Melba Ray Blackbourne
Melba Ray Blackbourne was born in Buffalo Gap, Texas, to Faby and Velma Robeson on December 3, 1924 and entered into his heavenly gates on February 8, 2020. She is preceded in death by her parents, her brother, Alton Robeson of Abilene, Tx, and her sister, Desi Hunt, of Ft. Worth, Tx, with one surviving sister, Vivian Edwards of Abilene, TX. She is also survived by her husband of forty-seven years, Reese Blackbourne of Ft. Stockton, Tx, daughters, Donna Hainline of Hollister, MO and Ginger McDole of Abilene, TX. She has five grandchildren, Kevin McDole and wife, Norma of Weatherford, TX, Lisa Vanderploeg and husband Paul of Waterford, CT, Deanna Halbert and husband Jeff of Rogersville, MO, Casey McDole and wife Larissa of Natalia, TX, and Dawn Longino of Ava, MO. She has thirteen great-grandchildren and six great great-grandchildren and a host of nieces and nephews that she adored.
Some might say that Melba was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to witness four more generations in her lifetime, but it is we who are fortunate to have known her. Melba was a wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and so much more to everyone that knew her. Because of her ninety-five years here on earth, just about every one of us have had her in the entirety of our own lives. Reese saw her dancing back in the 1970's and vowed to steal her heart away, and that he did. If you knew her well, you knew that she always made chicken spaghetti. Recently, Reese said he wasn't a fan of it...he loved her so much, he never would have told her that himself. He had not only stolen her heart, but she had stolen his. One of Melba's daughter's can still remember today, that when her mom picked cotton, she would sit her on her cotton sack as a toddler, and pull her along with her, in order to take care of her, while still working. This speaks volumes about Melba. She did whatever it took to get the job done, while still considering those around her.
Melba's time on earth saw her through occasions such as the great depression and World War II. These are things most of us only read about. She was a wealth of knowledge if you took the time to soak it in. Melba worked for Timex for twenty-one years and then became a homemaker, where she kept and impeccably clean home and developed a routine that she carried out daily that involved cooking and cleaning for her husband, as well as all welcomed guests. The coffee was always made the night before, in preparation to sit on the patio and enjoy the peace the next morning. The coffee was even enjoyed one last morning, after she left us.
Earlier stories of Melba's involved the infamous "ringing of the turkey's neck" and belonging to the Goldwing motorcycle club. Every week involved a trip to the hairdresser, she even got her hair done one last time on the Friday morning before she went to her forever home.
Melba knew her time was near, by little things she did and said. There were phone calls and long hugs given, there were hard conversations and heartfelt moments spent. The organization of all that was necessary to prepare was almost surreal. Each and every one of us have our memories of Melba, cherish the moments you had with her, but more importantly, cherish the lessons she taught you to live by.