Melvin Harold’s advice for living a long and healthy life is “don’t drink, don’t smoke, believe in Jesus and stay busy with the things you like.” It’s hard to argue with that logic when it came from someone who was 100 years old on Friday, April 3, 1920, and Melvin’s life was filled with it, doing things that he loved and loved Jesus.
Melvin was born April 3, 1920, on his grandfather’s farm, which is one mile east of Sycamore in Brown County – Melvin was born as the eldest of three siblings to Charles Franklin Harold and Clara Mae Engle. His brothers are Gerald “Fuzzy” Harold and Betty (Harold) McAlister.
While Melvin never went to high school, he did attend many schools while growing up. He went to Blaine School – south of Hamlin – during classes one and two. During the third year, he attended Blaine School and also school in San Francisco, California, for three months before returning to Hamlin, and then moving to Falls City, Neb. He continued school in Falls City, Neb. , during grades four and five. Finally, he attended the Flickenger School – two miles east of Sycamore – for grades six through eight. Later, he took a writing course with correspondence.
When Melvin was young, he attended Rock Creek Church until it was closed, and then attended the Methodist Church in Sabetha. His maternal grandfather was a Pilgrim Holiness preacher.
Since Melvin grew up in church, it is still an important part of his life and he continues to read his Bible every day.
“God is comfort and strength to me,” Melvin said.
Growing up, Melvin spent a lot of time playing outside.
“I grew up playing in the river,” Melvin said. “I learned to swim there. I like to ride horses and hunt rabbits and squirrels with my 22 rifles. I also drive a cow, for fun! “
Regarding the dangers of growing up, Melvin said, there were no problems with alcohol at the time, and he didn’t even know about drugs.
“The worst thing that could happen to you is falling in the mud,” Melvin said.
Melvin’s parents’ first car was the 1926 Chevrolet, and Melvin learned how to drive a car around the age of 14 or 15.
Melvin married Irene Moore on February 1, 1942, at the home of the pastor of the Congregational Church in Sabetha. Melvin and Irene are neighboring villages. They began to meet each other when he would ride with him and his parents to different places. While Melvin and Irene never had children, they loved going to the movies, playing roller skates and swimming. They also like to travel.
As a couple, they looked at 50 states and visited Europe several times, as well as all Scandinavian countries. They also visited Alaska twice, Panama, Costa Rica, Cozumel and the Grand Cayman Islands. Their favorite place close to home is Branson, Mo, and they went there many times.
Melvin joined the military from March 1, 1942, until September 6, 1945. He was a Sergeant in the U.S. Army Amphibian Infantry, 7th Division. Melvin was also assigned to World War II to Alaska, then to the Pacific Theater – Hawaii, Marshall Islands, Philippines, Okinawa, Guam and Saipan. Melvin was injured in Okinawa twice and was awarded two purple hearts.
After leaving the military in 1945, Melvin worked at Midamerica Dairymen for almost 40 years, until 1985. After working for several years for Midamerica Dairymen, he was promoted to head the supervisory section and later became factory manager.
Melvin has many hobbies throughout his life. Melvin has been working with wood since he was around 8 years old. He makes and still makes beautiful creations from wood, such as tables, bookshelves, coffee tables, picture frames, children’s barns, fences and farm animals. When he was young, Melvin made things from orange crates too. Melvin also made jewelry while in the Army.
Melvin and Irene often fish in Lake Sabetha Tua or in the river, but they stop fishing because Irene doesn’t like chiggers.
Melvin likes to plant roses – Mr. Lincoln and Chrysler Imperials are his favorites.
He also talked about some of his favorite things. His favorite drink is coffee, his favorite season is autumn, his favorite food is delicious Chinese and pecan butter is his favorite ice cream. Big Band is his favorite music and western is his favorite books and TV programs.
Melvin and Irene lived in many places throughout Sabetha. Their first home was an upstairs apartment south of the post office. Then they lived in a house in the land where the Apostolic Christian House is now. After that, they lived in a house on South Eighth Street, and then built a house across the street. Later, Melvin and Irene moved to the Cobblestone Senior Living Facility. Finally, Melvin and Irene moved to the Apostolic Assisted Living Facility on September 1, 2013. Irene died on November 2, 2013. Melvin still lives in the Apostolic Assisted Living Facility.
Melvin was honored as a resident of that month at the Apostolic Christian Assistance Living Facility in November 2019.
Regarding the current COVID-19 pandemic, Melvin said that he had gone through many frightening illnesses, but had never seen anything like what we are experiencing now.
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