Gulf Breeze — Melvin G. "Jocko" Harris, 86, died peacefully at his home Friday, March 3, 2017.
He is survived by his wife of almost 37 years, Helena "Lennie" Harris; his two sons, Mike Harris and his wife Nancy; Thom Harris; his two step-daughters, Michele Brugmann and her husband Steve; Angelique Turner and her husband Christopher; and six grandchildren: Christina, Emily, Chad, Ashton, Blake and Olivia.
Born and raised in El Dorado, TX, the son of Ola Mae Watson; he dreamed of becoming a pilot someday.
Jocko joined the USMC soon after graduating high school. In his early years, he formed a passion for aviation, leading him to become a jet fighter pilot for the Marines. He was one of the honored recipients of the Navy Cross for his heroic actions during an airplane malfunction over a populated area near Mt. Fuji when he crash-landed the plane instead of ejecting.
After serving with the Marines, Jocko had the opportunity to join the commercial airline industry. In 1957, he started his 44 year career, working his way to the top, becoming the number one Captain for Continental Airlines.
Jocko was also an avid reader, sometimes reading up to four books in a week.
A Celebration of Life will be held April 7, after a private memorial service at the Barrancas National Cemetery.