Melvin Hellstrom

Obituary of Melvin Hellstrom

Melvin Robert Hellstrom (Mel), 88, of Manchester, beloved husband of 67 years to the late Sylvia Hellstrom, passed away on Tuesday, June 20, 2023. Born in Windsor, CT, on October 28, 1934, he was the son of the late Allan and Doris (Warner) Hellstrom.

Melvin graduated from Howell Cheney Technical High School in 1953, where he was president of the Student Council. Applying his training as a draftsman, he started his career at Pratt and Whitney in East Hartford as a machine designer and went on to work at various manufacturing companies ending at Chandler Evans in West Hartford.

Mel enjoyed woodworking and carpentry, and he put his skills to good use over the years as a set builder at the Little Theater of Manchester. He enjoyed doing woodworking projects with his grandson Ben and he made special items for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren which they adore. He made it his own personal mission to fix anything that was broken. When Mel wasn't busy building and tinkering, he was a part of The Beethoven Chorus, a retired men's singing group, and did many performances at local nursing homes. He also had quite the green thumb, was an incredible gardener, and also loved photography, delighting correspondents across the country with cards made from his photographs. Mel loved making everyone around him laugh. He had a terrific sense of humor and told many tall tales which all who heard still remember, to this day. Sylvia and Mel were world travelers as well, enjoying trips across the USA, Europe, the Middle East, and even Antarctica. Mel was a lover of beaches and the ocean, especially the Connecticut and Rhode Island shorelines and the rugged coast of Maine.

Mel was an active member of Emanuel Lutheran Church in Manchester for most of his life. He served on various committees throughout the years and participated in many activities.

Mel is survived by his daughter, Diane Gawlinski and her husband Edward of South Windsor; his grandchildren, Allison DeSimone and her husband Brett of Bridgewater, MA, and Benjamin Gawlinski and his girlfriend Laurie Vaillancourt of South Windsor; and his adoring great-grandchildren, Layla and Jude DeSimone, and Natalie, Samuel and Jacob Langille. He is also survived by his grand-son-in-law Shane Langille of Pike, NH; and several beloved nieces and nephews as well as a wide circle of dear friends. Besides his loving wife Sylvia, he was predeceased by his granddaughter Erica Langille, his brother Allan Hellstrom and his wife Janette, and his sister Lorrie Wilson and her husband George.

Mel and Sylvia's family are tremendously grateful to the staff at Buckingham Heights Memory Care Facility. Over the last several months, their diligent and compassionate care ensured comfort and safety; easing chronic worry and enabling Mel and Sylvia to simply enjoy each other's company, a true gift. The family also offers a special thanks to Felicia Waife for providing Mel with 24-hour individual care, easing his last days. She leaned into his love of music and sang to and with Mel, providing him with a gentle passing.

Calling hours will be held at the John F. Tierney Funeral Home, 219 West Center St. on Friday, July 7th from 3:00-7:00pm. A memorial service will be held at Emanuel Lutheran Church, 60 Church St. in Manchester on Saturday, July 8th at 11am.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Endowment Fund at Emanuel Lutheran Church. For online condolences, please visit

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Calling Hours

3:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Friday, July 7, 2023
John F. Tierney Funeral Home
219 West Center Street
Manchester, Connecticut, United States

Funeral Service

11:00 am
Saturday, July 8, 2023
Emanuel Lutheran Church
60 Church Street
Manchester, Connecticut, United States
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