Melvin M. "Mel" Mains

Memorial Service: 11:00 Saturday, May 31, 2003 at the St. John Lutheran Church in Beatrice, NE. 

Melvin M. "Mel" Mains, 73 years of age, of Beatrice, NE. passed away at his home early Tuesday morning, May 27, 2003. He was born on October 17, 1929 on a farm southwest of Holmesville, NE. He was a 1947 graduate of Wymore High School, Wymore, NE. He attended  Doane College at Crete, NE. in 1948, majoring in Astronomy. He then attended The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, NE. with an interest in radio broadcasting. Toward the end of that year at the University of Nebraska, he learned that a group of investors in Beatrice, NE. were planning to start a new radio station in Beatrice, NE. under the direction of majority owner and manager John Thorwald. He cleaned up after the carpenters and helped string wires and solder connections, free of charge. He was later hired at KWBE in Beatrice, NE. on June 1, 1949. He later became the news and farm director for KWBE. He then was hired as the farm director and news reporter at KMA in Shenandoah, Iowa in 1949. He and Donna Criswell of Marshalltown, Iowa were married in 1951. In 1951 he received notice to report for duty in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict. His basic training was at Fort Hood, California. He was transferred to Kansas City, MO. to help set up the Hometown News Center for the United States Army and also worked for the KIMO radio station and the KCTY television station in Kansas City, MO. After his military duty he was employed full time as an on air newscaster for KCTY television and then for WDAF television in Kansas City, MO. After several other jobs, he auditioned for a job at KOLN-KGIN, Channel 10-11 TV in Lincoln, NE. and was hired on November 1, 1961. He was the local news anchor for the 6 and 10:00 broadcasts for over 34 years, retiring in 1995. He brought his 52 year radio and television career to a close where it all began by working part-time at KWBE radio in Beatrice, NE. until May 1, 2001. He and Karen (Essman) Wright were married on June 23, 1990. He received the Lifetime Broadcast Achievement Award from the Nebraska AP Broadcasters Association on March 29, 2003. He was a member of the Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Beatrice, NE. He was a member of the Bitting-Norman Post #27, American Legion and the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie #531, both in Beatrice, NE. and the Moose Lodge in Marysville, KS. He enjoyed dancing, yard work and traveling.

Survivors include his wife Karen; son Marc E. Mains and his wife Amy of O'Fallon, MO.; 3 step sons, Steve Wright and his wife Julie of Beatrice, NE., Bob Wright and his wife Lisa of Omaha, NE., and Dr. Bill Wright and his wife Kathy of Lincoln, NE.; step daughter Jeannine Gray and her husband Bud of Shirley, Indiana; granddaughter Marcia Mains; step grandchildren Garret, Ethan, Jenilee, Braden and Shae Wright, Keaton and Peyton Gray; mother in law Adela Essman of Beatrice, NE.; brother in law Gary Essman and his wife Barb of North Platte, NE.; nephew David Essman of North Platte, NE.; and niece Jennifer Essman of Omaha, NE. He was preceded in death by his parents Mark and Eva (Jilg) Mains, brother Arnold Mains, and father in law Elmer Essman.

Memorial services will be held at 11:00 A.M. Saturday, May 31, 2003 at the St. John Lutheran Church, 6th and Washington Streets in Beatrice, NE. with Reverend Alton Schwandt officiating. Private interment will be Saturday morning in the Evergreen Home Cemetery in Beatrice, NE. with military graveside services provided by Bitting-Norman Post #27, American Legion of Beatrice, NE. A family prayer service will be held at 10:45 A.M. Saturday at the church. Closed casket visitation will be held Wednesday from 10-5:00, Thursday from 9-9:00 and Friday from 9-6:00 at the Griffiths-Hovendick Chapel in Beatrice, NE. In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established to the Beatrice Community Hospital Hospice Program, American Cancer Society and the Beatrice Senior Citizens Center with the Griffiths-Hovendick Chapel in Beatrice, NE. in charge. Messages of condolence may be sent to They will be forwarded to the family.

The Griffiths-Hovendick Chapel in Beatrice is in charge of services.