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1015 W Wolfe St.
P.O. Box 543
Grand Saline, TX 75140
Phone: 903-962-3333
Fax: 903-962-3651
Melba Crain

Melba Lois Crain (Newberry)

Saturday, February 23rd, 1918 - Thursday, June 13th, 2019
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Services for Melba Lois Newberry Crain, 101, of Grand Saline, are scheduled for 11 a.m., Tuesday, June 18, 2019, at Main Street Baptist Church with David Crain, Pastor Josh Crain and Bro. Bruce Smilie officiating under the direction of Bartley Funeral Home.
Interment will be in Grove Hill Memorial Park, Dallas.
Mrs. Crain passed away June 13, 2019, in Grand Saline. She was born February 23, 1918 to Robert & Ruth Green Newberry. Melba was born in Le Flore, OK, spent many years in Dallas, and graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1935. She worked for North American Aviation during WWII making machine gun mounts for P-51 D Fighter aircraft while her husband, James "Buster" Crain, served in the Air Force. Melba moved to Grand Saline in 1957, where she was a member of Main Street Baptist Church for the past 62 years; previously served as the church secretary for 25 years and was very active in the church. She was very well known for her beautiful, yummy cakes. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, "Buster" Crain; four brothers, Ivan, Johnny, David, and Robert Newberry; and sister, Katherine Montgomery.
Survivors include her sons and daughters-in-law, James & Susan Crain and David & Betty Crain, all of Grand Saline; three grandchildren, Josh Crain and wife Emily of Carlisle, PA, Caleb Crain and wife Nadene of Arvada, CO, and Gary Crain of Denver, CO; four great-grandchildren; and numerous other relatives and friends.
The family will receive friends 10 a.m., Tuesday, at the church.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, June 18th, 2019 | 10:00am
    Tuesday, June 18th, 2019 10:00am
    Main Street Baptist Church
    313 N. Main Street
    GRAND SALINE, TX 75140
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Tuesday, June 18th, 2019 | 11:00am
    Tuesday, June 18th, 2019 11:00am
    Main Street Baptist Church
    313 North Main Street
    GRAND SALINE, TX 75140
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Grove Hill Memorial Park
    3920 Samuell Blvd,
    DALLAS, TX 75228
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Jonette Bishop

Posted at 08:24pm
My Aunt Melba was a very special lady! While growing up in Dallas, our family would drive to “the farm” in Grand Saline for holidays and other celebrations. Each occasion was full of love, laughter, hugs and kisses (and of course great home cooking). I was always excited to visit my grandparents and my Uncle Buster and Aunt Melba – they showed me so much love and my aunt was the best Godly role model.

My best memories were in the kitchen with Aunt Melba. As a young child, I got to spend part of my summers with her and so I perched myself in the kitchen for hours watching Aunt Melba make fabulous cakes (and we’re talking about LOTS of cakes-some days every available flat surface was covered in cakes). How did she do that without recipe cards?!? From her I developed my love for cooking and especially baking.

Aunt Melba worked as the secretary for Main Street Baptist Church and during those summer visits I happily went along with her. My first taste of office work was learning to use the mimeograph machine to make the weekly bulletins. She commended me for being such a great little helper and I enjoyed it very much. Eventually my career path would lead me to office work. I never thought of that connection with my Aunt Melba until she passed away this week. I guess she inspired me in my career too.

As an 18 year old, I brought my boyfriend (and future husband) to the Christmas reunion at the farm (probably 1972). The first one to greet us was Aunt Melba, who immediately gave Shayne a hug, kiss and pinch on the cheek! He smiled and looked at me, and I said “you better get used to that”. Shayne always loved going to the farm as much as I did.

After Shayne and I moved from Dallas to Fort Lauderdale in 1989, we made every effort to go home to Dallas for an annual vacation. We might have missed a couple of yearly visits, but each and every time we knew we wanted to stop by Aunt Melba’s on the way there. We would visit with her on her porch and outside on the patio, and then take her to lunch in downtown Grand Saline. We only missed one year’s visit – when she was in Mineola and the timing of our travel didn’t work out.

Then, less than one month ago, we made our annual drive to Dallas and stopped by to visit Aunt Melba at the assisted living center in Grand Saline. She was a little frail, her memory was fading, but that smile was just the same! Her voice was just the same! I held her hands the entire time, then we hugged and kissed her goodbye. I now know that our time with Aunt Melba was the highlight of this year’s annual trip to Dallas. This is the reason we stopped by every year: cherished memories with our loved ones are priceless but not endless. Her passing is affecting me much more than I thought it would, which just highlights how important and influential she was to me! Yes, my Aunt Melba was a very special lady who will be missed, but I take comfort knowing there is a heavenly reunion taking place with her loved ones.

Jesus loves you and so do I,
Jonette Newberry Bishop

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