Birdnow honors long-time employee

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Birdnow Chevrolet, in Monona, recently unveiled a bench honoring long-time employee Bob Melcher, who passed away earlier this year. Pictured with the bench (front, left to right) are Bob’s wife Joyce Melcher; daughter Carla Pester; (back) grandson Cayden Pester, Justin, June and Mark Birdnow; and Bob’s grandson Carsten Pester. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

This plaque is affixed to the bench honoring Bob Melcher.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Respectful, a perfectionist—a legend. Those were just a few of the words used to describe long-time Birdnow Chevrolet employee Bob Melcher, whose service was recently honored with the unveiling of a bench at the Monona dealership.

Bob, who passed away earlier year, was a fixture in the Monona automotive community for 57 years, first at Huinker Chevrolet and later at Birdnow. Even after retiring from full-time duties as a service tech in 2011, he continued part-time at Birdnow, picking up parts and delivering vehicles. 

Bob’s wife of over 50 years, Joyce, as well as daughter Carla Pester and grandsons Cayden and Carsten Pester, were there to see the bench unveiled by the Birdnow family: Mark and June and their son Justin. 

“It’s special,” remarked Joyce, through tears, as she inspected the bench. 

“They had six kids,” Carla shared. “They raised their kids with this dealership.” 

“And we’re grateful for that,” said Joyce, who said she feels close to her husband when she’s at Birdnow. “It did well for us.” 

Mark said he’s grateful for employees like Bob. 

“This dealership is not the building or the products we sell,” he noted. “It’s the people who work here—people like Bob—who make it successful.” 

Although it will likely move indoors during the winter, the bench is currently sitting outside, allowing people to enjoy the fresh air along with a view of the dealership Bob loved so much. 

“It will be nice to have something out there for a long time to remember him,” Justin said.

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