Robin Eileen Melton
On Saturday, September 15, 2012, Robin Eileen Melton, age 46, died in a tragic plane crash when returning to Springfield from a Kansas City Royals baseball game. She was born May 11, 1966, in Springfield, MO to Janis and Charles R. Melton.
Robin was an inspiring, devoted, and caring person to all who knew her. She was company founder, owner, and president of Environmental Works, Inc. (EWI) for over 20 years. She showed her dedication to the community through her organizational involvement and charitable giving. In addition, she was a loving family member and friend to many.
Robin's passion for animals and love of the outdoors began at an early age. She was a member of the Bluebirds and Campfire Girls, and preferred to spend her time outside more than anything. Animals were always special to Robin. She got her first horse when she was in fifth grade, and she enjoyed riding throughout her life. Her love for cats was legendary; in her 46 years she loved and cared for too many to count. Robin's father passed away when she was 16; in spite of this sad occurrence she kept her drive and enthusiasm for life.
In 1984, Robin graduated as valedictorian from Billings High School. She loved sports and participated in all that she could, including the basketball team, on which she played all four years. She excelled at basketball so much that she was handpicked to be on the All-Conference Team, which was an outstanding achievement. Robin's fervor for sports continued throughout her life, as she played in various City softball and volleyball leagues. She also loved the lake and her jet ski. In recent years her passion was polo, which combined both her love of sports and horses. She was a member of the Springfield Polo Team, and a dear friend to those on the team. Robin's sister Erin often teased her, saying "You love sports so much, you've tried everything except sumo wrestling!"
Robin graduated Summa Cum Laude from Missouri State University in 1988 with a B.S. in Geoscience. She worked at McDonald's during her undergraduate college years. She briefly attended the University of Georgia at Athens, and earned an M.B.A. from Webster University in 2005.
In 1992, Robin established EWI and was steadfastly committed to the firm's success. This year marks EWI's 20th year in business and the company now has over 50 employees and three Missouri office locations - Springfield, Kansas City, and St. Louis. Robin cared deeply for her staff and enjoyed spending time with them. She was known for taking her employees on company-paid trips for each milestone anniversary, with the next trip for EWI's 20th anniversary planned for October 6, 2012.
Robin's accomplishments earned her many awards and honors including Springfield Business Journal's "40 Under 40" (1999), 20 Most Influential Women in Business (2001) and the Missouri State University Outstanding Young Alumni award (2002). In addition, Robin's leadership at EWI resulted in a variety of company awards including the Springfield Chamber of Commerce prestigious W. Curtis Strube Small Business of the Year (2002), Springfield Contractors Association's Project of the Year, and the North Springfield Betterment Association's North Side Commercial Beautification Award (2009).
Organizational involvement and charitable giving were important to Robin. Throughout her career, she shared her time by serving as board member for a variety of organizations including the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks, Springfield Chamber of Commerce, Urban Neighborhoods Alliance, Springfield Innovation, Inc., Mercy Hospital, Southwest Missouri Humane Society and the Missouri Petroleum Storage Tank Insurance Fund Advisory Board. Robin also served as co-chair of Springfield's Strategic Planning Committee; in that role, she assisted with the City's 20-year strategic plan. She sponsored many organizations through charitable giving, including C.A.R.E. Animal Rescue, American Heart Association, Doula Foundation of Mid-America, Ozarks Greenways, KSMU, Foundation for Springfield Public Schools, and many more.
Even as our hearts are heavy with grief, we celebrate the life of Robin, who was truly the definition of someone who lived life to the fullest. She had vast influence in the community, far greater than even her family knew, yet she was humble about it and often made donations on the condition that they remain anonymous. Robin will never be forgotten as her legacy will live on through the many people she touched.
Robin is survived by her mother, Janis Melton; sister and brother-in-law, Erin and John Palicki; many paternal aunts, uncles, and cousins; special polo friends Kim Mayer, Anita Hall, Ann Heidemann, and Janie Rogers; special friends Betsy Kilfoy and Sheila Gibson; her EWI family; and numerous other friends. She was preceded in death by her father, Charles R. Melton, and grandparents Ted and Ida Melton and C.E. "Gene" and Grace Griffin.
A public memorial service will be held on Sunday, September 23rd, at 2:00PM at the White River Conference Center, 600 West Sunshine, Springfield, MO, 65807. The conference center is located adjacent to Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World®. Visitation will be held Monday, September 24th, 7:00PM - 9:00PM at Greenlawn Funeral Home South. Graveside service will be Tuesday, September 25th, at 1:00PM at Clear Creek Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the Melton family has designated the "Robin E. Melton Memorial Fund" for those wishing to send memorial contributions. Funds will be distributed to community charities and organizations that were of particular interest to Robin.
Please send to:
Robin E. Melton Memorial Fund
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
1535 East Primrose
Springfield, MO 65804