Claudis Edward Melton, 85, passed away on August 8, 2022. He was born on February 26, 1937, in Kemp, Texas, to parents Robert Edward Melton and Mary Inez Bowers Melton; the oldest child with two sisters, Georgie Melton Heather and Margie Melton Byers. In high school, he enjoyed band, played the trombone, and was drum major of the marching band.
He graduated from Kemp High School in 1955, married his high school sweetheart, Janie Glenn, and then went on to get a degree in physics from East Texas State University. Using his physics degree, he became literally a rocket scientist and worked for McDonnell Douglas in California while finishing his Masters of Science in Physics degree. Eventually, the family which now included his daughter Terri Lynn, moved to Denver, Colorado, to continue his career at Lockheed Martin, where his tenure included work on missile systems. During this career, he published several papers with coworkers, which are still recognized and used today. Claude gave his life to Jesus Christ as his Savior in 1973. God used Claude, in his words, for His glory, gave him an inner peace and hope he never knew was possible. This new purpose gave him the confidence to move his family to Brush, Colorado, where they opened a Sears catalog store and spent time growing in the Lord’s grace and discipling others.
After another stint in Denver with Lockheed Martin, where he worked until retirement, he had time to do some things he had always wanted to do, including certification from the Missouri Auction School and later learning from a new friend he made in Denver how to repair antique clocks which became what he loved to do most in his later years including having a clock shop in Gun Barrel City, Texas for a few years. He enjoyed both repairing and collecting them and made several friends during his years with this hobby.
His daughter, Dr. Terri Melton, was certainly the greatest joy of his life and an honor and credit to the values he taught her as she excelled in both a career in Engineering and Veterinary Medicine.
The move to Texas happened when Janie became ill, and they wanted to be closer to their families in East Texas, where he cared for her until her death in 2003.
Claude married Kathy in January 2005, and the Lord gave them 17 plus years together, during which they studied God’s Word together, prayed and attended church together, listened to a lot of music, worked together in the clock shop, went to a lot of garage and estate sales, bought and sold houses; and had fun with several dogs, cats, miniature horses, miniature goats, and even a donkey.
When his final assignments from God were finished, he was peacefully escorted to heaven. In his own words, he said: “I have a wonderful life; one that is completely turned over to Christ. At last, I feel that I have a complete life. I have been greatly blessed and I thank the Lord for it.”
He will be missed, but all who know and love him are happy that he is in heaven, where he is celebrating and waiting for us to arrive. I’m sure he will have lots of new jokes to tell, hopefully at least as funny as the ones he told here.
Claudis is survived by his wife of 17 plus years, Kathy Ann Melton; daughter Dr. Terri Lynn Melton; three grandchildren Joseph Glenn McVety, Katelyn Rose McVety, and Tyler James McVety; sisters Georgie Heather and husband Joe, and Margie Byers and husband Vernon; nieces Pamela Byers and Mary Jo Walters; nephews Wayne Byers, Allen Byers, and Robert Heather; and several cousins.
Claudis is preceded in death by his parents, Robert Edward Melton and Mary Inez Bowers, and first wife Janie Melton.
Brother Paul McKinney will officiate for the Melton Family at the First Baptist Church in Eustace, Texas. Pallbearers are Eddie Moseley, David Allen, David Allen, Jr., Mike McConathy, Mike Bartlett, and Lauren Edwards.
Flowers or donations are welcome and can be sent to First Baptist Church in Eustace.