Neva's Story

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Neva Gayle (Knowles) Melton was born on April 15, 1936, to Jerry S. and Opal Josephine (Garrett) Knowles. Gayle passed from this life at the Shattuck Nursing Center on March 24, 2015, at the age of 78. Gayle was born in Shattuck, OK, and grew up on the family farm west of Arnett. She attended Arnett schools, graduating with the class of 1954. Gayle then attended Oklahoma A&M, completing her teaching degree in 1959. While attending college, she met Victor John Melton. They were married on August 31, 1956, at the Arnett Christian Church. This union was blessed with one daughter, Melisa Jo. After college, Gayle and Vic moved to Pampa, TX, before returning to Arnett to start their teaching careers. Gayle taught in Arnett, OK, Garber, OK, and Fargo, OK, finishing out her 29 years of teaching in Shattuck, OK. Upon retiring, Gayle and Vic returned to Arnett where she lived until she moved to the Shattuck Nursing Center in 2013. After her retirement, Gayle stayed active in the Ellis County Retired Teachers Association, the Oklahoma Retired Teachers Association, and the National Retired Educators Association and the Delta Kappa Gamma Teachers Sorority. She was also a member of the Eastern Star. Gayle was baptized in 1954 at the Arnett Christian Church where she remained a faithful member until her passing. Gayle was also an avid quilter and was a member of the Handy Home Quilter Club. Many of her quilts could be seen at quilt shows throughout western Oklahoma. She also enjoyed making clothes for Melisa Jo and her grandchildren. Gayle was a loving and supportive mother and grandmother. She rarely missed an event in which one of her family members was participating. Whether a sporting event or a singing competition, she always made every effort to attend. Gayle was proceeded in death by her husband, Vic in 1997; parents Jerry and Opal Knowles; father and mother-in-law Chris and Alice Melton; brothers Frank Knowles and Jack and wife Susan Knowles; brothers-in-law Donald Melton, Virgil Melton, Willard and wife Leona Melton and Albert Streck. She is survived by daughter Melisa Jo and husband Monty McMurphy of Arnett, OK; grandson Martyn McMurphy and wife Elizabeth of Guymon, OK; granddaughters Melia Wheeler and husband Kelly of Woodward, OK and Megan Reese and husband Kiel of Monterey, CA; 4 great grandchildren Kip and Andi McMurphy, Wesley Wheeler, and Hannah Reese; sisters Roberta Henderson and husband Ed and Carolyn Griffith and husband Wayne; sisters-in-law Gertrude Knowles, Betty Choate and husband LD, Barbara Streck, and Sue Smith and husband Larry; brother-in-law Troy Melton and wife Gayla; many nieces, nephews, cousins and a countless number of friends.
Published on  March 27, 2015
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