Husband, father, son, and brother, Mel McBride was born in Lyons, Georgia, on July 6, 1969, and passed away on June 4, 2020, in Marietta, Georgia. Always an athlete, Mel attended Robert Toombs Christian Academy where he played football, basketball, baseball and ran track. Mel befriended every Crusader from kindergarten through twelfth grade and especially loved his graduating class of 1987.
Mel attended Georgia Southern University to pursue his lifelong dream of playing football for the Eagles under Coach Erk Russell. Mel wore #48 on his jersey as middle linebacker and was on the 1989 and 1990 NCAA Division I National Championship teams. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1992.
Mel began his career with Sunbelt Marketing in Florida. He later established McBride Merchandising, and was an executive at Apollo Retail at the time of his passing. He was a faithful member of the Due West United Methodist Church where he served on various committees through the years. Mel was a current member of the Georgia Southern Athletic Foundation Board as well as past President and current member of the Eagle Football Alumni Association executive board.
Mel’s love of football led to volunteer coaching of many young players in the Harrison Hoyas Youth Football Feeder Program. His players were devoted to him and he to them. Mel’s passion for football will continue with the establishment of The Mel McBride Scholarship Fund which will be award each year to a Georgia Southern football player.
Mel was preceded in death by his grandparents, Bobby and Rosalie O’Neal, of Uvalda, Georgia, and Marvin and Gladys McBride, of Alston, Georgia. He is survived by his wife, Sunshine Pope McBride, and children, Mackenzie McBride, of Atlanta, Georgia, Sydney McBride and Luke McBride, of Marietta, Georgia. He is the son of Melvin and Diane McBride of Lyons, Georgia; the brother of Lea Anne Foster (Wes) of Alexandria, Virginia; and the brother-in-law of Pembroke Pope (Chrissie) of Canton, Georgia. He has four nieces, Layne Foster, Molly Foster, Katie Pope and Caroline Pope, and one nephew, Jackson Pope.
Celebration of Life will be held in Marietta on Tuesday, June 9th, at 11:00 a.m. in the Due West United Methodist Church South Campus, 3956 Due West Road Marietta, GA. Please wear anything football. Georgia Southern Eagle colors or Harrison High School Hoya colors to celebrate Mel.
A graveside funeral service will be held Wednesday, June 10th, at 3:00 p.m. in the Sharpe Cemetery in Toombs County with Dr. Ben Martin and Pastor Allen Fleming officiating.
Pallbearers will be Darrell Hendrix, Tracy Busbee, Randell Boone, Pembroke Pope, Darryl Riggins, Chris Stroud, Carr Newton, Eric Cooper, Mike West, Rusty Parrish, Chad Brumlow and Ross Smith.
Sharpe Cemetery has no physical address; therefore, friends are encouraged to come to the Ronald V. Hall Funeral Home, 310 North St., West, Vidalia, GA 30474 by 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday to go with Mel and his family in the funeral procession to the cemetery.
Immediately following the graveside service, family and friends are invited to the McBride Pond, (Mel’s happy place) 1346 Hwy 280 East, Lyons, Ga for food, drinks, fellowship & fishing!
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