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May 2024

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Written By:

Peter Mellen

OBITUARY: For Peter Mellen

December 1, 1934 – January 28, 2022 • God Speed, My Love, on Angel’s Wings

Pete moved to northern New Mexico around 50 years ago when he purchased Frank and Polly’s Cafe in Red River. He left Oklahoma and never looked back. Frank & Polly’s became Fric & Frac’s Cafe. Pete said he lived his best life here. He loved skiing and horseback riding in the mountains. During the off-season, like many, he wore many hats! He worked at the Moly Mine and in construction which led him to his specialty, master tiler, affectionately known to many as “The Tile Guy.” He mentored many folks on job sites over the years, including myself!

Pete volunteered as an EMT in Red River and was the only one up there for a while. His outdoor skills came in handy while rescuing people from the slopes or down in the canyon. He was a first responder when a fire broke out in one of the lodges and people were jumping out of windows, YIKES!!! Later on, he was a fireman with the Latir Volunteer Fire Department.

In more recent times he was my partner at The Willow Bakery in Questa and we were year-round vendors at The Santa Fe Farmers Market.

Pete’s true love was canoeing, the sights and smells of the river, and fondness for his canoe buddies on their annual adventures!

He was a man of quick wit and great sense of humor, delivered in classic deadpan style which allowed him to say things that made you think twice about it!

He loved his land that he purchased in El Rito, now almost 47 years ago. He felt blessed to have found his spot; he built his own cabin and lived his life as a very singular man, caring deeply for Mother Earth. An animal-whisperer, he literally talked a bear who hopped into our cabin in the middle of the night, into leaving the way he came in, undisturbed—what a sight that was!

Pete’s Time Got Over on January 28, 2022, when he shed an old and well-worn body, like when a Butterfly is Born, untethered and flying free.

I wish to thank our El Rito and Questa neighbors for all the kind and caring support shown to us over this past year. It truly takes a village and two simply wonderful sons: his son, Byron and my son, Kurt.
We keep on keepin’ on with love in our hearts and fond memories,

Lisa Fox