Harry Merritt Major, 87, of Marshall, died Friday, Feb. 25, 2011, at Mar-Saline Manor in Marshall. Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, March 5, 2011, at First United Methodist Church, 225 East Arrow St., in Marshall, with Rev. Kathleen Schmidtke officiating. The family will receive friends following the funeral in the church fellowship hall. Friends may sign the online register book at www.campbell-lewis.com. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations and memorials be made to First United Methodist Church in Marshall in Harry's name.
Born on Sept. 3, 1923, in Randolph County, he was the son of John McFall Major and Narcissa (Shores) Major. He was baptized into the Methodist Church at Sweet Springs Union Church. In high school, Harry participated in dairy and poultry judging contests, going on to compete on the national level and winning the national contest in poultry judging. He started college at the University of Missouri in 1941, majoring in agriculture, and in the summer of 1942 he worked building the railroad in Wyoming. He was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II, rose to the rank of 1st lieutenant and served in the Philippines and the occupation of Japan. After the war, Harry returned to the University of Missouri on the GI bill, and completed his bachelor's degree. He took a job teaching agriculture to returning veterans. On December 26, 1949, he married Lucille Eaheart, who survives of the home. He began his 30-year career with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service. He worked for the SCS in Clinton, Warrensburg, Hannibal and Columbia. He was a Minnesota State Conservationist for 15 years. During his tenure he directed the completion of soil surveys for every SCS district in Minnesota, and received numerous awards for Outstanding Service. He retired in 1983 and in 1985 he moved to Marshall. He was involved in his local United Methodist church, and served as Lay Leader in three different churches, including Normandale Hylands UMC in Minnesota and First United Methodist Church in Marshall. He taught Sunday school, groundskeeping and participation in special fundraising events. He was a Lay Speaker, and travelled to other churches in the area to help conduct services and deliver sermons.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Carolyn Major of Torrance, Calif, and Patricia Major of Dallas, Texas; five grandchildren; and one sister, Martha Ambrose.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Anna Jane Miller.