Mel Morris Jr., 69

Melvis E. “Tex” Morris Jr., age 69, with a favorite saying of “Fire in the Hole,” passed away Monday, Feb. 21, 2012, at Sturgis Hospital.

He was born Dec. 10, 1942, in Plattsburgh, N.Y., to Melvis E. Morris Sr. and Margaret (Learned) (Morris) Landry. On Feb. 12, 2010, he married Elaine Kay Jackson in Centreville.

Mel was a talented mason and entrepreneur. He was a member of the Brick Layers & Allied Craftworks Local #3NY and traveled the country to work which brought him to Sturgis as he helped build Eastwood Elementary School in 1993. He also spent many years with the Vermont State Police, serving as an outpost trooper.

Melvis lived life for the minute. He was very proud of his Choctaw heritage and extremely proud to be a U.S. Navy veteran. He spent many hours with his VA buddies and in the end was grateful for their companionship. He was a member of the Capt. John J. Kelley V.F.W. Post #1355 and the Neuman-Wenzel Post#73 American Legion both in Sturgis. He enjoyed animals, especially his two dogs at home, watching TV, and spending time with family.

Surviving are his wife, Elaine of Sturgis; an adopted foster son, Austin Opdycke both of Sturgis; five children, Robin (Jerry) Pierce, John (Rebecca) Morris, Samantha (Craig) Vance, Heather (Greg) Cupp, and Craig Morris; nine grandchildren, Ryan Pierce, Tyler Pierce, Sydney Morris, Zachary McKenna, Alexander McKenna, Normand Vance, Thomas Vance, Antonia Cupp and Viviana Cupp; one great-grandchild, Aria McKenna; one sister, Linda Phipps; and three brothers, Harry Landry III, Michael Morris, and Phillip Morris; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and a sister, Tracy (Landry) Hampton.

Family and friends are encouraged to join the family for a time to celebrate his life and share a meal with them at 2 p.m. Saturday at the V.F.W., 264 W. Fawn River Road, Sturgis.

In lieu of flowers, the family has suggested a donation be made to the family to help with expenses: c/o: Elaine Morris, 502 Forrest Ave., Sturgis, MI 49091 or to the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, 875 N. Randolph St. Suite 225, Arlington, VA 22203. Envelopes are available at Hackman family Funeral Home — Hackman Chapel, 114 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis, who has been entrusted with the arrangements.

His obituary is also at, where personal messages of support may be left for the family.

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