Melba Dean Meeks

February 17, 1936 - December 01, 2017

Melba Meeks (Melmoo) went with the Lord on December 1st, 2017, she was 81. Born on February 17, 1936 in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, Melba Dean Payne was the youngest of four children born to Virgil and Melvia Payne. The Payne family relocated to Stratford California where in the second grade she picked her first boyfriend Kenneth Bob Meeks - after the Meeks family relocated from Cherokee land in Oklahoma. They were happily married on June 19, 1954 and soon created a family with three boys, Kenneth Bob Meeks Jr, Kevin and Keith. Together they enjoyed a fun and simple life filled with heavy doses of golf, baseball, football, cards, playing outside games, telling stories and family vacations to Oklahoma and Missouri.

As the grandkids started arriving mom became known as Melmoo and Dad became Papa and and the entire family would gather at their home on weekends. It was the happiest time of their lives filled with love and pride. When Papa passed in 1989 there were 2 granddaughters and 7 grandsons, today there are 11 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren. A sign on her front door reads, “Love Grows Here”.

Melba graduated from Lemoore High Class of 1954. She was active and athletic throughout her life with special talent in softball and golf where she scored a hole-in-one three times, won multiple course championships and was MVP of every softball team because she could field well, throw hard and hit balls far. She played softball into her mid 40's and golf was a lifelong passion.

After losing her husband in 1989, Melba was fortunate to find a best friend in Joe Lopes. Together they played hundreds of rounds of golf, watched golf of TV, and had the best time together for over 25 yrs. Melba loved company but she was also independent and nearly fearless about doing something alone, including driving to Reno to play the slots or 3,000 miles to visit relatives (before cell phones). She was incredible and amazing in so many ways.

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In addition to her family of twenty eight decendants, Melba is survived by her beloved daughter-in-law Sandy Meeks, beloved in-laws Charles and Charlene Barnes, sister-in-laws Betty Robbins and Patricia Bowling, numerous relatives and dear friends, including her very best friend Joe Lopes. Melba was preceded in death by her parents, husband, her beloved daughter-in-law Darlene Fragoso Meeks, and three siblings Leo Payne, Troy Payne, and Nadine Whitley, and her favorite golfer, Arnold Palmer.

There will be a Memorial and Celebration of the Sweet and Happy Life of Melba Meeks at the Koinonia Church, 12536 Hanford Armona Road, on Friday, January 5th at 11:00 AM. The service will be followed by a reception at the Fraternal Hall in Hanford. The family appreciates donations in her honor to your favorite charity.

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