The youngest of four boys, Morris Leon Harvey was born January 15, 1937 in Muleshoe, TX to Eula Florence (Garth) Harvey and Robert Cecil Harvey. Leon died peacefully in the home he designed and built in Roswell, NM, with his wife Felecia at his side on Friday, January 14, 2022, 1 day short of his 85th birthday.
Visitation will be held from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Wednesday, January 19, 2022 at Ballard Funeral Home Chapel. Services will be at 10:00 am, Thursday, January 20, 2022 also at Ballard Funeral Home Chapel in Roswell, NM with Rev. Jim Bignell officiating. Interment will follow at 2:30 pm at the Floyd NM Cemetery with Pastor Rick Wilcher providing final sentiments. Pallbearers are Joby Priest, Matt Jenkins, Rick Andes, Cress Lee, Don Beard and Matthew Beard. Honorary pallbearers are Shelby Moss, Destry Moss, Sumer Priest, Will Wooton, Bobby Harvey, John Lee, Mike Lee, Bruce Lee, and Chase Riley and all friends and family.
Leon was born into a working family and learned early on the challenge and valor of being a skilled craftsman and the integrity of being a man of his word. Leon started working for a paycheck while in high school as a sacker at the local grocery, a projector operator at the movie theater and in summers as a lifeguard. He worked with his dad and brothers roofing and building cotton trailers. He graduated from Muleshoe High School in 1955. Leon was of the Baptist faith.
Leon and Alice Dawson married in 1955 in Muleshoe and lived in Clovis, NM and had two daughters, Kathy Diane Harvey, and Cynthia "Cindy" Jane Harvey. They lived in Pueblo Colorado for a period of time where Leon studied as a telegraph operator and enjoyed the many opportunities to fish and hunt in the nearby mountains, streams and lakes. The family moved back to Clovis, NM where Leon worked as a carpenter and owner of his own business installing acoustic ceilings throughout New Mexico and the Texas panhandle.
Leon was a master carpenter who elevated his craft to become superintendent on many public projects throughout the state of New Mexico and beyond. Leon was a proud member of the Carpenters Local 1245 Union for over 70 years. As a union member, Leon taught apprentice classes and lobbied for union interest at the local and state levels. After his first retirement he took on work as a project inspector for a local architectural firm. He was coaxed out of his second retirement to complete several local jobs, the last of which he would bring the blueprints home every evening and memorize the dimensions due to failing vision that prevented his being able to read the drawings.
Leon and Felecia Lee Beard met as square dancers in Clovis and Portales and later took up round dancing. They married October 3, 1985 in Roswell, NM where they made their home south of Roswell for over 36 years. They danced throughout the state and in west Texas. He was an accomplished dancer and always made his partner look good on the dance floor.
Leon had many interesting tales of playing baseball. He played catcher and had several scars to prove it. Leon also loved the outdoors. He was a skilled marksman with rifle and bow and arrow. And he could catch fish when no one else could. He made multiple sojourns through Canada to fish the Kenai River at Soldotna and Cooks Inlet in Alaska and always came home with the freezer full of halibut and cases of canned and smoked salmon. During these trips he met and formed lifelong fishing buddies from across the country.
An avid reader, Leon continued to enjoy reading through the generous services of the Commission of the Blind and the State Library for the Visually impaired. His books were on his phone and blue toothed to his hearing aids and played 24/7.
Leon is preceded in death by both parents, Florence Garth Harvey, Cecil Harvey and by his three older brothers & their wives: Robert (Bob) Harvey and wife Helen of Clovis, NM, Gene Harvey and wife Allene of Clovis, NM, and Fred Harvey and wife Mona of Amarillo, TX. He is also preceded by niece Debra Harvey Herman, nephew Dennis Harvey and infant niece Nicki Harvey.
He is survived by his wife Felecia Lee Harvey and his daughters, Kathy Priest and husband Butch of Raton, NM and Cindy Wooton and husband Benny of Roswell, NM. Also surviving are grandchildren Joby Priest & wife Sabrina and their sons Colton, Colby and Cash of La Mesa, NM; Sumer Priest of Clovis, NM; Will Wooton and wife Toni and sons, Brighton, Braxton and Brody of Roswell, NM; and Shelby Moss and husband Destry and sons Grady and Tripp of Hagerman, NM. Also surviving is Alice Dawson Davis now of Roswell, NM, the mother of Leon's children. He is also survived by 6 nieces and a nephew. And special companion Rowdy Dog who has been at his side for the past ten years and was his "emotional support dog" on the flight home from Alaska after his stroke in 2017.
Leon was also a treasured member of the Lee family where he was preceded in death by father-in-law Huston Lee. He is survived by mother-in-law Mary Lee of Floyd, NM; sister-in-law Ilene Beard and husband Don of La Junta, CO; brothers-in-law John Lee and wife Stephanie of Kismet, KS; Mike Lee and wife Tammy of Portales, NM; Bruce Lee and wife Tina of Floyd, NM; and Cress Lee and wife Chrissy of Roswell, NM. Here he leaves behind 13 nieces and 5 nephews. Special thank you to the caregivers and team from Kindred Hospice, especially Roberta, Casandra, Tim, Stacy and Rosalia. Thank you to Martha, Regina and Luz for being part of our care team and being available to effortlessly step into our home and routine. Special heartfelt thanks for the multitude of prayers on our behalf from family, friends, and friends we have yet to meet and all the Sisters at Poor Clare Monastery.
In some cultures, it is considered auspicious to die on your birthday. One such custom purports that to die on your birthday indicates you have completed your God-given earthly mission. At the end, Leon was just hours away from completing that last task, but it would still be safe to say, "Job well done good and faithful servant".
A meal is being prepared for family and friends by members of the Floyd Baptist Church and community members. It will be served between 1:00 and 1:30 at Floyd; the exact location still being determined. After the service light refreshments will be provided at the home of Mary Lee. Please come and join the family in fellowship.
The family requests memorial contributions to Poor Clare Monastery, 809 E. 19th St., Roswell, NM 88201 or other charities of your preference.