Sharron Baker Melvin

February 18, 1943, July 07, 2018

Sharron Melvin

Sharron Baker Melvin passed over on July 7, 2018, after a brutal two month battle with late onset acute leukemia. Sharron is preceded in death by her father, Ray Baker and mother, Virginia Shivers Baker, both of Woodville, Texas and one dearly loved nephew, Ray Acton Swanson.

Survived by her husband, Cruse Melvin of Silsbee, Texas; sons, Timothy Ray Melvin and his wife, Beverly, of Tualatin, Oregon and John Sherman Melvin and his husband, Paul Kane, of Austin. Texas; brother, John Swanson and his wife, Fredda (Pat), of Greenville, Texas; granddaughters, Ashlyn and Kathryn Melvin of Tualatin, Oregon; four nephews and two nieces, whom she loved as if her own; plus, cousins and many others touched by her approach to life. She saw order and beauty in nature and wonder in all of God’s creation. She accredited beauty, talent, and potential in everyone she encountered. She loved children for their ability to see the wonder around them and their thirst for joy. Sharron helped many of us remember lost joys and to restore a sense of wonder.

Sharron leaves the world a little darker by her absence, but also brighter by the illumination she inspired in countless others. Those who were fortunate enough to know her felt her love. It is said that perfect love casts out fear and her love drew out the best in all of us. She had a special place in her heart for those in a dark place and in need of a home base. She saw treasures inside many outcast and downtrodden souls.

To celebrate Sharron’s life and have a time of visitation with the family, is planned Friday, July 20, 2018, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., in the fellowship hall at Calder Baptist Church, 1005 North 11th Street, Beaumont. A second gathering to celebrate her life will also be held on Saturday, July 21, 2018, at the Ice House Museum, 818 Earnest Avenue, Silsbee, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Both events will be come and go. At both venues you will have an opportunity to place written notes about Sharron on a bulletin board. Anecdotes are encouraged. These are times to remember joyous occasions shared with Sharron and celebrate a life well lived.

Please no flowers, but anyone wishing to honor her should consider donations directed to helping the downtrodden. Some of her regulars were food banks, Southeast Texas Food Bank, 3845 South Martin Luther King Pkwy, Beaumont, Texas 77705; Some Other Place, P.O. Box 843, Beaumont, Texas 77704; and Salvation Army, 2350 I10 East, Beaumont, Texas 77703; and an outreach ministry through local churches. She always understood that we should share out of our abundance with those less fortunate, less loved, and with fewer choices.

Recalling a Life Well Lived

Born in Woodville, Texas on February 18, 1943, she grew up a tomboy, always outside, exploring streams, ponds, and woods; and playing games with her brother and cousins (when they’d let her tag along). Sharron’s brother, and his entire family, had special places in her heart. Their shared experiences enriched her throughout life. She loved them dearly.

Sharron graduated from Kirby High in Woodville in 1961. She attended Stephen F. Austin University graduating in 1965 with a double major in biology and kinesiology. She initially expected to pursue medicine, like her maternal grandfather, Dr. John Shivers, but she found a true calling to health and wellness through physical activity and nutrition. She taught in high school and junior high before graduating from LSU with a perfect transcript in 1970 with a Master of Education in Kinesiology. During this phase of her life, she loved playing competitive badminton with her dear lifelong friend Dr. Carolyn Spears. Sharron and Carolyn dominated region tournaments, winning numerous trophies, ribbons, and honors. Carolyn, Alan Ray (Carolyn’s husband), Cruse, and Sharron had a lot of fun times in and around Thibodaux Louisiana, playing, fishing, boating, and eating fresh seafood taken straight off the boat.

Sharron married Cruse on May 20, 1964, in Nacogdoches, Texas at a simple ceremony inside a preacher’s home. It was a marvelous journey through life for fifty-four exceptional years. One of the great treasures of Sharron’s life was the mother, daughter type relationship that developed between Sharron and Cruse’s mother, Ethel. They were so alike in spirit and over the years learned from each other and relied on each other. Ethel loved to cook and they had great fun cooking, laughing, and sharing their joy of kids. If a kid was there, fun was at hand. Sharron shared many new experiences, like adventures at Nigeria Falls; the Canadian parks and Great Lakes; a vacation to Pikes Peak; putting up figs, watching the humming birds, and enjoying nature. They loved each other dearly and were fortunate to be likeminded soul mates for over forty years.

