NORMAN — Melvin George Oxsen, 89, passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, sitting in his favorite chair with a notepad and a book. He died peacefully in his sleep. We are comforted that he is with the Lord now, and was greeted in Heaven by his wife Miriam and daughter Cheryl. The peaceful manner of his death is a blessing for which we thank God.
Melvin was the third and last child of George and Laura Anne (Goodrich) Oxsen. He was born on July 25, 1924, in Oakland, Calif. Melvin’s brother Lowell (Bud) was two years older, and his sister Norma was five years older. When his father was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1926, the family moved to the Daggett Ranch in the Mojave Desert, hoping the dry air would be good for George’s health. Nevertheless, Melvin’s father passed away in 1927.
Four years later in 1931, his mother married Onbey “Mack” McMickell, and they moved to Ludlow, Calif. Melvin said that Mack raised all the children like his own kids and was a very good father and husband, and they loved him as a father. Work was hard to find, and so the family moved where and when opportunity arose. In the summer of 1932, Mack was hired by the California Highway Department, and they moved to the Newberry Highway Camp.
Norma was bused 50+ miles to high school in Barstow, and Bud and Melvin rode a bus to Fairview Grammar School near Newberry, as did Miriam Staudinger (his future wife). The McMickell-Oxsen and Staudinger families became good friends, and there is a picture of Melvin at Miriam’s 8th birthday party taken on April 25, 1935.
But when the Staudinger’s visited the Oxsen’s in 1941, Melvin said he was smitten by the beautiful young Miriam. Melvin had cut his arm quite badly at school that same day, and it had to be stitched up by a doctor in town. Therefore, he had a bandage on his arm when the Staudinger’s visited. Melvin pushed Miriam in a swing even with his bandaged arm. After that visit, Melvin decided to begin writing Miriam on a regular basis to keep her aware of him and his affections. Forty-one years later, Miriam mentioned him pushing her in that swing in a card she gave Melvin on their 36th wedding anniversary.