Mel Wardean, the John Deere/La Verkin parade man, passed away Wednesday, March 11, 2020 in St. George, Utah. Melvin Roy Wardean was the son of Harold William “Red” Wardean and Ruth Elnora Hahn Wardean. Born June 5,1939 he grew up near truck farms, now Marina Del Rey, California.
A high school science teacher told his students that a Broadcasting license equaled an A. Mel got that license and became a ham radio operator, making his equipment from kits, but it looked factory made. He was a projectionist in Santa Monica, California, and was one of the last to know how to operate carbon arc lamps. Later in life, he became a technician repairing and installing projectors. When he saw his first digital movie, he realized he was part of the past in the movie industry.
His hobby was John Deere Tractors and loved to rebuild, paint and ride his tractors in parades. He pulled many floats in the La Verkin parades, especially the mayor/city float. He enjoyed being in the “sheep dip” parade in Cedar City. He was a proud member of Branch 134 Early Days Gas Engine & Tractor Association. Mel and his quirky sense of humor, will be missed.
He is survived by his wife Arlene, a sister, Donna in California and many awesome cousins and friends.
Graveside Services will be held Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 11:00AM at the LaVerkin City Cemetery.
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