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Family of late Lee Meltzer says officer lives on in lives he touched

By Kevin Maki, KECI Reporter, kmaki@keci.com
Published On: Oct 14 2013 07:20:56 PM MDT
Updated On: Oct 14 2013 08:24:37 PM MDT

A memorial service for the former assistant police chief will be Thursday in Missoula.

George Lee Meltzer died while fishing on the Clark Fork River Friday.

MISSOULA, Mont. -

A memorial service for former Missoula assistant police chief George Lee Meltzer will be Thursday in Missoula.

64-year-old Meltzer died of natural causes while fishing with his son on the Clark Fork River Friday evening. He had a history of heart trouble.

NBC Montana visited with Meltzer's family Monday afternoon.

They had photos and scrapbooks of Lee scattered all over the family table. Rosalie Meltzer and her children pored through them.

Rosalie and George were married 40 years.

The Hellgate High All-State, All-Conference football player spent 19 years with the state crime lab, and 20 years with the police department.

"He loved walking the beat," said Rosalie, "he said 'I got to meet people.'"

He graduated from the FBI's National Academy at Quantico. He was working for a private company making bench instruments for breath testing.

"He went back to college when he was 50," said his daughter LeAnn Hall. "To have the tenacity to do that."

In the old days on the force Rosalie got to know all the new recruits. Lee brought them all home.

"He'd say 'oh come up to the house,'" laughed Rosalie," My wife will hem your pants."

Lee's son Max said his dad led by example.

"That was to be kind and good and decent to people," said Max.

Everywhere there are pictures of Lee in the outdoors.

The whole family is remembering him, including his dog Miss Briley Rose. "The light of his life," said Rosalie.

"We're a fly-fishing family," said Max.

George Lee Meltzer was fishing in the last hours of his life.

"He's gone but he's not gone," said Max. "He's alive and well in all the lives that he touched."

His memorial service is 2 p.m. Thursday at Garden City Funeral Home, 1705 W. Broadway in Missoula.