Melvin T. Bidwell Jr., 65, of Coventry, CT, formerly of Manchester, husband of 26 years to Cathy (Copeland) Bidwell, passed away Sunday, September 8, 2019, with his family by his side, following a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. Mel was born in Manchester on May 3, 1954, to Elizabeth A. “Betty” (Topliff) of Manchester and the late Melvin T. Bidwell Sr.
Mel grew up in Manchester, attended local schools and was a graduate of Manchester High School, Class of 1972. Prior to graduating, Mel began to work alongside his father for the family business, The Bidwell Home Improvement Co., where he remained employed until his passing.
Mel enjoyed playing ice hockey with the Bullets, softball with Lathrop Insurance, and walking the Manchester Road Race with his brothers. He made annual winter hiking trips up Mt. Washington and he always looked forward to camping trips to Coolidge State Park with his wife and his dogs Ranger, Scout, Cody and Theo. Mel loved attending live concerts, especially those of Chris Duarte, Ana Popovic and Commander Cody. One of his greatest pleasures in life was spending time on his deck and around the fire pit with his wonderful friends and neighbors, for whom he felt blessed. Over time, his friends began to refer to his place as “Melville”. His annual Memorial Day gathering featuring Chris Duarte and Pagani Catering, has become legendary.
In addition to his wife Cathy and his mother Betty, he leaves his five siblings, David Bidwell, Susan (Bidwell) Sioty, both of Manchester, Nancy (Bidwell) Vignone and her husband Pat of South Windsor, Janet (Bidwell) Tanguay and her husband Joe of Willington, Richard Bidwell and his wife JoAnn of Simsbury, a brother-in-law Skip Copeland and his wife Tami of Scotland, CT, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.
A time of visitation will be held on Thursday, September 12, 2019 from 4-7 p.m. at Holmes-Watkins Funeral Home, 400 Main St., Manchester. Guests are asked to please wear your “Melville” tee shirt if you have one. A funeral service will be celebrated on Friday, September 13, beginning at 11 a.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be on a date to be determined, in Buckland Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in his name may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, 4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300, Jacksonville, FL 32256 or to the CT Humane Society, 701 Russell Rd., Newington, CT 06111. To leave an online message of condolence for his family, please visit www.holmeswatkins.com.