After Thibodeaux, Cruse and Sharron moved to Dearborn Heights, Michigan for six and a half years. Sharron and Cruse made numerous lifelong friends and had many adventures both in nature and spiritually. The church in Michigan was a home away from home and marked both their lives. They built a neat cabin using hand tools (no electricity; no running water) on a beautiful plot of land near Reed City. They enjoyed outings with friends. They bathed in a nearby lake, gathered apples for fresh apple pie, and cooked on a camp fire or on a two-burner pot-belly iron heater/stove; experiencing long summer days and beautiful virgin snows that only the wildlife had marked. Tim was born in 1975 in Michigan. In 1977 Sharron, Cruse, and Tim moved to Cleveland, Mississippi. Sharron made Tim the focus of her world, but still taught part time at Delta State University; instructing a variety of physical education classes, including swimming, health and wellness, plus sports activity classes. Young and foolish, Cruse and Sharron attempted to refresh an old plantation home in Merigold. This proved to be a learning experience which was compounded by a devastating ice storm in early January 1979 just before John was born on the 24th. The city water system was shut down for ten days and Sharron’s visiting parents experienced the unpleasantness of an old drafty house being heated by a Franklin stove plus a couple of inadequate floor furnaces. The family soon moves back in to Cleveland to restore some basic human comforts.

In 1982 the family moved to Pineville, Louisiana, where Sharron continued to teach part time at Louisiana College, reuniting with her lifelong friend Carolyn Spears. In Pineville Jamie Crawford became an integral part of our family. A 2 year old who stayed at his aunts daily, he and John became fast friends, as Sharron’s natural ways inspired adventure, joy, and wonder. She kept them safe, but let kids be creative kids, even when they left a little destruction in their path. Houses and life are for living and life is best when lived without fear of disapproving judgment. Recently Arron Reneau (now and adult), recounted, “we would be making noise creating havoc and Mrs. Melvin would act like we were making her day”. She had boundaries, just wider than most. Sharron was extremely creative at finding supplies to encourage creativity. There had to be hundreds of cardboard boxes of all sizes for constructing tunnels, castles, and providing handy bill boards to draw, paint, and carve. Dirt piles with spoons and action figures, toys of all kinds, a swimming pool, a zip line, tree swings, game courts, and an attitude of, “here it is, be safe but go for the fun”. Kids and adults alike were delighted around Sharron. She managed the indoor pool at Louisiana College, where Tim, John, Jamie, and other kids delighted in learning to swim and had great fun. She also personally built an inground pool for the kids and many friends. She installed an extra bathroom, and helped Cruse build a cabin from scratch in central Michigan with no electricity or running water. Her life was a life well lived and admirably appreciated by many.

In 1986 the family moved to Silsbee, Texas as Cruse accepted a Professorship/chair position at Lamar University. At this time Sharron decided to become a full time mom devoted to Tim and John, her two aunts in Silsbee and to several redemptive causes. She became an activist in redeeming the planet through recycling, planting trees, and other sustainability efforts; allocating time and resources to kids and adults alike. She delighted in helping other live richer empowered lives. Neighborhood kids leaned to come over after school to tell Ms. Sharron about their day, have a cookie, and be joyous. Adults learned that Sharron would arrange to drive them to Houston for appointments or come over to help them with loneliness or to fix something. She was always an easy touch for whatever you needed; time, money, effort, or inspiration. She taught fifth and sixth grade girls and boys Sunday School for years with dear friend Nedra Foster. She worked with Upward Basketball, played a little softball, and worked with the Christian Women’s Job Corp. She supported the Ice House Museum, several food banks, Salvation Army, and Some Other Place on a regular basis. She always did her homework about overhead costs and the percentage of the resources going to the needy. She felt that giving is not enough. Her objective was to get resources directly to the needy and was openly generous to those she thought in need.

The boys graduated from Silsbee High in 1994 and 1997. Tim graduated from the University of Houston and John from the University of Texas. They both flourished away from home as they made their own choices and became their unique selves. John pursued computer science and is currently a User Interface Developer for Kingsisle Entertainment in Austin, where he makes video games for kids. In 2015 Paul Kane officially became a member of the family as John’s husband, although Paul has been a true part of our family since 2003.

In 1998 Beverly joined the family and Ashlyn followed in November 1999. Sharron was present at the birth and treasured every moment with Ashlyn. Tim’s career led him to information technology. He is currently a Sr. Director with Columbia Sportswear Company in Oregon. Kathryn was born in March 2002. Sharron was a devoted loving grandmother, maintaining her tradition of letting kids be kids. Some of her best times in life were those times when she had Ashlyn to herself and later with Ashlyn and Kathryn at home where her the girls could experience grandma fun to the fullest. Great fun and adventure was had by all as Sharron let them guide the day. Infinite patience and a zest for life are infectious with the young. Several years ago, while vacationing in Rocky Mountain National park with the Fosters and Trabings, when asked the question “what do you want to do tomorrow?”; Ashlyn and Kathryn chimed at once “go to Mawmaw’s (Sharron’s) house”. They started back to Silsbee the next morning on another Sharron adventure.

In 2015 Sharron and Cruse’s journey led them to Calder Baptist Church in Beaumont. Feeling at home and loved immediately, Sharron and Cruse strengthened established friendships and built numerous new connections. Jesus cast a wide net and so did Sharron. She embraced acceptance and love, abhorring judgment by any human. She felt that judgment is best left to God and the law. Jesus summarized the law in two commandments and left one new commandment. Sharron’s interpretation is for you love one another right now, where they are, as they are.

