Johnnie Melvin ‘Mel’ Harris Jr., lifelong Cody resident, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at his home on Saturday, May 18, 2019.
He was born on Oct. 24, 1949, in Powell to Johnnie and Bernice Harris.
Many knew him as a gentle giant who led a quiet life working hard at his own business “Mel’s Scrap and Recycling.” Reclaiming iron and other metals became not only his living but his way of helping others and serving the community.
His last request was to be buried with his welding torch in his hands. Mel married Judy Snyder on March 2, 1972. Although later divorced, they remained best of friends. The light of his life was his daughter Sunshine, with whom he shared his laughter and happiness. He enjoyed their Sunday phone chats and eagerly awaited her visits.
Mel was anxiously looking forward to his 50th class reunion in August to reunite with many of his high school buddies. In condolences sent to his family, Mel has been remembered as a gentleman, a peaceful man, a gentle giant, an uncomplaining soul and mostly as a helping hero to the community.
He is survived by his daughter Sunshine (Travis) Geasland of Belmont, Wis., Judy Harris of Cody; sisters: Shirley Cherry of Sheridan, Dorothy (Joe) Oliver-Meyer of Cody, Linda (Dan) Schaugaard of Spanish Fork, Utah, and Carol (Pat) Persson of Laramie.
Funeral services will be Friday May 24, 2019, at 11 a.m. at Riverside Cemetery with a visitation at Ballard Funeral Home for one hour prior to the service.