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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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June 7, 2023

4/28/2023 5:29:00 AM
Mel Davidson

Mel Davidson, age 87, of Rhinelander, died on April 22, 2023, in Rhinelander. He was born on Feb. 28, 1936, in Ulysses, Nebraska, the son of Louis and Mae (Stoddard) Davidson.

Mel was raised in Nebraska and attended schools there.

He began his collegiate career at Hastings College and then entered the U.S. Army. He served his country both here in the United States and in Germany. Upon his honorable discharge he returned to Lincoln, Nebraska and continued his education at the University of Nebraska, graduating from NU with a BS degree in business.

After his schooling Mel went to work for the American Can Corporation and was with them for 20 plus years before moving to Rhinelander in 1983. He moved to Rhinelander to work for the Rhinelander Paper Company which was part of the Wausau Paper Company at the time. He served as general manager of the Rhinelander mill and also served as a Vice President of Wausau Papers. In 1996 he left the mill and went to work as a financial advisor for Smith Barney. He worked with Smith Barney until his retirement in 2006.

Mel loved Rhinelander and from the day he moved here and he contributed to the betterment of the community. He was instrumental with the YMCA being in Rhinelander. He was a member of the Oneida County Economic Development Corporation, the Rhinelander Rotary Club, the Board of St. Mary's Hospital, the Rhinelander Food Pantry and SCORE. He was also a member of the Rhinelander Country Club.

Mel always enjoyed the company of others. He had a great sense of humor and he was always a pleasure to visit with. He enjoyed golfing and he loved all sports, especially football. He was a big fan of Nebraska football, as hard as that could be, and always took the ribbing of his "Badger" friends with a big smile. He will be greatly missed by his family, his friends and the Rhinelander community.

Mel married the former Janet Thomsen and she preceded him in death. He then married the former Linda Darland-Wells and she survives him.

Mel is also survived by his sons Matthew Davidson and Gregory (Susan) Davidson, his grandchildren Christopher, Elizabeth and Genna (Levi Lehr), a great-grandson Hyker, his sisters Patricia Chapman and Adelle (Robert) Tonniges, his brother Orville (Sharon) Davidson, nieces, nephews. other family and many friends.

In addition to his first wife, he was also preceded in death by his parents.

Visitation for Mel will be held on Monday, May 1, 2023 from 10 a.m. to noon, with memorial services following at noon, all at the Carlson Funeral Home.

A complete notice will follow in the River News. You may leave your private condolences for the Davidson family at

The Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is serving the Davidson family.

Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, April 29, 2023
Article comment by: Bruce Kotila

Dear Linda and family,
I am proud to be one of Mel�s thousands of admirers. We loved to share our common Nebraska roots. He will be missed by all, but leaves a tremendous legacy of which you all can be proud.
Sincerely, Bruce Kotila

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