Melba Hayes Thorne, Meridian resident since 1993, died in her home with her family surrounding her on June 7th, 2014. Mrs. Thorne was born on October 15th, 1922 in Georgetown, Idaho to Denina Lindsay Hayes Rodeback and John Riley Hayes, Junior. Mrs. Thorne lived in Shoshone, ID from 1945 to 1991, when she and her husband, Harrell, moved to the Treasure Valley. Prior to moving to Shoshone, they live in Georgetown and Moreland.
Due to early childhood bouts with rheumatic fever that left her heart damaged, Melba faced many health problems throughout her life. She maintained that a blessing was given to her by church officials that allowed her to heal enough to live a somewhat normal life and achieve many goals. She was determined to contribute positively to her family and friends, to her church and community, stating at times that she persevered with "sheer will power."
On May 29th, 1941, she married Harrell Andrew Thorne in Paris, Idaho. The ceremony was solemnized on November 12th, 1942 in the Logan, Utah, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Temple.
Mrs. Thorne was a deputy clerk, ex-officio recorder of Lincoln County for one year and worked for 16 years as clerk in the office of Probate Judge, and as a county juvenile probation officer. In 1970, she was appointed the last justice of Peace for Lincoln County, prior to enactment of the Idaho Court Reform January 1st, 1971. She was also a licensed insurance agent and assisted her husband in the Thorne Real Estate and Insurance Office.
She was also a newspaper reporter, having worked for over 20 years as a correspondent for the Twin Falls Times News, for 8 years as the associate editor, then editor, of the Lincoln County Journal, Shoshone. She also worked as a reporter for the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune of Salt Lake City, Utah, The Idaho Statesman, and KLIX radio in Twin Falls. Between 1970-1980, she did spot audio news stories for KTFI radio, Twin Falls. She retired March 1st, 1987.
Mrs. Thorne was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having held many stake and ward executive and teaching positions. She was a Stake Relief Society president, Stake MIA counselor, and served as president of the ward MIA and Primary. She taught over 20 years in Sunday School, Seminary and Relief Society. She also served two Stake missions.
A member of the Shoshone Civic Club, she served as secretary, vice-president and president. She was treasurer of the Fourth District Idaho Federated Women's Club and belonged to Twin Falls Toastmistress Club. While Myrtle C. Burdett was mayor of Shoshone, Mrs. Thorne served on the first City Planning Commission. She has been a County Fair Board member, President of North Side Communities, Inc., and a member of Shoshone Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. For many years of service in the Shoshone PTA, she was awarded a Life Membership.
In 1983, she and her husband purchased a home in Yuma, AZ., where they spent winters for twelve years. Mrs. Thorne worked with the Yuma Regional Medical Center Auxiliary and was a member of the Yuma 6th Branch, LDS church.
Her home and family were always top priority, and they were the pride and joy of her life. She provided all services within her power to give them comfort and guidance. She had a thirst for learning and achievement. Mrs. Thorne may have been the "last leaf on the family tree," but her mind was sharp and her testimony was unwavering.
Mrs. Thorne was preceded in death by her mother, Denina, and step-father, Millard Rodeback; her two brothers, Edgar Monroe Hayes and Wilson Lindsay Hayes; her sister, Glennyce Kelsey; her son, Conrad Thorne; and her husband, Harrell Andrew Thorne, in 2002, which in May, they would have celebrated their 73rd anniversary.
Survivors include daughters, Betty Jill (Bob) Faulhaber and Deanna Michelle LaCombe; nine grandchildren; 14 great grandchildren; and 7 great great grandchildren, as well as many choice nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 12, 2014 at the LDS Chapel located at 2555 Stoddard Rd., Meridian. A viewing will be held prior to the service from 9:30-10:15 a.m. Graveside services will immediately follow at the Melba Cemetery.
Published in Idaho Statesman on June 11, 2014