Melton, Merle Eugene
Merle Eugene Melton, the son of Virgil J. and Mary Barbara (Garren) Melton, was born Sept. 11, 1926, in Walnut Hill, Ill. He married Martha Anne Baldridge on Sept. 30, 1955, at the Woodlawn Christian Church, Woodlawn, Ill.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, as well as three sons, Michael (Arlis) of Evanston, Ill., Mark of Chicago, Ill., and Myron (Lisa) of Lawrence, Kan.; five grandchildren, Emily (Kenneth) DeSouza of Nashville, Tenn., Lindsay (Josh) Mozdzen of Louisville, Ky., Tyler McLean of Chicago, Ill., and Steven and Kate Melton of Lawrence, Kan.; and two great-grandchildren, Claire and Katherine DeSouza of Nashville, Tenn. He also leaves one brother, Dean, of Alton, Ill., and one sister, Mary Lou Garren of Centralia, Ill.; five nieces; and many friends. Preceding him in death were his parents; one brother, Clifford; one brother-in-law, Verne Garren; and one niece, Rosemary Featherling.
Merle earned an A.B. degree in Christian Ministry from Lincoln Bible Institute (now Lincoln Christian University and Seminary) and a B.A. degree in sociology and an M.A. degree in home and family counseling from Southern Illinois University. He was ordained to the Christian ministry by the Rev. J.G. Parsons at Little Grove Christian Church, Walnut Hill, Ill. on Nov. 29, 1953. He began his 48 years of ministry with a three-month interim at Little Grove Christian Church followed by pastorates at Boyd Christian Church, Mount Moriah Christian Church, Fouts Christian Church, Pana Christian Church, First Christian Church of McLeansboro, and First Christian Church of Carterville, all in southern or central Illinois. He ended his ministry in 1993 at Community Christian Church in Coralville, Iowa. Throughout his ministries, he was actively involved in Christian service camps, area Christian organizations, and homes for children and the elderly. His greatest desire was for unity among all Christians.
After his retirement, Merle lived in Iowa City, Iowa, with his wife, Martha. During that time, he was a member of First Christian Church in Coralville, Iowa. Merle was also a Rotarian. Throughout life, his three priorities were faith, family and Christian service. He was 86 years old when he passed away on Feb. 15, 2013, in Tucson, Ariz., where he and his wife were spending the winter.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 2, 2013, at First Christian Church, 900 Lincolnshire Place, Coralville, Iowa. Memorials may be made to First Christian Church, Coralville, lowa, Lincoln Christian University, Lincoln, Ill., or Shiloh Christian Children’s Ranch, Shelbina, Mo., a home for neglected and abused children.
Published Feb. 27, 2013 in The Gazette