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James "Ed" Melson '44 April 14, 2021 9:42 AM updated: April 14, 2021 9:55 AM

James Edwin "Ed" Melson
1923 - 2021

After a remarkable life James Edwin Melson, age 97, passed away on January 27, 2021. It is with great joy that we think about the reunion of Ed and Marguerite, now together with our Lord.

Ed was born on a small farm near Mt. Vernon, Texas to Fannie and Jack Melson. At the time, Ed's older sister Bennie Ruth was one year old and they were joined by their little brother Bobby Jack fourteen years later. After Ed graduated from Mt. Vernon High School in 1940, he hitchhiked to Texas A&M University with "a $1.98 red cardboard suitcase and $60 in my pocket". In 1943 his entire Class of 1944 was inducted into active military duty where Ed served in the 11th Armored Division, 491st Armored Field Artillery Battalion in the European Theater. After the war, Ed returned to Texas A&M to finish his degree in 1946.

Ed met the love of his life, Marguerite Ann Griner, on a blind date in Dallas in 1948. They married in 1950 and had three boys: Jim, Heidt and Ben. Living in Houston for many years, Ed worked for the Avalon Drug Company and the Humble Oil & Refining Company.

Ed had a dream of being in the car business and, in 1971, Ed and Marguerite moved the family to Abilene to own and operate the Volkswagen dealership. Ed spent many enjoyable years selling, trading and buying cars.

Ed was an avid bird watcher and one of his favorite pastimes was managing his blue bird box trail at the family's Marita Ranch in East Texas. He built and maintained all the boxes and loved watching the population of Eastern Bluebirds multiply around the ranch.

Always wearing a big cowboy hat, Ed loved having coffee with friends, playing dominos at the Saltillo store, having Wednesday lunch at the Dixie Pig, and telling jokes. After Marguerite passed away in 2009, Ed made a commitment to stay active and to always say 'Yes' to any and all invitations to dinner, to coffee, to parties and to travel.

He is preceded in death by his parents, his wife Marguerite, his sister and brother-in-law Bennie Ruth and Hermon Connelly, and his daughter-in-law Leslie Melson.

Ed is survived by his children: Jim, Heidt and his wife Dianna, and Ben '82 and his wife Belinda. He also leaves behind nine grandchildren Jed '04, Ann '06, Ellen '11, Ben '10, Joanne '12, Katie '12, John '13, Christy and Jack, and twelve great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother Bobby and his wife Doris and many nephews, nieces, and great nephews and great nieces.

A private family internment at the First Central Presbyterian Church Columbarium will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First Central Presbyterian Church at 400 Orange Street, Abilene, Texas 79601, or Hendrick Hospice Care at 1651 Pine Street, Abilene, Texas 79601.


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