Memorial for Melvin “Mel” Sheets ’55
Mel Sheets, 86, of Deerfield, IL, passed away Sunday, March 24th surrounded by his family. He was born February 24th, 1933, son of the late Albert and Eva (Partridge) Sheets. Loving husband of 63 years to his high school sweetheart Margaret (Dams) and little brother to Audrey (the late Don) Stahlheber who preceded him in death. Mel is survived by his two children Michael (Christy) and Lynn (Greg), five grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, nieces and a nephew. Mel played basketball and baseball at Wood River High School. Mel graduated from Millikin University in 1955 where he was captain of the basketball and baseball teams and was voted Most Valuable Athlete at the university in '54 and '55. He then served two years active duty and seven years active reservist in the U.S. Army. He received his MA from Washington University in 1961. In 1958, Mel started his coaching career at Alton High School. In 1965, he accepted the head basketball and baseball coaching positions at the soon to be opened New Trier West and moved to Deerfield, Il. After a long and extremely successful career, Coach retired in 1996. In his last season at New Trier his golf team won the state title and his basketball team placed fourth in the state. Mel has been honored by his peers as a member of the IBCA Hall of Fame, Millikin Athletic Hall of Fame, Millikin Medallion Society, North Shore Walk of Fame, EAWR Hall of Fame, and received the IBCA Lifetime Achievement Award. New Trier also honored Mel by naming the West campus basketball floor "Mel Sheets Court" and as an inaugural inductee to their Hall of Honor. In addition to coaching, Mel served as a co-advisor of the New Trier Tri-Ship Boys Service Club. Funeral Services will be held Saturday, March 30, 2019 at Donnellan Family Funeral Home, 10045 Skokie Boulevard, at Old Orchard Road, Skokie, IL 60077. Visitation begins at 3:00 p.m. with Celebration of Coach's Life at 7:00 p.m. Interment Private at Woodburn Cemetery, Woodburn, IL. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Alzheimer's Association Illinois Chapter, 8430 West Bryn Mawr Avenue, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60631 or The Salvation Army, 2258 North Clybourn Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614 or New Trier Educational Foundation, 7 Happ Road, Northfield, IL 60093. Info: www.donnellanfuneral.com or (847) 675-1990.
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Mar. 27, 2019