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Harland "Harley" Simon Melbye Sr.


November 20, 2019

Harland “Harley” Simon Melbye Sr., 76, died November 15, 2019 in Sparta, WI. He was born on November 14, 1943 to Harold and Mamie (Boettcher) Melbye in Black River Falls, WI.

Harley married Carolyne Finch on June 18, 1962. After Carolyne’s passing in November 2015, Harley met Doris and enjoyed three short years of marriage. We are thankful for Doris because she made dad happy again.

Harley found a renewed connection with God, and was baptized in 2017 to reaffirm his faith. He found peace and was loved by so many for his sincere kindness and generosity.

Harley spent many years driving semi for Big Chief Truck Stop/Bar B Travel Plaza in Black River Falls, working at D&S Manufacturing, where we spent many years washing and waxing semis in our spare time. After Harley’s truck driving years were over he spent many years harassing truck drivers as a dispatcher for Hilleshiem Trucking of Sparta. He touched a lot of lives and his sarcastic humor will be missed by all.

He is survived by his lovely wife Doris (Koopman) of 3 very short years, two sons, Harley (Laura) of Oconomowoc and Ryan (Angie) of Black River Falls, and three daughters, Melissa (John) Brengosz of Nashotah, Heidi (Randy) Zechzer of Watertown, and Kim (Paul) Fanning of Cashton; grandchildren, Megan (Brett) Kraemer, Mady, and Matt Melbye, Ashton and Odin Melbye, Emily (Dean) Rotering, Nick (Megan) Brengosz, Jordy (Newt Smerchek) Brengosz, Carly (Adam Nichols) Brengosz, Lindsay, Ashley, Camryn, Kiah, and Jadyn Zechzer, Lauren, Lia (Mike Jones), and Lucas Fanning; and 6 great-grandchildren; step-children, Tony Koopman, Bobby (Darlene) Koopman, Danny Koopman, Betty (Bob) Kowalski, and Jennifer (Rick) Kast; brother Arnie (Jill) Melbye of Janesville, brother-in-laws Lynn (Ruth Ann) Finch of Black River Falls, Jerry (Helen) Finch of Eau Claire, and sister-in-laws Petra Finch of Black River Falls and Pamela (Gary) Windsor of Black River Falls, and numerous nieces and nephews that he loved dearly.

Harley was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Mamie, his sister Joyce (Benson), his wife of 53 years Carolyne, and brother-in-law Terry Finch.

Harley made some great friends throughout the years that will miss him greatly.

Visitation will be held Friday, November 22 at 10 a.m. until noon at New Life Assembly of God in Sparta. Funeral services will follow at noon. Pastor Randy Williamson will officiate. Cremation services provided by the Gathering Place, Onalaska.


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