Mel was born in Oakland, California, to Francisco and Mary Luna. He was one of six children. He attended Emeryville High School, Emeryville, California, where he was voted MVP in basketball and baseball. He had many lifelong friendships with his classmates. In 1953, he joined the U.S. Army and became an expert sharpshooter with his division’s rifle team. He married Rita Sachse in 1957.
Mel’s first career was in the trucking industry, where he was a manager as well as driving the big rigs himself. In 1968, he moved his family to Livermore and opened Mel’s Antiques in a small shop on First Street. He was active in the business community and served as planning commissioner, board member, and president of the Livermore Main Street Association. In 1981, he married Barbara Conrad. They lived in Dublin, California.
Mel had a zest for life and loved his family, friends and customers. He loved sports, and especially loved taking his family to football, basketball and baseball games. However, his first love was the ponies. You could always find Mel at the Alameda County Fair placing bets on race days! He is survived by his wife, Barbara; children Debbie (Mike), Manuel (Christine), Michael (Pattie), DeDe (Roy), Diana, and Clint (Tina); as well as 15 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
Services will be held at 11 a.m., on Saturday, Feb. 1, at Cedar Grove Church in Livermore, with a reception following immediately at the Wine Garden (Building Q) at the Pleasanton Fair Grounds