Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Melvin James Jourdain


March 18, 2020

Melvin James Jourdain

February 16, 1961 ~ March 15, 2020 (age 59)

Melvin James Jourdain, age 59, "Niso Gawbaw" which means "Three Standing", of the Lynx Clan and Minneapolis, Minnesota began his journey to the spirit world on Sunday, March 15th, 2020. He was born on February 16th, 1961 in Minneapolis, MN to Phyllis (Roberts) and James Jourdain.

Melvin began his life prematurely, weighing just 2 ½ pounds at birth, but that did not stop him from having a very full life. As the youngest of eight children, his mom often would mix up her kids' names and would always say to him "Hey number 8, you know your name, come here". At the young age of 8, Melvin was presented a gold medal by the Minneapolis Mayor for his Golden Glove accomplishments. After school he went on to work in construction, working for many different companies before his retirement. After his retirement Melvin continued to work odd jobs, he drove for the Red Lake School District and in the summers; he had a food stand at all the powwows in northern Minnesota. He built many things throughout his life including his own hunting cabin near Baudette, where he would go for his hunting trips every year. Melvin also loved to fish, gamble and attend sporting events. He was an avid Minnesota Vikings, Twins and Timberwolves fan. Melvin loved listening to the oldies and country music, some of his favorites were Al Green, Prince, Marvin Gaye, The Temptation's and Alan Jackson. Melvin was a jokester who loved to tease and make people laugh all the time, which might explain why he was always smiling. He and that smile will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

Welcoming Melvin to the spirit world is his parents, Phyllis and James "Jim" Jourdain; brothers, Roy Roberts, Arthur Bellanger, Dwight Bellanger, Sr. and David Bellanger; and grandparents, Charles and Jennie Roberts and Theresa Jourdain.

He leaves behind his wife, Celeste Jourdain of Minneapolis; children, Lynae (Lucho) Lawrence-Eckert of St. Paul, David Sr., Ryan and Alicia (Ivan) Jourdain all of Minneapolis, Levin Jourdain-Hanks of White Earth and Renika (Guy) Love of Nett Lake; sisters, Lorraine (Dennis) Bellanger, Theresa, Susie and Veronica Jourdain; brothers, Daniel and Tiny (Lovey) Bellanger; aunt, Alberta Zamora; uncles, Norman and Douglas Roberts; mother-in-law, Geneva Lawrence; sisters-in-law, Diane Bellanger, Andrea, Colette and Carol Lawrence; brothers-in-law, Norman and Clayton Lawrence and Dennis Eckman, eight grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives.

A wake for Melvin will begin at 4:00 p.m., Thursday, March 19th and continue until his 10:00 a.m. traditional service on Saturday, March 21st all being held at the Redby Community Center in Redby, MN. Pallbearers for Melvin will be David Jourdain, Sr., Ryan Jourdain, Dwight Bellanger, Jr., Lucho Eckert, Jalen Lawrence, Joey Lawrence, Ivan Robinson, Guy Ragsdale III, Kenny Graves, Joe Roberts and Makwa Gonzales. His honorary pallbearers are Wanda Graves, Patrick Graves, Levin Jourdain-Hanks, Janet Hanks, Julie RedEagle, Steve Bellanger, Mary Graves, Mike Johnson, Verdell Beaulieu and his grandchildren, Jaycie Lawrence, Katrina Jourdain, David Jourdain, Jr., Karma Love, Kimora Love and Guy Ragsdale IV. Interment will be in the St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery at Red Lake, MN. A memorial service will be held in Minneapolis, MN at a later date.

Melvin's care has been entrusted to Northern Peace Funeral Home of Walker, MN. Online condolences for the family may be left at




March 19, 2020

4:00 PM

Redby Community Center

Highway 1 East

Redby, Minnesota 56670

Traditional American Indian Service


March 20, 2020

10:00 AM

Redby Community Center

Highway 1 East

Redby, Minnesota 56670


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