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Melba's Story

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Melba Katherine (Roddy) McKnight passed away on February 28, 2018 at the age of 98 at The Hamptons in Tyler, Texas. She will be deeply missed by all her large family and many friends.
She was born in Terrell, Texas as the firstborn child of Ephraim Benson and Martha Frances Craft Roddy on December 6, 1919. Although she was the first, she was by no means the last as she was followed by five sisters and two brothers.
She obtained an Associates degree from Lon Morris College in 1939, a Bachelors from Stephen F. Austin in 1941, and a Masters in Education from SMU in 1951. She taught English for 36 years at Arlington High School in addition to serving as Cheerleader Sponsor for 22 of those years impacting the lives of hundreds of students.
In 1973, she married E.H. McKnight and they had 17 years together before his death. After her retirement from teaching in 1979, they moved to Jacksonville, Texas where she had lived for most of her childhood.
Her love for teaching continued with ladies' bible study classes at Craft Baptist Church for over 30 years and two years of English at Jacksonville Baptist College.
She was a member of Central Baptist Church for several years and was active in their Senior Adult activities before her move to an assisted living facility in Tyler, Texas.
Melba was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; sister, Dorothy Colemere and brother, W. Frank Roddy.
She is survived by four sisters, Margie Veal of Dallas, Etha Mae Renfro of Duncanville, Joy Kruger (Calvin) of Dallas and Frances (Pert) Garraway (Fred) of Killeen; a brother, Ken Roddy (Joyce) of Tyler; along with countless nieces and nephews and their offspring.
Melba will be remembered for her love of family, teaching, cooking (especially pralines) growing plants, colorful clothing/jewelry, and dogs of all kinds.
Visitation will begin on Sunday, March 4, 2018 and friends are cordially invited to visit with Melba's family from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Autry Funeral Home on Monday. A Celebration of her Life is scheduled at 2 o'clock in the afternoon Monday, March 5, 2018 at Autry Funeral Home Chapel in Jacksonville with Rev. Steve Edwards officiating. Burial will be at Jarratt Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Kyle Roddy, Keith Roddy, Rick Roddy, Paul Kruger, David Renfro and Scott Garraway.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity or to the Hospice of East Texas 4111 University Blvd., Tyler, Texas 75701.
Published on March 2, 2018
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