In Memory of
December 19, 1949 – October 8, 2010
Larry Lee “Spike” Mellinger, of Belton, MO, passed away October 8, 2010. Visitation will be 5 to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 12, at the Belton Christian Church, 409 Airway Lane, Belton, MO. Funeral service will be 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, October 13, at the church. Burial will be in the Belton Cemetery. Spike was born December 19, 1949, in Fort Worth, Texas. He was a member of the Church of Christ, and was co-owner of Jack’s Tune-Up in Belton, MO, with his brother Tim, since 1976. In 1969 and 1970 he served in Vietnam as an Airborne Ranger. Survivors include his wife Jo Anne of the home; his parents John and Mary Mellinger, Belton, MO; daughter, Michelle Hall and her husband Chuck, Belton, MO; brother, Tim Mellinger and his wife Connie, Belton, MO; sisters, Robie Donnell and her husband Dave, Princeton, MO, Chellie Mellinger, Bartlesville, OK; three grandchildren, Whitney, Mikey and Kaycie Hall. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Joseph Medical Center Pulmonary Rehabilitation Unit, 1000 Carondelet Dr., Kansas City, MO 64114. Condolences may be left at www.mcgilleygeorgegrandview.com. McGilley & George Funeral Home, 12913 Grandview Rd, Grandview, MO 64030, 816-966-0250
Thoughts and comments from Spike’s Friends – AJ and RedDog
On the evening of October 13th the family of Larry Lee Spike Mellinger held a visitation at the Belton Christian Church in his honor. RedDog and I set up fifty American Flags in his honor.
In the morning of October 14th about twenty riders met in the east parking lot of the church to honor and pay tribute to Spike. Our Ride Captain for this mission was MrFixIt with assistance from Max and Other Brother. During our ride meeting we briefly addressed safety, logistics and then RedDog talked about Spike.
RedDog talked about his hunting experiences and the kind of man Spike was. I. talked about his military service. Spike was a 75th Airborne Ranger K Company out of Pleiku Vietnam. Their assignments were to be dropped off behind enemy lines and find the enemy. They were to report back on the location, size and number, weapons and any other important information to their commanders. They were the eyes and ears of the 4th Infantry Division. They would be out in the field with a team usually of four and they would be out for three or more days at a time for fifty weeks a year. We were lead in a beautiful prayer by a member of the CMA (Christian Motorcycle Association). We prayed for the Spike, comfort to his family and the safety of our riders.
Spike would have been so proud as his commander Major Reuben Siverling came to the visitation in his black and red 75th Airborne Ranger K Company shirt. Reuben talked to Spike’s wife Jo Ann and met Tim, Spike’s brother, his parents, sister, nephews and many others. Reuben gave Jo Ann a special Patch which Reuben designed for the incorporation of E Company 58th Infantry, LRP (Long Range Patrol), LRRP (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol), 4th Infantry Division and 75th Airborne Rangers K Company. Jo Ann indicated she wanted the patch placed in the casket with Spike, so he would have it. Much to our surprise, Rueben showed up the next day in his full dress Army Blues. Rueben simply stated I had to be here Reuben Thanks for being here to help all of us honor Spike. You are a great leader and as you demonstrated that you truly care about your men and their families. Your presence was very much appreciated.
The Patriot Guard stood the flag line as the family and friends arrived to the funeral services and then render honors as the casket was removed from the church and placed in the hearse.
The Patriot Guard escorted the hearse and family to the Belton Cemetery just a few miles away. The procession was lead by the Belton Police. At the cemetery we had twenty-five three by five flags on ten foot staffs completely surrounding the gravesite area. As soon as the bikes arrived the twenty or so riders immediately dismounted and form a line to render honors as Spike’s flag draped coffin was carried by six of his family members to his final resting place. Spike was buried with full military honors.
To the family of Spike Mellinger, we thank you for your invitation to allow us to be there to render honors and show our respects to Spike.
To Spike, we thank you for your devoted service to our country. We are so very proud of our 75th Airborne Rangers K Company and the courage they have displayed to carry out their mission. You and your service to our country will never be forgotten.
Submitted with Respect from Spike’s Friends,
AJ and RedDog