FAIRMONT - A Celebration of Life for Melvin Harder, 84, of Fairmont, Minn., will be 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, at St. John's United Church of Christ, Fairmont, Minn. Inurnment will take place at a later date in Fairview Memorial Park, Fairmont, Minn.
Melvin died Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, at his home in Fairmont. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, at Zaharia Family Funeral and Cremation Service of Truman and one hour prior to the service Thursday at the church.
Melvin Virgil Harder was born Feb. 24, 1929, in rural Truman, Minn. He attended country school near Truman and high school in Fairmont. Melvin worked several years for his father on the farm before entering the U.S. Army. He served the U.S. Army in Guam. Melvin came back to farming after the Army. On Dec. 2, 1961, Melvin married Myrna Rakness at St. John's United Church of Christ in Fairmont. This union was blessed with five children. They later divorced. Melvin worked for Bettin Trucking and Hodgman's Road Construction. On May 11, 1991, Melvin was married to Mary Ann Swift (Koeritz) at St. John's United Church of Christ. They lived in Fairmont until Melvin's death. He was a member of St. John's United Church of Christ in Fairmont. Melvin stayed busy fixing things and loved helping others.
Melvin is survived by his wife, Mary Ann Harder of Fairmont, Minn.; three daughters, Kimberly Grotzinger (Newton) of Hampton, Iowa, Kara Harder of Redondo Beach, Calif., and Krystal Pluim (Curt) of Champlin, Minn.; one son, Brett Harder (girlfriend, Season Bofenkamp). From Melvin's second marriage, he is survived by two daughters, Pat Sohre (Art) of Lake Crystal, Minn., and Bev Graplar (Larry Graplar) of Fairmont, Minn.; three sons, Steve Swift (friend, Lisa Harris) of Fairmont, Minn., Dan Swift (Karen) of Cordova, Tenn., and Tim Swift (Michele) of Claremont, Minn.; 18 grandchildren and step grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren and step great-grandchildren; two sisters, Doreen Rabbe (Fred) of Trimont, Minn., and Joyce Morrison of North Branch, Minn. Melvin was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Hazel Wolle; three infant brothers; and one son, Blake Harder. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to United Hands Hospice, PO Box 160, Blue Earth, MN 56013. www.zahariafamilyfuneral.com