The vehicle collision in Saskatchewan August 4 causing the deaths of two Springdale residents has left the town in shock and mourning.Rev. Patricia Melindy, 67, and her husband Lloyd Melindy, 72, were travelling to the town of McLean, Saskatchewan, when their car collided with a tractor-trailer. They were both pronounced dead at the scene.
The truck driver attempted to avoid the collision and was shaken up during the incident, although he did not suffer any physical injuries. The truck had minor damage, said RCMP Sgt. Carole Raymond of Indian Head, Saskatchewan.
"There was a large skid mark, so he certainly tried to brake," Sgt. Raymond said to Transcontinental Media. "It wasn't enough."
Both deaths have had an affect on many in the Springdale area, equally within the United Church and community life.
"This left a mark in the community that no one can replace," said Rev. George Gard. "They were always a part of what was going on and always worked together as a team."
Rev. Gard, after coming to Springdale in 1997, became the Melindy's minister for some time and got to know them fairly well, both as their minister and friend.
"I enjoyed her [Patricia] because she always had a sense of humour and could always find things that were funny," he said. "I knew Lloyd ever since I've been here, he's a little more quiet."
While the death of the Melindys comes as a tragic event, their work and reputation lives on in Springdale and the surrounding area.
"They were very much involved and well liked by everyone," said Rev. Gard.
He recalls Ms. Melindy's ministry and said, "her preaching was very down to earth, not above your heads. She was very personable that way. Her sermons were full of illustrations."
Ms. Melindy had gone into the ministry after her family had grown up.
"Like most women who go into ministry," said Rev. Gard. "It was what she wanted."
And Mr. Melindy's community involvement was just as dedicated.
Rev. Gard said Mr. Melindy's commitment to the church, his participation in the choir and his involvement with the Lions Club in Springdale was nothing short of passionate volunteerism.
Ed Smith, a close friend of the Melindys, recalls his fondest memories of the couple.
In earlier years, Mr. Smith and Patricia had formed a musical duo called "Pat and Ed." He recalled Ms. Melindy's beautiful voice and the many events they played together and how close they became as they did a lot of travelling and singing together.
"She became like a sister to me," he said. "We talked about recording a new CD. We probably would have started that in the fall."
When Grant Collegiate opened in 1965, Mr. Melindy started his teaching career. It was in 1972 when Mr. Smith took over the principal position. Over the course of nine years Mr. Smith and Mr. Melindy became close colleagues and even closer friends. Mr. Melindy was even vice principal while Mr. Smith was principal.
"We worked very well together...with some minor disagreements. He and I were also hunting and fishing buddies," recalled Mr. Smith. "The Melindy's were a major reason why we stayed in Springdale. We did everything together."
The Sunday morning service held on August 8 was a dedication to the Melindys. Rev. Gard said the sermon focused on the their community involvement and contributions.
"It seems like a void that you can't fill in. It's still not really real," said Rev. Gard.