Over the years Sharron’s and Cruse’s lives were enriched by many special bonds of love and friendship. In Thibodeaux Sharron gained lifelong friends Carolyn and Alan Ray Spears and an older couple, the Clevelands, embraced Cruse and Sharron as a part of their family. In Michigan, the Jones, Gaults, Burnet, Watson, Compton, Lags, and Copas families, plus Mary Juhas and many others, became like family. In Mississippi, the Scruggs, Myers, Outlaw, Ballard, and Hurt families plus many others forever touched Sharron’s life. In Pineville the Spears, John Harris, and Jamie enter our world, as did many others. In Silsbee, Beaumont, Wildwood, and Woodville there are too many to name, but living next door as extended families with Ken and Nedra Foster for decades has been one of Sharron’s greatest blessings. Needless to say, the Melvins and the Fosters have shared more that binds them than most people could experience in several life times. Nedra and Ken have been a shining example of love and acceptance. A beacon of bright light set on a hill.

Sharron and Cruse had fifty-four of the greatest years that a couple can experience. Years enriched by an abundance of blessings and opportunities to taste life in so many of its flavors through the love of children, grandchildren, and the supportive people who each left their mark along the way.

Broussard's Mortuary - Silsbee, TX
490 Cemetery Road Silsbee, TX 77656
Gathering of Family and Friends
Calder Baptist Church
1005 North 11th Street, Beaumont, Texas 77702
Friday, July 20, 2018
4:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.
Gathering of Family and Friends
Ice House Museum
818 Earnest Avenue, Silsbee, Texas 77656
Saturday, July 21, 2018
2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Broussard's Crematorium
5150 Stivers Street Beaumont, TX 77705
Salvation Army
2350 I-10 East Beaumont, TX 77703
Southeast Texas Food Bank
3845 S. Martin Luther King Pkwy Beaumont, TX 77705
Some Other Place
P.o. Bo X843 Beaumont, TX 77704

Comments (10)

  • Jake Hebert

    24 July 2018 at 00:12 | #

    So sorry to hear this news, Dr. Melvin. You and your family are in my prayers.

    reply

  • Rea & Vicky Gault & Family

    12 July 2018 at 21:01 | #

    Throughout our life's journey there will be a special couple or person that we connect with through various circumstances such as friendship, worship/church and many other special activities. Sharron and Cruse was one of those Special Couples that came into our lives during our years in Michigan. Sharron was always ready to do things for others and had the gift to sense when friends and /or associates had concerns or needs. In loving memory of a beautiful soul whom we have been Blessed to have shared a small portion of her life. She has Blessed so many & our family is one of them. Our time spent with her and Cruse is one of the times we will always cherish and never forget. Forever in our memories until we join her in Heaven and again share and rejoice together.

    reply

  • Lola & Bob Burgess - Oak Island, North Carolina

    12 July 2018 at 13:41 | #

    Just learned that Sharron passed away on July 7th. We were next door neighbors in Silsbee for a long time and good friends. Sharron was a special lady - very caring and so well-liked by everyone who knew her. Although no longer in the Great State of Texas, she will always be a part of our life there in a city and on a Street we loved.

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  • Janis and Alton Holt

    09 July 2018 at 16:52 | #

    Deepest condolences to the Melvin family.
    God bless.

    reply

  • R.H.

    09 July 2018 at 16:07 | #

    So sorry for your loss. ‘This is what the High and Lofty One says, Who lives forever and whose name is holy: I reside in the high and holy place, But also with those crushed and lowly in spirit, To revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of those being crushed.’ Isaiah 57:15

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  • Mary Elizabeth Juhas

    09 July 2018 at 12:57 | #

    Her precious smile, patience, and tremendous ability to love is so much a part of her legacy. My prayers and love are with you, Cruse, Tim, and John Sherman, and your families.

    reply

  • Janette Davis Cripps

    08 July 2018 at 20:55 | #

    So sorry to hear about Sharron. Several months ago I made contact with her again. We were room mates at SFA. My sympathy to you Cruse and the family.

    reply

  • Tiffany Kilpatrick

    08 July 2018 at 18:19 | #

    I am so thankful for the brief time that we got to know Sharron. She was always interested in and complimentary of our next-door projects; from chickens to greenhouses. She loved life and always made me feel so important. She will be missed.

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  • Bud & Carrie Cowart

    08 July 2018 at 13:51 | #

    Cruse, so sorry to hear of Sharron’s passing. We remember her trademark smile and kind heart. She would even smile when she was walking/exercising in the neighborhood! We are honored to have known her.

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  • Sharrron Melvin

    08 July 2018 at 12:19 | #

    Cruse and Family My deepest sympathy to you ..keeping you in my thoughts and prayers..what a dear, dear Sharron...Much loved by all who had the pleasure of knowing her...With love, Judy D.

    reply

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