Cover photo for Melvin (Mel) Keith  Tallon's Obituary
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1933 Melvin (Mel) 2023

Melvin (Mel) Keith Tallon

July 8, 1933 — November 29, 2023

Melvin (Mel) Keith Tallon, born July 8, 1933 to Marshall Stanley Tallon and Minnie Dando, passed away on November 29, 2023 at the age of 90 in Redlands, California, his home for nearly 60 years.


Mel was born at his grandmother’s house in Lafleche, Saskatchewan, Canada and enjoyed growing up close to the Tallon family farm, where his work ethic and discipline shaped his future endeavors. He attended the Lafleche Public School through grade 12 before attending the University of Saskatchewan, Regina for part of his college education.


 Mel married Shirley Mann in 1953 and together, they had four children: Marshall, Kim, Gayl and Daryl. Mel and Shirley raised their four kids in Calgary, Alberta, Canada until 1964, when Mel would relocate south to warm and sunny Redlands, California before the rest of the Tallon clan joined him in 1965. Mel began working at Smith Diesel Sales, Inc in nearby Rialto, where he held his job from 1964 to 1973 before starting work at Cummins that same year, dedicating his services for 25 years, before retiring in 1998.


Sadly, in 1975, Shirley passed away. In 1977, Mel married his beloved second wife, Carolyn Brooks, and the family grew to include Carolyn and her three children: David, Chris and Missy.


Mel was a stalwart and resolute man in every aspect of his life: a committed father and husband, a steadfast employee, and an unwavering member of the Masonic Blue Lodge #300 in Redlands, California and the Scottish Rite in San Bernardino, California.


 These two associations were a foundational piece of Mel’s life and helped form the remarkable man he was so well known to be.


Mel was a modest person, and not one to boast about accomplishments or accolades; however, it would be a disservice to not properly remember him for his most significant and praiseworthy achievements he attained during his time with these organizations.


Mel applied to the Blue Lodge #300 in Redlands, California in 1970, joining the Officers Line in 1971 before becoming a Worshipful Master in 1976, the highest ranking of all Lodge Officers which a Lodge may elect, as well as obtaining the Hiram Award in 2001. Mel also joined the San Bernardino Valley Scottish Rite in 1977, achieving the title of Master of Kadosh in 1990, and Venerable Master in 1995. Mel’s attention to detail and organizational skills also earned him the title of Appointed Inspector with the Masonic Lodge for nearly a decade, and Treasurer of the Redlands Lodge for almost 20 years while simultaneously acting as Treasurer for the Scottish Rite for 10 years.


His expertise, devotion, and fidelity earned him not only the respect of the members of these fraternities, but also the 33rd Degree in 1999. This honor signifies a Master Mason who has exhibited knowledge, passion and sacrifice to his craft, and the Supreme Council awards the 33rd degree as a way of recognizing outstanding and selfless work performed not only in the Scottish Rite, but for the person’s leadership in their communities. This exceptional distinction marked Mel as a man who exemplified holding himself to the highest standards in his daily life, which was the quality he was most renowned for.


Mel would continue serving both organizations in a leadership capacity as a Board Chairman for the Scottish Rite until 2016, and a member of the Audit Committee at the Redlands Lodge until 2018. In 2022 (one year late due to the pandemic), Mel was bestowed a celebration for 50 years of membership at the Redlands Masonic Lodge, a feat that few accomplish, which helps spotlight some of Mel’s strongest attributes over half of his lifetime of service: loyalty, reliability, and honesty. These facets of Mel’s persona helped define a man who was universally appreciated and respected amongst his family, peers and community.


Despite Mel’s distinguished career, I think he would agree that his most extraordinary triumph was being a grandfather to thirteen and great grandfather to seven. In Mel’s life, this was his most important role, and he succeeded with flying colors. Mel and Carolyn’s home was considered the gathering place, where happy memories abound, centered around cozy holidays, rambunctious grandchildren in the swimming pool and a game table perpetually ready for a hand of cards. Mel ensured that their door was always open to anyone who wanted to feel welcomed as a part of the extended family. From searching for Easter eggs in the best backyard for hiding spots, to Christmas gift exchanges (with some stealing involved), and all of the familial milestones in between, Mel was at his happiest with a full house of laughter and love. He reminded us recently at his 90th birthday that he was always most proud that he helped create a deep rooted family tree that continues to branch out and flourish for many generations, and it is a comfort knowing that he lived 90 fulfilling years as the patriarch of such a special legacy.


Mel also loved his golf, from being an avid member of Redlands Country Club after retiring, to his later years where it was all but a guarantee that a good nap was in order as soon as the golf channel was turned on. This fickle sport mirrored how Mel approached his life: golf requires a tremendous amount of patience, a heaping of learned skills, and a sprinkle of luck, and you can have an enjoyable day on the course of life. No matter how many sand traps or water hazards were thrown his way, if there was ever a man who deserved a green jacket, it would certainly be Mel Tallon, who mastered being a father and grandfather through and through.


We will miss you forever, Mel. While we may never physically play Bitch and Complain (the infamous family card game that lives up to its name) together again, each time a wild card appears at the exact moment we need one, I’ll have a sneaking suspicion you were there in spirit for that extra help and guidance that you continuously provided during your time with us.


Mel will be laid to rest peacefully alongside his first wife, Shirley, at the tranquil Hillside Memorial Park in Redlands on December 15. In lieu of flowers, please feel welcomed to make a donation to the Shriners Children’s Hospital in Mel Tallon’s name, as giving back would be an apt way to honor and respect a man who gave so much of himself to others throughout his illustrious life.

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