Melba Elaine Means
Date of birth: October 14 1926
Date of death: December 12 2018
Melba Elaine Means died peacefully in her sleep following a brief illness, in Gladstone Oregon. She was 92.
She remained unmarried in her lifetime, and is survived by her brothers Howard William and Charles Ray, and by their wives Anne and Margaret respectively, and their children and grandchildren.She was preceded in death by her parents Charles Franklin and Martha Ellen Means.
Melba was born in the Pleasant Ridge home her father Charles and mother Martha built and farmed near The Dalles Oregon. The family later lived for a time in Goldendale WA before eventually settling in Oregon City. She graduated from Oregon City High School.
Melba, the eldest of three children, grew up in a Christian home and loved the Lord from an early age. From young adulthood no one remembers a time when she didn’t desire a pursuit in Christian work.
After high school graduation, she received her undergraduate degree of Bachelor of Arts from Linfield College, and later went on to earn a Master of Religious Education degree from Western Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary in 1951. This helped her to fulfill her desire to work in missions, and she received a commission from the Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society (CBFMS - now called World Venture) to serve in Côte d’Ivoire, or Ivory Coast, in West Africa. After completing a yearlong course in the French language from the Sorbonne, University of Paris, she served there from the late 1950’s, until an illness-induced retirement in 1978.
Once stateside, she pursued work with International Students, Inc (ISI) Portland, as a Christian liaison, teacher and mentor to many international students at Portland State University. She served from the late 1970’s and, in her recent limited capacity, until her death.
Melba enjoyed crafting - ink stamping and card making in particular - and her continued love of teaching was expressed through years of teaching these craft classes at schools, churches and other various women’s events.
Melba was also a loyal fan of the Portland Trailblazers, and insisted on having every game entered in her datebook so she “wouldn’t miss a one”!
A lover of animals, she would be lost without a pet around, to the point that she would even bring her pet monkeys home from Africa while on furlough. Lately though you would be visited by her less exotic pets, especially her cats, whenever you came to visit Melba.
Finally, at the very end of her life, and until the day before she left us, if you asked her why she was here, she would tell you firmly, “...to do the Lord’s work!”
A Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday February 16, 2019, at 11:00 am, at Gladstone First Baptist Church, 6125 Caldwell Rd., Gladstone OR, 97027.
In lieu of flowers, Melba would have appreciated donations to:
- WorldVenture.com. Please specify the girls school in Korhogo
3 tribute candles have been lit
Candle lit by BettyLu Anderson She is one person I've known who could always become your friend in an instant!
Candle lit by Staff at Crown Memorial Center Our sincere condolences.
Candle lit by Linda Cochran Our family loved Melba and we enjoyed entertained her at any opportunity. Heaven is celebrating her life of service. To God be all the glory.