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Melvyn Lewis Harris

October 16, 1947 July 23, 2022
Melvyn Lewis Harris
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Obituary for Melvyn Lewis Harris

Melvyn Lewis Harris was born in Brooklyn, NY on October 16, 1947 to Gertrude and Mack Harris. He loved growing up inn Borough Park with a large and close family. Stickball, hit the penny and the Dodgers filled his childhood. Summers in Miami made it a lifelong love.
He graduated from Brooklyn College of Pharmacy and left to seek his fortune out West. He fell in love with San Francisco but detoured to the University of Oklahoma where he earned his MD degree in 1977. After a surgery internship he began his career in Emergency Medicine. There was no specialty of Emergency Medicine in those years when even dermatologists moonlighted for extra money. Mel was part of a cadre of physicians who pioneered the specialty and watched it organize into the serious and essential service it is today. He worked in trauma centers nearly all his career and took great pride in his decades long work at Loma Linda University Medical Center.
He was innovative, curious and always looking for ways to make things better in medicine and for everyone he knew. He worked for two decades on medical device development to improve venous access which is so crucial to medical care. The team working on his current project have elected unanimously to proceed and carry his passion forward for improving the lives of others.
He met the love of his life, Toni Ann Marshall McCain, in the Emergency Room at Valley Medical Center in San Jose in 1981.They spent 40+ years together and were a winning team through all life’s vicissitudes. He was her greatest supporter, admirer and protector, and she was his.
At age 50, he decided to take his hard-earned skills in emergency medicine and trauma care to those who committed their lives to serving our country. He joined the US Army Reserve Medical Corps as Major Mel and devoted much energy to training reservists. He served three war deployments in Kosovo with the NATO forces, in Iraq, and in Afghanistan. His commendations reveal his high quality of medical care and teamwork and his knack for leadership. He was promoted to Colonel before he resigned when he was 67.
Anyone who ever knew him knew he was the world’s greatest Dodger fan. His Brooklyn voice rang out over Dodger Stadium, “Go Brooklyn. Go Dodgers”. He never forgave the O’Malley family for moving the Dodgers to Los Angeles, but it did not dampen his enthusiasm for the team. His passion for the game and for the Dodgers was infectious. Many who knew him found themselves secretly rooting for the Dodgers or watching the games, just knowing how much their success made him happy.
Wisdom, Montana in the Big Hole Valley became a competing passion when he began to visit in 1982. We spent many vacations at our mountain valley home there, soaking up the gorgeous high country, the fresh air and the clear skies. Mel was an avid biker and loved to ride the Big Hole. And that was exactly what he was doing when he died July 23, 2022 from a sudden heart attack.
Mel was an example to others with his honesty, humility, passion and intelligence. He was known for his sense of humor and his sense of fun. He was a larger-than-life person who lit up a room. He was a cheerleader for all. He believed in the potential of everyone he knew and tried to help others realize their dreams. He spent his life devoted to the well-being of others. He was widely loved and will be widely missed. Godspeed, Mel.

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Previous Events

Service

Monday

8

Aug

10:30 AM 8/8/2022 10:30:00 AM
McCune Garden Chapel

212 Main St.
Vacaville, CA 95688

McCune Garden Chapel
212 Main St. Vacaville 95688 CA
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Sacramento Valley National Cemetery Final Resting Place

5810 Midway Rd.
Dixon, CA 95620

5810 Midway Rd. Dixon 95620 CA
United States
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