MISSOULA ~ Melvin (Mel) Lee Moon, 82, passed away in the comfort of his home of 48 years on June 5, 2022. He spent the last several years struggling with Alzheimer.
Melvin was born to Doris (Jardine) and Bert Moon in Conrad, Montana on February 29, 1940. He was the oldest of three children and when his mom divorced and then married Harry Jardine, they had two children for Mel to also call his siblings. Mel spent most of his childhood in Bynum, MT where he learned to farm and primarily where his handyman skills started. Mel graduated from Choteau High School in 1958. As a young adult, he loved racing cars, partying, and most of all, dancing! He had been voted Best Dancer in high school.
Mel went to work for the phone company in August of 1960 and there began a long career as a “telephone man”. He retired in 1994. He was on the line crew when he met Bonnie Plumley in early 1964. They danced the nights away and married October 11, 1964. They had met on a blind date and often wondered who was more blind. They have two children. Jeri Lynn was born July 24, 1965, and Kevin Leroy was born May 16, 1968. The family enjoyed camping, fishing, boating, vacations and all the holidays with extended family. Mel enjoyed hunting and taught Kevin the skills of hunting and the outdoors. Many of our fondest times have been the stories of hunting trips. Together Mel and Bonnie enjoyed square dancing, round dancing and after the kids moved away, they began to cruise and take extended vacations to Hawaii, Branson and Vegas. It was the love of car racing that brought them to Vegas for 20 years of Nascar races. He was a huge fan of Dale Earnhardt and later, Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
He was a member of the Elks for 58 years and where he joined his first bowling league. He was an active Rural Fireman for 20 years. He volunteered with Habitat for Humanity for several years and even as a project coordinator. He enjoyed the Gardener Auctions, collecting all sorts of extra treasurers. He loved golf and was on a league in Missoula.
When the kids were in school, Melvin and Bonnie were involved in the Booster Club. The kids created volunteer work for them, such as 4-H leaders, youth leaders and chaperoning all sorts of extra-curricular activities. They were known as the best parents from Kevin and Jeri’s friends. Vacations at the Whitefish condo were always enjoyable with toddies around the hot tub after a day of touring or golfing. Mel made friends in all parts of his life, and everyone knew him as a compassionate man who always cared about the underdog.
Mel taught his kids work ethic, respect for others, integrity, and the small stuff such as yard work, gardening, car maintenance and how to water ski. His way of expressing his love was in his acts of service. He built two garages for Jeri, helped his son in siding and wiring a couple houses, helped move anyone who asked (especially his kids) and volunteered his lawn care services for all the neighbors.
Mel is survived by his wife of nearly 58 years, daughter Jeri Moon (Chris Neater) of Kalispell, MT; Kevin (Holly) Moon of Spokane, WA; grandchildren Laura Moon, Kory Moon, Kayla Rabe, Conner Rabe and Reese Rabe; great grandchildren Braedyn, Mariah and Owen; sister Marlys Mattfeldt (Karl); brother Jim Jardine; sister Ellen Black (Ron); sister-in-law Bobby Henry; brother-in-law Rayford Tew.
He is preceded in death by his parents, stepfather, his brother Gary Moon, his sister-in-law Karon Tew, his brother-in-law Bob Henry and numerous extended family members.
A Celebration of Life will take place at Sunset Memorial Funeral Home, 7405 Mullan Rd., Missoula, MT at 11:00am on Friday, June 10, 2022. Instead of flowers the family requests donations to your charity of choice or to Melvin’s favorites; Habitat for Humanity and the rural fire department.
Arrangements are under the care of Sunset Memorial Funeral Home and Crematory in Missoula.