Melba Junese Gilbert Beard, 86 years, peacefully passed away on July 18, 2021, in St. George, Utah. She was born on Nov.r 20, 1934 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to the proud parents of John Henry Gilbert and Lilly Mae Frost. Melba married Vernon Myron Beard on April 16, 1954 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Melba was the fourth of five children – Thomas Lloyd, John Henry Jr. (Jack), Norma Lee, Melba Junese and Donald Dean. Melba and her siblings attended a two-room schoolhouse during their elementary age years. During Jr. High school, Melba fell in love with tennis. At Northeast High School, she joined the tennis team and lettered in tennis all three years. After graduation in 1953, Melba worked at the coffee shop in the old Oklahoma City Courthouse.
In 1954 at a local dance, Melba danced with a handsome serviceman, Vernon Myron Beard. They dated, fell in love and were married on April 16, 1954 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Children came along soon after – first Pamela Jean in 1955, then Roy Allen in 1958. When Pam was 5 years old and Roy was 2 years old, Melba started a surgical scrub tech course that lasted six weeks. She was hired by the surgical staff at Oklahoma University Medical Hospital after completing the course. Melba worked there for 30 years. After she retired, she became an in-home caregiver for many years.
Melba loved going dancing. She was a member of a Lady’s Adult Sorority and she was an avid reader. Melba had a great sense of humor, always telling jokes, and she was also very friendly.
Melba is survived by her daughter Pamela Jean (Steven) of American Fork, Utah, son Roy Allen (Mitzi) of St. George, Utah, sister Norma Lee Rayburn (Andy) of New York, and brother Don Gilbert (Lois) of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She has 10 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held at Pine View Mortuary on July 27 at 1 p.m., with a viewing at noon. Pine View Mortuary is located at 566 N. Mall Drive, St. George, Utah. Her remains will be interred next to her loving husband, Vernon, in Resurrection Memorial Cemetery in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.