Jun 292011

On the morning of Wednesday, June 22, 2011, beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, friend and just all around big hearted Melvin Charles “Mel” Biggs Sr., 88, left this mortal world to join his family. He moved to his final resting place in the Snowflake Cemetery on June 25. He was honored by an honor guard from American Legion Post 126.

Mel was born in Peoria on Oct. 14, 1922, under unusual circumstances. His mother, Blanche, had been on a trip visiting his father, who was working in New Mexico. She asked the conductor to stop the train they were riding there in Peoria. A kindly restaurant owner helped her to a back room in his restaurant, where Mel made his appearance to this world, and the rest, as they say, is history.

He lived in Lehi and Hillside before he enlisted in the Army.

Mel was a veteran of World War II, having served in the Army as a member of the 158th Infantry Combat Team (the Arizona Bushmasters), a reserve unit from the Arizona National Guard. He enlisted in April 1940, and he had to lie about his age by giving the incorrect year of birth in order to be accepted. His tour of duty took him to several places in the Pacific in the war against Japan. He never talked much about his experiences other than the usual mischief that a group of soldiers would get into, but he never lost his sense of patriotism, which he inspired in his children and grandchildren.

After his return, he met the love of his life, and they were married. Following several temporary homes they settled in south Phoenix. His job with Arizona Public Service Co. took him around the state, including Wickenburg, Yuma, Parker, Salome and Snowflake. It was in Snowflake that he retired.

They moved to Missouri and back. They lived in two homes in Mesa before finally moving in with their daughter, Karon, in Gilbert due to his and his wife’s failing health. They were later living with his daughter, Lynn, in Taylor when his eternal companion, Tiny, passed away. Mel was still living with Lynn when he passed away.

Mel was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which he served in many capacities from teacher to member of a bishopric. He found no task beneath him, and he would put his whole heart into whatever was asked. Late in his life the only reason he wouldn’t be found with a broom in his hand was because of his disabilities–something that haunted him the whole time.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Blanche; his two brothers, Thomas and George; his two sisters, Nell and Charlotte; and finally, his beloved companion, Orciabell (who everyone knew as Tiny). He was the last of his family to leave, and he is no doubt enjoying their company again.

He is mourned by his surviving family, including three children, Chuck, Marilynn and Karon; 14 grandchildren; and 45 great-grandchildren.

Silver Creek Mortuary of Taylor was in charge of the arrangements.