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Shirley Ramona Melton


1934 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Shirley Ramona Melton Obituary
Shirley Ramona Melton, 81, passed away on June 1, 2016. Born in 1934, at the height of the depression, Shirley was raised in the hard work of farm life and throughout her life showed this upbringing with a strength of character and indomitable will that always coupled with a friendly smile and warming laugh.
Shirley was the eldest child of Eldon and June Melton, farmers in the Rose/Groveland area near Blackfoot. She is survived by her three brothers: Douglas, Ron, and Michael and one sister, Anita. One of her fondest childhood memories was visiting during summertime her aunt and uncle in Yellowstone, who was the stationmaster at the train station.
Her family moved to Kansas during her sophomore year where she met and developed lifelong friendships with her cousins on her father's side. Unfortunately, her father suffered a long illness during which Shirley and her brothers stepped in and as barely more than children ran the daily requirements of the farm.
Her father died during her junior year and the family moved back to Blackfoot to be near her mother's family.
After graduating from Blackfoot High School in 1952, she married her lifelong love, Merle Chamberlain, enjoying nearly 59 years of marriage before Merle preceded her in death in 2011.
Merle was an avid outdoorsman and they honeymooned at West Yellowstone, Mont. The first years of their marriage they traveled extensively throughout the West following Merle's geologist job with Baroid Oil in the Utah, Nevada, and Wyoming deserts.
They lived in many places including: Rock Springs, Wyo.; Blanding, Red Wash and Vernal, Utah; and Ely, Nev. As their family grew they moved back home to Idaho where he became an engineer at the INEL and they raised their three boys: Joe D, Bart and Mark.
Once the boys were in school, she worked at the IGA across from Blackfoot High. In 1964, Merle went to work as an engineer for American Potato (now Basic American Foods) and they transferred to Moses Lake, Wash. where they lived out the remainder of their lives together and she remained until her passing.
Shirley worked at Lakeview Elementary School for more than two decades as the librarian and later at Longview Elementary enjoying her work and developing lifelong friendships with her many co-workers.
Going out for coffee with her friends was one of her pleasures throughout retirement. She loved working with children and it was a special pleasure when she would meet one of them as adults and see how much they had done with their lives.
Shirley also loved gardening, enjoyed growing her roses and keeping an immaculate lawn. In their dream home overlooking Moses Lake, she loved caring for her roses and enjoyed the fragrance wafting over her patio and into the house.
Both she and Merle spent countless hours eating dinner or sitting on the patio enjoying watching wildlife and sports activities on the lake throughout the day. Their home was full of love and joy in their retirement years as they appreciated and enjoyed this well-deserved time after a lifetime of hard work.
Shirley was dearly loved and will be so missed as she joins Merle (and their dogs "Chip" and "Buddy") in Heaven. She is survived by her three sons, five grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
A memorial gathering for family and friends of Shirley will be held on Saturday, July 9 at noon at Moses Pointe Steakhouse located 4507 Westshore Dr NE, Moses Lake, WA 98837.
Published in The Morning News on June 28, 2016
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