MT. VERNON — —
Merle Eugene Melton, the son of Virgil J. and Mary Barbara (Garren) Melton, was born Sept. 11, 1926, in Walnut Hill. He married Martha Anne Baldridge on Sept. 30, 1955, at the Woodlawn Christian Church, Woodlawn.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years as well as three sons, Michael (Arlis) of Evanston, Mark of Chicago and Myron (Lisa) of Lawrence Kan.; five grandchildren, Emily (Kenneth) DeSouza of Nashville, Tenn., Lindsay (Josh) Mozdzen of Louisville, Ky., Tyler McLean of Chicago and Steven and Kate Melton of Lawrence, Kan.; two great-grandchildren, Claire and Katherine DeSouza of Nashville, Tenn; one brother, Dean of Alton; one sister, Mary Lou Garren of Centralia; five nieces; and many friends.
He was preceded in death by 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 from Southern Illinois University. He was ordained to the Christian ministry by J.G. Parsons, minister, at Little Grove Christian Church, Walnut Hill, 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, Mt. 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 funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday at Little Grove Christian Church, Walnut Hill with Mr. J. Howard Kraps, minister, officiating. Burial will follow in the Little Grove Cemetery.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Hughey Funeral Home in Mt. Vernon.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Little Grove Christian Church, Lincoln Christian University or Shiloh Christian Children’s Ranch.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Hughey Funeral Home where you may call 242-3348 or visit www.hugheyfuneralhome1969.com
for further information and to send condolences