Melba's Story

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A funeral service for Melba Jean Ballard Darrow, age 86, of Jacksonville, is scheduled at 2 o'clock in the afternoon Saturday, February 17, 2018 at Autry Funeral Home Chapel in Jacksonville, with Rev. Doug Wintermute officiating. She will be laid to rest at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Rusk.
Melba Jean Ballard Darrow was born November 16, 1931 in Palestine and passed away Monday, February 12, 2018 in Jacksonville.
She was a graduate of the Class of 1949 of Jacksonville High School and a member of First United Methodist Church in Jacksonville. Also, in Jacksonville she was a member of the DAR Major Thaddeus Beall Chapter, UDC Mosses M. Buckner 2442, a Pink Lady at Mother Frances Hospital and a volunteer for National Cancer Society. In Rusk Melba was member of the Rusk Theatrical Society, past president of the Cherokee Civic Theater, the Page Turners Book Club at Singletary Library and the Beta Omega Master Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority International. She was a volunteer for the Cherokee County Texas Republican Club for over 50 years and received a Lifetime Award in 2016. She belonged to the DRT Fort Houston Chapter in Palestine, The Republican party for over 40 plus years and the Marine Auxiliary, the Marine Corp League Detachment 1381 for many years. She and husband Chuck were members of CASI, Chili Appreciation Society International, for many years and traveled all over the US for cook-offs.
She was preceded in death by her first husband of 27 years, Joe Ballard; husband of 20 years, Chuck Darrow; son, Paul Ballard; and her parents, June and Raymond Cooper.
Left to cherish her memory are her daughters and sons-in-law, Roxana and Audis Smith of La Porte, Debra and Robert Wesley of Pasadena; son and daughter-in-law, Joe and Rita Ballard of Jacksonville; stepson, Gary Darrow and wife Jan of Euless; stepdaughter, Tammy Anderson and husband Kent of Denver, CO. She is also survived by sisters, Sylvia Gould, Kathy Rogers and husband Frank; 12 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and one great-great grandchild.
Pallbearers will be her grandsons, Joseph Smith, Robert Wesley Jr., Mike Cook, Micah Hoffpauir, Justin Roppolo, Josh Anderson and Seth Bowdoin.
Visitation will begin on Friday, February 16, 2018 and friends are cordially invited to visit with Melba's family from 5 to 7 o'clock in the evening at Autry Funeral Home, Jacksonville.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Angelina House, Hospice Plus, the staff of Christus Trinity Mother Frances Hospital, Dr. Vierkant, Dr. Ford and special friend, Kirk Sadler.
Published on February 14, 2018
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