Melba Pauline Bigler Plewe, our beloved mother and grandmother, passed from this life on Friday, May 1, 2015, at her residence in The Atria at Sandy, Utah. She was 92. Melba is survived by her six children: Julie Phillips, Stan (Barbara) Plewe, Russ (Jo) Plewe, Ken Plewe, Debra (Jim) Ryan, and Kathy Turner. Melba’s rich posterity included 22 grandchildren, 71 great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren.
Melba married Jared Herman Plewe on September 29, 1939. They were married more than 50 years before Jared passed away on March 30, 2004. Following Jared’s death, Melba rose to the challenge of being alone and developed an admirable level of personal strength and independence. In recent years, however, she had begun to long to be together again with her beloved “Jerry”.
As Melba’s older sisters left the farm for college and city life, she dreamt of taking that same path. Melba developed beautiful singing and yodeling talents. Those talents came in handy when on one occasion her brother brought a “city fella” from Salt Lake to join them on the deer hunt. One evening, a teenage Melba came to the campfire to sing and yodel for the hunters. That city fella, Jared, was smitten and would never look back.
Mother was loved and respected by all who came in contact with her. She made people feel comfortable and, even happy with her questions about their welfare and activities. Speaking with Melba, you always felt that she cared about what you had to say. One of the things that we enjoyed most about our mother was her sense of humor. She could recognize the comical aspect of things to lift the spirits of those around her. When real problems arose, she had the ability to show courage and deflate worry. To be around mom was to feel at peace, cared for, and at home.
Most of her life was spent in support of her husband and family, but mom had her experiences outside the home too. In her younger years she worked for her sister and brother-in-law in their Las Vegas children’s stores. One of her favorite jobs was working at the Times and Seasons LDS bookstore in Portland, Oregon. Here she also developed an appreciation for books that brought her greater understanding of the Church she loved.
Melba and Jared’s commitment to family was resolute. They visited family members in need and traveled long distances to family gatherings and special events.
Over time mother developed a strong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that would be expressed to the very end by her words and example. While living in Las Vegas, Nevada, Mother and Father were sealed in the St. George Temple on April 13, 1963.
Mother served in many positions in the various wards in which she lived. Melba and Jared served a full-time mission to Palmyra, New York, where they had the unique experience of living in the Joseph Smith home. For 15 years Melba and Jerry worked together in the name extraction program at the St. George Tabernacle and were honored for their service. After Jared passed away, Melba served a mission at the St. George Deseret Industries. She loved her involvement with the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers (Dixie Camp) and service at their museum. Melba held her pioneer heritage as a special treasure.
Melba was born on September 25, 1922; to parents John Bigler and Ella Rosenlof, in her childhood home in Indianola, Sanpete County, Utah. She was the youngest of seven children, all of whom preceded her in death (June Gustin, Florence Bigler, Aleen Christensen, Mabel Shoemaker, Hazel Johnson, John Bigler).
Melba’s last request would be to love one another.
- Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, May 8, at 11 a.m. in the Morningside 6th Ward Chapel, 930 Morningside Drive, St. George.
- A viewing will be held Saturday, from 9-10:30 a.m. prior to services at the chapel.
- Interment will be in the St. George Cemetery.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Metcalf Mortuary, 435-673-4221. For condolences, full obituary, and funeral listings please visit the Metcalf Mortuary website.