Melton Michael Harry

Published 9:38 am Thursday, March 14, 2013


“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalms 27:1

Melton Michael Harry — father, brother, grandfather, uncle and friend — entered “Our Father’s House of Many Mansions” on Saturday, March 9, 2013, at Canon Hospice in New Orleans at the age of 71. He was a native and lifelong resident of Bogalusa.

Born Jan. 12, 1942, he was a devoted and loving father of five children: Leslie Susan Pittman, Melton Michael Harry Jr., Kyle Jamar Harry Sr., Ryan Todd Harry Sr. and Chad Achilles Harry.

Melton united with Bethlehem Baptist Church in his youth and later became a member of Sweet Beulah Baptist Church. He graduated from Central Memorial High School in 1961, and went on to graduate in from Southern University in Baton Rouge in 1965, with a degree in physical education and social studies. He received his master’s degree in administration and supervision from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1975, and a master’s degree plus 30 from Southeastern in 1986.

Melton began his teaching career in 1967 at Chahta-Ina High School in Lacombe, where he taught physical education and served as head basketball coach and assistant football coach. He returned home to teach at Bogalusa High School in 1968, where he remained until his retirement in 2000. At BHS, he taught physical education and American civics, and he also was an assistant football coach, head track coach, athletic director and assistant principal.

Melton, affectionately known as “Coach Harry,” loved the life of athletics. He played football at both Central Memorial High School and Southern University. With his gentle and warm personality, all of his students and co-workers adored him. Coach Harry always took an interest in his students and encouraged them to be successful. He taught swimming lessons many summers at the YMCA on Avenue B and also served as a lifeguard. Melton served as a summer recreation coach and worked with youths in Bogalusa. He was an avid tennis player and instructor for many years. Melton was definitely a “people person” with a zest for life.

He is survived by one daughter, Leslie (Denson) Pittman; four sons, Melton Michael Harry Jr., of Baton Rouge, and Kyle Jamar Harry Sr., Ryan Todd Harry, Sr. and Chad Achilles Harry, all of Bogalusa; two brothers, James Ray (Jonell) Harry and Willie Lee Harry, both of Bogalusa; one sister, Debra Smith of Bogalusa; 14 grandchildren, Stanley Wilks Jr., Kayla Pittman, Denson Pittman Jr., Kyle Harry Jr., Tyler Harry, Caitlyn Harry, Taylor Harry, Whitney Harry, Ryan Harry II, Aijha Harry, Javar Strong, Arian Strong, Eden Gaudeaux and Montrel Harry; by one great-granddaughter, McKenzie Harry; and a host of nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, W. L. Harry and Creasie Mae Harry, his brother, W. J. Harry, and his sister, Hanah Harry.

Visitation was held Thursday, March 14 at Cook-Richmond Funeral Home from 2-6 p.m., with a family hour from 7-8 p.m. The funeral service will take place on Friday at 1 p.m. at Greater Ebenezer Baptist Church, with the Rev. Raymond Mims, pastor, officiating. Interment will follow at Ford’s Chapel Cemetery.

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