Three Forks Voice - Connect With Your Community!



November 6, 2019

Mel McKitrick passed away October 30, 2019 in Ennis, Montana. Mel was surrounded by his family as he passed peacefully after fighting a courageous battle with cancer.

He was born Melvin Joseph McKitrick, the first of 5 children, to Maurice McKitrick and Ruth Hatch McKitrick, on March 15, 1947 in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Mel spent his summers as a child with his grandparents, Joseph and Della Hatch, on the Hungry Horse Ranch in the mountains of Tetonia, Idaho. To this day, the Hatch Family reunion is held there and Mel looked forward to spending quality time with his favorite aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

Mels parents settled in Three Forks where he attended school in Logan and Manhattan. It was here that he met his wife, Karen Louise Simmons. They married on March 9, 1966 in Idaho Falls.

Karen and Mel settled in Ennis in 1968 where they raised their 3 sons and countless others who Mel considered his kids. Mel worked as an apprentice Barber before he ventured out on his own and opened Mel’s Barber Chop. Mel was eventually given the nickname of “Clipper” by one of his dear friends. The success of the Barber Shop was never measured in money but rather the amount of stories and laughter that filled the shop for 51 years.

While raising his boys and barbering, Mel also drove Ennis Schools longest bus route. For 31 years he drove the 200-mile round-trip per day Reynold’s Pass route hauling his kids safely back and forth to school and home. In addition to his regular bus route, he also drove the activity bus. Mel cherished every moment he spent with the kids and coaches as he drove them to their activities all over the country. During these trips, and at home, Mel doubled as the stat and score keeper for the Mustang Football and Basketball teams. Mel believed sports taught us all how to humbly accept the highs and the lows that life threw at us. There’s nothing Mel loved more than watching his kids, especially his grandkids, on and off the court. Mel retired from the activity bus this year, after returning his last grandchild home safe from her last highschool sporting event.

In 1987 Mel took over the managerial position at Granger Ranches. He loved sharing the beauty of the ranch with his kids and grandkids. They spent many a day together riding horses, gathering, moving and branding cows, riding the Story Ditch, and playing cowboy.

Mel was a proud member of the Madison Conservation District. It was a big part of his life and he believed whole- heartedly in everything the District stood for. Mel passed right before the MCD was going to honor him for his 25 years on the MCD board.

Mel loved camping and fishing with his family at Hebgan Lake. He loved snowmobiling, hunting, and bowling with friends. He loved a good salty dog and a quick nap at camp. He loved pack trips and stories about the good old days. He loved barbershop talk and a good flat top. Mel never met a stranger and was this Communities biggest fan. But most of all Mel loved his family...and everyone he loved he considered family. Mel was a humble hero to all of us and we know he is in a better place making it an even better place.

Mel is survived by his wife of 53 years, Karen; his sister Sandra Mainwaring of Three Forks; his sons: Michael (Cindy) of Ennis, Norman (Tina) of Springcreek NV, Brian (Wendy) of Ennis; his beloved grandchildren: Jordan Goddard (Tyerel) and Taylor Tope (Brianna) both of Springcreek NV, Madyson Speck (Michael), Blake McKitrick (Rachael), Braydon McKitrick (Elise), Walker McKitrick, Gavin McKitrick, and Whitney McKitrick all of Ennis; his beloved great grandchildren: Jayden, Jax, Penelope, Theo, and Macoy; the kids of Ennis Schools for the last 51 years and some of his Barbershop regulars.

Mel was preceded in death by his parents: Maurice McKitrick, Ruth McKitrick Parker, and Charlie Parker; his siblings: Herbie Dean, David, Bobbie (Becky), Jessie, Norman (Arlene), Sharon and Alvin...and some of his barbershop regulars.

Funeral Services took place Sunday, November 3, 2019, in the Ennis High School Gymnasium. Lunch reception to follow in the Ennis Elementary Cafeteria.

In lieu of flowers the family has asked that donations be made to the Mel McKitrick Scholarship Fund at Madison Valley Bank, the Ennis Senior Center, or the Madison Valley Medical Center.


Reader Comments

BlueBird writes:

Was my kind friend and my forever mentor. Missed by so many.


Our Family of Publications Includes:

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019