Melva Slack Owens, 91, passed away on Dec. 23, 2020, in St. George, Utah, of natural causes. She was born on Aug. 8, 1929, in Panguitch, Utah, and was the second youngest of eight children born to Martin Leonard Slack and Myrtle Prince Slack.
Melva was loved and raised in Panguitch with her four sisters and three brothers in a beautiful brick home built by her father. She graduated from Panguitch High School in 1947. She graduated from Beauty School in Salt Lake City in 1948 and worked in a beauty salon for 2 years.
Melva married Ned Owens in the Manti, Utah, Temple on April 14, 1950, and they were married and dedicated to each other for over 70 years. Melva and Ned moved to Logan so Ned could attend Utah State University. After graduation from USU, they moved to Ogden and then Roy, where they started their family. She then went with Ned to Chama, New Mexico, and later to Duchesne, Utah, where they continued to raise their family.
Melva excelled in self-sufficiency. She was a skilled seamstress and made many clothes for herself, her growing family and others in different fashions throughout the years. She produced beautiful handwork with her knitting, crocheting, quilting and rug making. She was accomplished in upholstery and even tried her hand at taxidermy with Ned. She grew an abundant garden and canned the harvest each fall. She was happy to prepare and cook each and everything Ned caught or shot their entire marriage, and she did it with a heart of thanksgiving. She was a true pioneer woman, and her skill set was endless as she was willing to learn anything that came her way. Melva was always willing and excited to travel and go on any adventure with Ned, and they had many great and exciting ones throughout their years together.
Melva and Ned were blessed with four sons and one daughter, and she created a loving and peaceful home for them with her pure and loving heart. She was never judgmental, but accepting of all that passed through her life. She made good and lasting friendships wherever she lived and always treated those around her with respect and kindness. She loved her husband, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and all the many other family and friends who surrounded her, and she showed that love in countless ways. She dedicated her life to serving her children, and especially Ned, as she made him a hot breakfast every day of their married lives and had a warm dinner waiting for him, no matter what time he returned home. She took such great care of him that he lived a healthy and happy life until he was 95 years old. Her goal was for her and Ned to take care of each other until the end and that is what they did. Ned preceded her in death by seven days, and then they were reunited once again. She didn’t take much of a break in fixing him breakfast!
Melva and Ned returned to Panguitch in 1981 when Ned retired from the Bureau of Reclamation, but Melva never retired from her job as a homemaker. They then moved to Vernal, then back to Panguitch, and finally, Melva was able to convince Ned to leave his beloved Panguitch for the warmer winters of St. George. In their later years, Melva and Ned were blessed to be able to work in the St. George Temple as ordinance workers, and she dearly loved serving in the Temple. Melva was a life-long and dedicated member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and truly understood and practiced charity. She served as Relief Society president and den mother and every calling in between.
Melva is survived by her children, Florin Ned (LaNette), Russell Lynn (Marilyn), Alan Kerry (Wendy), Cristal Robbins (Jeff) and Kevin Martin (Brenda). They were blessed with 24 grandchildren and 40 great grandchildren and counting. She is preceded in death by her husband, Ned Owens, her parents and all her siblings. Her goals in life were to always look on the bright side of things, to use the talents and abilities she was blessed with and to have fun. She accomplished each one perfectly.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 11 a.m. at the Panguitch Ward Meeting house, 550 South 100 West, with a viewing from 10-11 a.m. Dedication of the grave will be immediately following the funeral services at the Panguitch Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the directions of Spilsbury Mortuary in St. George, Utah. Family and friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at www.spilsburymortuary.com. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Humanitarian Fund.