Millard "Mel" Harris, age 86, passed away on September 15, 2016. Mel was born and raised in Brewton, Ala. and attended broadcasting school in Tennessee. He returned home and worked in broadcasting for several years, then joined the U.S. Army and was stationed at Fort Jackson, S.C. ?Mel relocated to DeRidder to work for West Brother's Department Store. He then joined the staff of the First Baptist Church in DeRidder and established the church's first television ministry.?Mel continued his broadcasting career, including time spent at KJAE FM located in Leesville. While there, he handled gospel programming and hosted the well-known program entitled the "Swap Shop". He also promoted many gospel concerts during this time. He retired from KJAE in 2014.?At one time, Mel taught televised Sunday School classes for First Baptist Church in Leesville, where he was a member for many years. He served on the Vernon Parish School Board for 11 years and volunteered his time and energy to numerous community charities.?Mel was preceded in death by his mother and father, Stella Thompson Harris and George Harris. He is survived by his sons, Johnny Harris of Brewton and Rick Harris of Norwich, England. He is likewise survived by his daughters, Patsy Lato of Spring, Texas, as well as Pam Harris of Leesville and Kaylee Evans, also of Leesville. Mel leaves behind 11 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and 4 great- great-grandchildren. He also has one brother, Roy Harris and his wife Barbara, from Brewton, and two sisters, Viola Harris and Betty Hoffman and her husband Rodger, all of Key Stone Heights, Fla. ?Visitation will be held at Labby Memorial in Leesville on Wednesday, September 21, 2016, from 5-9 p.m. ?Services will be held at First Baptist Church in Leesville on Thursday September 22, 2016 at 2 p.m.
The Guest Book is expired.
Words of comfort may be expressed to the Harris Family at www.labbymemorial.com
Labby Memorial Funeral Home - Leesville
601 South Fourth Street
Leesville, LA 71446
Published in Deridder Daily News on Sept. 20, 2016