Mel K. Major, 80, passed away unexpectedly at his home Wednesday, August 17, 2022. Born in Chicago on September 7, 1941, he was the son of the late Kenneth J. and Florence K. Major.
On September 27, 1962, Mel married R. Dianne Gentry. Shortly afterwards, he began his career with American Sterilizer Company (AMSCO) in Chicago, which then brought Mel, Dianne and their three young children from the Chicagoland area to Edinboro in 1973. Mel went on to become a project manager at AMSCO (later, Steris), and retired proudly after 50 years of service. Always an entrepreneur and never one to sit still, he started Major Enterprises in the 1980’s, which was a family excavating business. He later also became part-owner of Sunny Valley Garage near Crossingville, PA, which he was involved in operating with his two sons. He was well known as being able to build or fix almost anything, and he was never lacking in jobs that needed to be done. Some of his fondest memories were of working on weekend remodeling projects with his friends and family.
Mel’s other passion was classic automobiles, Mopars to be exact. During his teenage years, his spare time was spent racing through the streets of Chicago with his friends. Later, he and Dianne enjoyed times and the close friendships they formed as members of the Lake Erie Tri-State Mopar Club. Attending Mopar car shows became important annual family events. In the mid 1990’s, Mel organized the first “Mopar Survivor” display at the Chryslers at Carlisle show. He went on to coordinate the displays annually at this show and other larger Mopar shows up through 2022. Even though there was a lot of work involved, Mel enjoyed being able to get to know the Survivor owners, and he was proud to be able to provide an opportunity for them to showcase their near-original cars at the shows. An interview with Mel at the July 2022 Carlisle show is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCgaAX5WIqI.
In addition to his parents, Mel was sadly preceded in death by his wife Dianne, who passed away too soon in 1999. He loved her dearly, and she has been deeply missed since then.
He is survived by his three children, Gregg (Pam) Major of Conneautville, Terri Alexander of Edinboro, and Ken Major of Springboro. He is also survived by grandchildren Anthony (Megan) Alexander, Alyssa Alexander and Adam Alexander. He also leaves behind seven great-grandchildren.
A visitation will be held at Glunt Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., 210 Erie Street, Edinboro, PA on Thursday, August 25, 2022 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., with a short service to follow. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Mel’s name to the Edinboro Volunteer Fire Dept., 125 Meadville St., Edinboro, PA 16412, or to the charity of one’s choice.
Interment will be at Saint James Cemetery in Crossingville. To send condolences, please visit www.gluntfuneralhome.com.