Sour, Clifford “Chip” Melvin 93, passed away December 26, 2019, at Parkshore Senior Community in St. Louis Park, MN, where he resided for the past 10 years. Chip was a proud Norwegian American born on May 17, Norwegian Independence Day, the youngest of eight children to Norwegian immigrants Andrew and Petra Saur in Two Harbors, MN, which is where his colorful story began. He grew up tall, athletic, and active, and had fascinating stories of living on the shores of Lake Superior with a milk cow in his backyard and where, as a young teen, he worked for the Soo Line Railroad and delivered groceries.
At Two Harbors High School he was captain of the football team and a star basketball player, and when he graduated in 1944 he was elected Outstanding Boy Citizen. He was proud of his Two Harbors origins. The challenging winter weather in northern MN may have contributed to his lifelong ability to adapt to any situation with humility and positivity.
In 1944 Chip joined the Army Air Corps. Although he was born Clifford “Saur,” once he enlisted he discovered his last name was spelled “Sour” on his birth certificate, which he kept for the rest of his life. Chip became an aerial engineer/mechanic, played on the military basketball team in Biloxi, MS, and served as a crew chief at Clark Field in the Philippines.
After World War II, Chip went to college on the GI Bill, graduating from the University of Minnesota in 1950 with a degree in Business Administration. He was a proud and active member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, and the memories stirred by hearing the song “The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi” would never cease to bring tears to his eyes. While at the U, he played semi-professional basketball for the Minneapolis All-Stars.
In 1953 he joined several fraternity brothers at Northwestern National Life Insurance Company in Minneapolis, where he met his wife and lifelong love, Nancy King, originally from Grand Rapids, MN. He worked in group insurance sales and management with NWNL until retirement. Chip relocated from Minneapolis to Omaha, Cleveland, and finally Edina, during which time he and Nancy raised three children and developed lifelong friends. An active golf and tennis player, he and Nancy retired to Green Valley, AZ, and were energized by the desert landscape, weather, and mountains.
After Nancy passed away in 2008, Chip relocated to Minnesota to be near family. A gracious man and eternal optimist known for unbridled positivity, a quick wit, and a battery of jokes, he was a favorite of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and was well-liked by the staff at Parkshore.
Chip is survived by children Jared (Christy Prediger) of Minneapolis, Jennifer (Drew Lyon) of Bethesda, MD, and Christopher (Mary) of Wayzata, eight grandchildren (Jordan, Allison (Ali Saad), Aaron, Sarah, Madison, Lydia, Jessica, and Sonya) and four great-grand-children, Saja, Hadi, Roukiyah, and Torii. In addition to his wife, Chip was preceded in death by his parents, siblings Oscar, Inga, Borghild, Alvin, Mabel, Walter, Thora.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 1:30 pm at Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis, in the Garden Mausoleum Reception Room. Memorials preferred to Friends of the Band Shell Park, P.O. Box 21, Two Harbors, MN 55616. Chip liked to say, “When the chips are down, look Chip Sour up.”