A Celebration of Mel’s Life will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 10, at the First Baptist Church of Harrison, with the family greeting guests following the service; arrangements are with Roller-Christeson Funeral Home.
Harry Hubert “Mel” Melhorn III was born on July 16, 1951, in Memphis, Tennessee, to Harry and Margrave (Paul) Melhorn. He passed away on Friday, March 6 (2020).
He is survived by his wife, Jodi, and two daughters, and a granddaughter, Emily Neller (Dan) of Pinehurst, North Carolina, Margaret Seymour (Thaddeus) of Boston, Massachusetts, and Anna Margaret Neller of Pinehurst, North Carolina. He is also survived by two brothers and one sister, Mike Melhorn, of Wynne, Scott Melhorn (Gary) of Heber Springs, and Beca Cheque (Stanley) of Batesville. Preceding him in death were his parents and one brother, Johnson Melhorn.
Mel spent his childhood in Parkin. While in school, he was involved in football, basketball, track and many clubs and organizations. He was voted among the top five most handsome men in his high school, and his yearbooks were filled with mushy notes from girls. He was active in the Boy Scouts and attended Camp Philmont and Camp Cedar Valley. Although he pursued it, he always regretted not finishing the requirements to become an Eagle Scout. After high school graduation, he attended and graduated from the University of Arkansas, in Fayetteville, with a degree in political science. While at the University, he was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity, where he was chosen as Model Pledge.
He married Jodi Davis on Sept. 13, 1975. After spending several months in Mexico, they returned to eastern Arkansas, where they made their home in Wynne. Mel was a farmer, growing soybeans, cotton, rice and peanuts. He served on the boards of directors of The Bank of Cherry Valley, the Farmers’s Co-Operative, and the Hughes Grain Corporation. He was also president of the Parkin Jr. Chamber of Commerce, coached little league, attended Wynne Baptist Church, and was involved in many community activities.
In 2000, Mel and Jodi moved to her hometown of Harrison. One of his first activities in Harrison, was to become involved in the Main Street Association. Every year, he looked forward to cooking brats, for Main Street, at Harvest Homecoming.
He was a mortgage lender for Community First Bank, which later became Equity Bank. He quickly became known as “Harry Mel.” Representing the bank, he took part in many volunteer activities. Working the refreshment stand, at Goblin ballgames, walking in the Christmas parade, and giving out stick horses at the rodeo were only a few of these activities.
He also enjoyed going to his Tuesday morning Bible study group, led by Jim Sprott, and attending First Baptist Church. Mel loved people and had empathy for those in need. Often, he loaned his own money, to those he knew would never be able to repay it. He always said, “When you loan someone money, just forget about it.” Fortunately, he did not take this attitude, when loaning the bank’s money!
Mel had a great sense of humor and loved to make people laugh. He loved all genres of music. He knew the lyrics and the singer or band for just about every song recorded in the 1960s and ’70s.
He was a southern gentlemen who kissed hands and cheeks and gave hugs freely. He was a gracious host, making everyone feel welcomed and comfortable in his home. He could “work a room” better than anyone. He found a way to make a connection with everyone he met. Somehow he always knew “someone’s brother’s friend’s sister, went to college with someone’s girlfriend’s aunt’s son, or knew someone’s friend’s third cousin, etc.” He could find a way to connect!
The family would like to thank Mel’s and Jodi’s siblings, extended families, friends, Dr. Digie Neaville, Dr. Ron Reese, and Rob and Jonesy Davis for their support during Mel’s illness. They would also like to thank the many people, from coast to coast, who prayed for Mel. He was honored to know that so many people cared about him. The family would also like to recognize Dr. Dan Bradford, Dr. Juan Lombeida, Dr. Chris McClinton, Rachel, Amy, and the entire staff at Highlands Oncology, in Fayetteville. This oncology group took excellent care of Mel and loved him. They were loved, in return.
A Celebration of Mel’s Life will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 10, at the First Baptist Church of Harrison. The family will greet guests following the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that a donation be made to the First Baptist Church of Harrison or to a charity of your choice.
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life. It’s the life in your years.”