddaughter, Isabella Gottman.

Melvin was preceded in death by his parents; brother-in-law, Dean Sean Sutton; and great-grandson, Kristoph Gottman.

Funeral Services will be held at noon, on Thursday, Jan. 16, at Lewis Brothers Funeral Chapel in Palmyra. Pastor Wes Gerhke will officiate. Burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery in Palmyra.

Pallbearers will be Andrew Gottman, Luke Gottman, James Gottman, Brandon Gottman, Joe Shanks, Bill Shrum, Steve Lohman and Jason Hancock.

Honorary pallbearers will be Scott Boyer, Mike Sparks, Glenn Boyer, Alan Hagaman, Larry O’Brien and Mark Gottman.

Visitation  will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Thursday Jan. 16, at Lewis Brothers Funeral Chapel.

Memorials may be made to Zion Lutheran Church, Zion Lutheran School or the Palmyra Food Pantry.

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