Melvin Fred Harman

On June 15, 1919, Martin and Cordelia Weddle Harman were blessed with their eleventh and final child. They named their son Melvin Fred and all his life everyone would call him Fred. He grew up on Bunky Run near the banks of Burks Fork Creek in Willis, Virginia, close to where his ancestors settled in the 1780’s. He worked hard from a young age, learning to plow the fields with horses by the time he was five (or so he said.) His father taught him how to build caskets and furniture and to “doctor” animals. For many years people from miles around would call on him for help with their sick cattle. Fred, like many others in his family, had a wicked sense of humor.

Fred left the family farm during the great Depression to work for the Civilian Conservation Corps and help construct the Blue Ridge Parkway. This was good preparation for being called to active duty during WWII. He served as a military policeman at the Norfolk Naval Base. Upon his return home, he married his sweetheart, Minnie Belcher on September 16, 1944. They were blessed with 66 years together. They lived for many years only 2 miles from Fred’s family home place. In 1989 they moved closer to “town” (Floyd). Fred worked on his small farm growing crops and milking cows while also working for the State Highway Department, Federal Park Service, and in his retirement years, assisting his nephew Carlin Maberry at Maberry’s Funeral Home. He was a member of the American Legion and Odd Fellows for many years.

On December 29, 2010, with his family by his side, Fred was called home to Jesus. Besides his parents Fred is predeceased by all his siblings: Arlie Tobler, Annie Maberry, Mary Lee Hodges, Nancy Smith, Ruth Weddle, Harvey, Otho, Burnett, Charlie, and Harry.

He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Hilda and Howard Dickerson of Willis; son, Norman Harman and fiancé Cherie Horton of Riner; grandchildren Jennifer Tunstall of Willis and Benjamin Webb of Floyd. His great grandchildren Jared & Evan Richardson and Carter Tunstall brought him much joy. He was delighted that Carter inherited his sense of humor. Fred is also survived by many nieces and nephews including his nephew and good friend Hubert Harman; his sisters-in-law Monnie Lovins of Christiansburg, Lula Harris of Radford, and Pauline Bolt of Meadows of Dan. He had wonderful caregivers – Michelle Smith, Cherie Horton, Dr. Susan Osborne, and the staff at Skyline Nursing Home. He was blessed with a loving church family at Little River Baptist Church.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, January 2, 2011 at Maberry Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Allan Vass officiating. Interment will follow at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Willis. The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 pm on Saturday, January 1, 2011at the funeral home.

Fred will be greatly missed by all who knew him but we know he will be busy making the angels laugh.

Until we meet again Daddy, we love you.

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