Melvin “Mel” Arvi Rintala, age 68, of Musselshell, MT passed away suddenly of natural causes at his cabin in Cooke City on Sunday, July 20th, 2019. His wife, Lou Ann, was at his side.
Born on August 10, 1950 in Billings, MT to second-generation Finnish immigrants Toivo and Vienna, Mel was raised on a family ranch seven miles north of Red Lodge. Mel graduated from Red Lodge High School in 1968, and turned down several shot-put and football scholarships to four year universities in favor of a life hunting and ranching. In his early life, Mel worked for several ranchers and served as a foreman for a concrete company, before settling down on a ranch outside of Musselshell with Lou Ann. Mel spent his winters ranching and hunting at Musselshell, and his summers fishing at Cooke City. A fixture in both communities, Mel will be deeply missed by his many close friends and neighbors.
Mel was an avid sportsman who loved spending time in the mountains and hunting game for his family. Passionate about guns and history, Mel enjoyed going to gun shows and reading about and visiting historical sites around the state with Lou Ann. In the evenings, Mel could most often be found playing pinochle or Scrabble with his family and friends. To those who knew him, Mel was a man with a rough exterior (and sense of humor!) hiding a heart of gold. Mel will be remembered as a passionate sportsman, beloved father and grandfather, and devoted husband.
Mel is survived by his wife Lou Ann Rintala of Musselshell, MT; his two children, David Pauley of Shepherd, MT, and daughter Darcey Andrews of Red Lodge MT; his three stepdaughters, Gina Hupka, Julie Hansen, and Janelle Freed; his grandchildren Tanner and Taylor Pauley; Jennifer Whitaker; Stephanie Graham; Ben and Tasha Freed; and Zachary and Dale Hansen; and great-grandson Maxton Graham. Mel was predeceased by his two brothers Ronald and Larry and is survived by his sister Elaine.
A memorial service is planned for Saturday, July 27, 2019 at 2:00 P.M. at the Musselshell Community Church. with a reception to follow at the Musselshell School. Pastor Lynn Rettig will officiate the ceremony. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Mel’s life. Flowers and condolences can be sent to Musselshell Community Church; donations may be made to Cooke City Emergency Services at 202 Main st., Cooke City, MT; or the Musselshell Community Church at 23 Main st., Musselshell, MT. Franzen-Davis Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.