ARCHBOLD — Melvin Keith Krill, 89, Archbold, was called to his heavenly home on July 24, 2020, at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, Toledo, Ohio, with his sons at his side after a brief illness.
Mel was born January 27, 1931, to Lawrence Weber and Frieda Pauline (Koerner) Krill on Twin Lake Farms of rural Edgerton, Ohio, and graduated from Edgerton High School in 1949. Upon graduation, Mel attended The Ohio State University and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in agricultural education (1953). Throughout his career, Mel would continue his studies at The Ohio State University (earning a master of science degree in agricultural economics, 1962), Michigan State University and Colorado State University.
Melvin began his professional career as a 4-H agent for Fulton County (11 years) Ohio State University Extension and continued his career advancing within extension serving the youth of northwest Ohio through 4-H educational programs later as area and district director (20 years). Through his career with The Ohio State University, Mel retired at the rank of full professor (1984) and held emeriti status. Mel served 12 years on the Ohio 4-H Foundation Board of Directors.
Being introduced to 4-H Camp Palmer (Fayette, Ohio) early in his career, the camp always held a special place in his heart. Mel served 65 years in various roles at the camp including board of directors, president, treasurer, executive director and management consultant.
Upon retirement, Mel joined Max Smith with WHFD, later WMTR and began a radio career promoting and informing northwest Ohio agriculture with his “Town and Country” program (1984-2008). This morning show consisted of commentary and interesting stories that supplemented the Ohio agricultural news that was provided by longtime friend and colleague Ed Johnson. The program also provided information on local activities and events, and interviews of local, state and national leaders. Mel also became legendary with his live broadcasts from 35 editions of the Fulton County Fair, which was a highlight for him every fall.
Mel’s accolades included life member of The Ohio State University Retirees Association, Ohio Extension Agents Association, National Extension 4-H Agents and Epsilon Sigma Phi. He was awarded distinguished service awards by both the National Extension 4-H Agents Association and the National Agricultural Agents Association. He received a National Agricultural Achievement Award in 1972. He was awarded the Honorary Chapter Farmer by several area FFA Chapters, Friend of 4-H Camp Palmer Award, Friend of Fulton County 4-H, and Conservation Booster Award by Fulton County Soil and Water Conservation District. He was inducted into the Fulton County Agriculture Hall of Fame in 1993.
On August 10, 1957, Mel married his bride, Betty Ann Reetz, an elementary school teacher, at the Broadway Methodist Church in Toledo, Ohio. She preceded him in death in 2015. Together they had two sons, Tom Krill of Pettisville, Ohio, and Scott (Karen) Krill of Geneva, Illinois; five grandchildren, Michael (Kelsey) Krill of St. Louis, Missouri, Kelsi Krill of Maumee, Ohio, Matthew Krill of Columbus, Ohio, Samantha Krill of New York, New York, and Tyler Krill of Geneva, Illinois; and one great-grandson, Alex Krill (Michael and Kelsey). Mel also was preceded in death by his parents and survived by his older brother, Cleon Krill of Edgerton, Ohio.
Mel was a longtime member of the Archbold United Methodist Church and served the church through numerous committee appointments, chancel choir member, and lay leader at various times. Mel’s faith was at his foundation. He served as a member of the board of directors at Fairlawn. He was also a member of Gideon’s International.
In light of the current health concerns, there will be no visitation and a small private graveside service in Archbold Cemetery led by Pastor Jason Sharp of the Archbold United Methodist Church will be conducted this week. It is the family’s intent to have a virtual Celebration of Life service available for family and friends early this fall for online viewing. Short Funeral Home in Archbold has been entrusted with the arrangements.
Memorials can be made in Melvin’s honor to The Ohio State University 4-H Camp Palmer, Gideon’s Internationa or the Archbold United Methodist Church.