Visser, Melvin 1/11/1938 - 1/2/2021 Portage Melvin J. Visser, 82 of Portage, Michigan passed away on Saturday, January 2 to join our Lord and Savior. We are heartbroken at the loss of our family patriarch, but take solace in knowing Mel's life was truly well-lived and that he touched many lives in meaningful ways. He was a friendly, giving and kind man with a strong intellect, good sense of humor, a deep faith, and enduring curiosity to learn. Mel was born in Grand Rapids on January 11, 1938 to Jacob and Thresse Visser, and attended Union High School where he was class president. He graduated from Michigan Tech University (MTU) in 1959, shortly after marrying his wife Gloria (Curtin) of Lake Linden, and embarked on a 36 year career with the Upjohn Company (Pfizer), joining as a chemical development engineer and retiring in 1995 as VP, Environmental Health and Safety to pursue other challenges. Mel obtained several technology patents, including soil vapor extraction, utilized worldwide to clean up fuel and solvent spills. He always looked forward to breakfast gatherings with fellow retired colleagues. He was a member of the MTU President's Club, and was inducted into the Chemical Engineering Academy in 1995. Mel recieved the Distinguished Alumni Award from MTU in 2018, where he offered these words: "Enjoy what you are doing. We are here to serve. Those who have gained knowledge and experience are obligated to share it with others in a beneficial manner." Mel was active all his adult life as a member at Milwood United Methodist Church in Kalamazoo, beginning with he and Gloria teaching Sunday School classes in the 1960's, to supporting current church endeavors. Mel was passionate about the environment and made several trips to the Arctic in his quest for knowledge and answers. His efforts culminated in authoring two published books, and co-authoring a third which is yet to be released. Most recently, Mel was serving as a leader of the citizen's advisory group for the Kalamazoo River environmental cleanup project, and was also researching paleoclimatology. Mel loved his family deeply, supported them in so many ways, and enjoyed being involved in their lives and keeping up on their activities. His big, calm reassuring voice, wisdom and large presence will be greatly missed. Mel Visser is survived by his wife Gloria, brothers David and George Visser, son Patrick, daugher Lori and son-in-law Paul Morin, grand-daughters Emily (Ben Stelzer), Rachel and Sarah Morin, and many nieces and nephews. Future plans for a memorial service will be announced at a later time. The family appreciates the loving care provided by Bronson Methodist Hospital and Rose Arbor Hospice.