Melvin "Mel" L. Ong, 83, of Oglesby, died Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012, in Manor Court of Peru. Funeral services were held Tuesday, Sept. 17, at Hurst Funeral Home, Tonica. Burial was in Fairview Cemetery, Tonica. A visitation was held prior to services at the funeral home. Pallbearers were his grandchildren. Memorials may be directed to the Tonica Fire Department, Tonica American Legion Post No. 180 or Tonica United Methodist Church.
He was born on Dec. 16, 1928, in LaSalle, the son of Harry and Maye (Klehm) Ong. He married Barbara DeBrusselles on Jan. 5, 1951, in Joliet. He served with the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict from 1951 to 1953. He was a forward observer as a 1st Lieutenant and he received the Bronze Star. He was a math teacher for 28 years, most of those in Geneseo. He graduated from Tonica High School. He graduated from Illinois State with bachelor and master's degrees in teaching and then the University of Illinois with a master's degree in education. He was the pool manager in Geneseo for 18 years and an avid Cubs and Bears fan. He was a member of Tonica American Legion Post No. 180 and the Farm Bureau.
Survivors include his wife, Barbara; two daughters and spouses, Cindy and William Leach of McKinney, Texas, and Patricia and Bart Sheffer of The Colony, Texas; two sons and spouse, Marvin and Marlene Ong of Geneseo and Gary Ong of Phoenix, Ariz.; six grandchildren; and six great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Shirley Wolfe.