Melba Jean Edmonds

Friday, March 3, 2023

Melba Jean Edmonds, 97, Nevada, Mo., passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, at Moore-Few Care Center, in Nevada. Melba was born in Metz, Mo., on Jan. 15, 1926, to Arnold and Grace (Kimrey) Buhr of Horton. Her family moved to Kansas City, Mo., after a house fire. Melba graduated from Manual High School in Kansas City June 11, 1943. She was an active member of the Horton Methodist Church beginning in June 25, 1939.

Melba married William Norris Thomas of Horton Missouri on March 16, 1950, and they moved to Nevada, Mo. Melba worked at the Vernon County Clerk's office at the county courthouse in Nevada. They had two children before Bill's death on Nov. 15, 1962, Steven Norris Thomas currently of Lawrence, Kan., born Dec. 10, 1955, and David Alan Thomas of Louisville, Ky., born Dec. 6, 1958. The boys were ages 6 and 3 when their dad passed.

During this period, Melba decided to forego her professional career, raise the two boys on her own, and follow them through their schooling (to keep the boys in line of course). She started working at Benton school when the youngest boy, David began kindergarten, and she eventually worked her way to an administrative assistant for the superintendent at Nevada High School by the time both boys graduated. Melba had over 20 years of service to the Nevada R-5 School district before retiring in 1986.

Once the boys were out of school and on their own, Melba married Kenneth Wayne Edmonds of Horton on March 26, 1977. Kenny and Melba found the changing times a bit difficult to have a low-key wedding ceremony, so they were married by Reverend John Nichols of Nevada on March 26, 1977, in Rev. Nichols back yard garden. He performed the ceremony in his gardening bib overalls while the couple wore casual attire. Melba would later say she was so glad there were no cell phones in those days. Don't we all.

Kenny brought to the marriage, a son Gary, and daughter, Karen. Kenny and Melba loved to go bowling and they were able to travel throughout the world to destinations in Europe, the UK, and Hawaii multiple times before Kenny's passing on April 20, 1989. Kenny's son Gary Edmonds, worked for the airlines and was able to help them see the world. We are all so thankful to Gary and his family helping Melba and Kenny to enjoy a great part of their life.

Upon Kenny's death, Melba then picked up playing bingo with friends and family which was her passion those days. She played bingo most every night she could until she realized something was not quite right. She was diagnosed with early onset of Alzheimer's in 2005 and after a year of struggling and dealing with this terrible disease from home, she entered Barone Alzheimer Care Center in January of 2007. She remained at BACC until the recent closing of the facility in October 2022 when she transferred to Moore-Few Care Center.

Melba was a strong willed, very determined, highly competitive, loving mother, and person. Our families wish to thank everyone who touched Melba's life. A special thank you to Carol Thomas/Hacker whom Melba considered being as close as blood sisters. Carol was the best sister-in-law and friend anyone could have. And a very special thank you to the entire crew, both past and present, who cared for Melba at the former Barone Alzheimer Care Center. The Caregivers and support staff there are the most caring and compassionate people we know. Thanks so much to every one of you.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Monday, March 6, at Ferry Funeral Home, in Nevada, with Pastor Terry Mosher officiating. Interment will follow in Balltown Cemetery in Horton, Mo.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation to the Alzheimer's Association at in the memory of Melba Edmonds and her long battle. Your donation will help others in the fight against this disease.

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