Melva Lea Keithley

Friday, May 22, 2020

Melva Lea Keithley, 79, Nevada, Mo., passed away on Saturday, March 28, 2020, at her home in Nevada following a lengthy illness. Melva was born Oct. 21, 1940, in Nevada, Mo., to Ralph H. and Doris O. (White) Smith. She was united in marriage to Alfred L. Keithley on Dec. 29, 1961, in Nevada, Mo., and he preceded her in death on July 7, 2005.

Melva grew up in Milo and graduated from Nevada High School Class of 1958. She worked at Maxwell Grocery Store, Johnson Grain, and then at the Nevada State Hospital for 20 years until her retirement. Melva was a member of the Milo Baptist Church and was an active member of the Republican Party. She loved being on her farm, growing flowers, doing yardwork, and spending time with her family at the pool. “Family and friends were her life.”

She is survived by three daughters, Cindy Smith (Jim), Nevada, Janet Forkner, Nevada, and Lisa Franklin (Alan), Blue Springs, Mo.; six grandchildren, Mandy Thomas (Dusty), Nevada, Matthew Smith (Molly), Nevada, Trevor Smith, Nevada, Ragan Forkner and her fiancé, Cody, Clever, Mo., Morgan Franklin and her fiancé, Andrew, Prairie Village, Kan., and Alex Franklin, Columbia, Mo.; five great-grandchildren; three siblings, Wilma Irwin, Nevada, Robert Smith (Mae), Milo, and Marilyn Fritts (and the late John Fritts), Pleasant Hill, Mo.; several nieces and nephews; caregivers and special friends, Marlene Hargrove, Janice Doolin and Kathie Foster.

Memorial services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, May 28, at Ferry Funeral Home in Nevada with Chaplain Kenny Batson officiating. Committal will follow in Milo Cemetery.

Memorials are suggested in her memory to Vernon County Cancer Relief in care of the funeral home.

Beginning May 4, there is no longer a statewide limitation on the number of people attending funerals or visitations, however those in attendance will be asked to maintain social distancing, and that people are welcome to and, indeed, are encouraged to wear face mask to protect themselves and others.

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