Van Melton went home to be with his Heavenly Father on July 4, 2020 just one month shy of his 97th birthday. He lived a long life in which he was loved and admired by all who knew him. Born on August 13, 1923 in El Dorado, AR, he was the second oldest child of Bertha Mae and Marvin Melton.
His father was a barber and they moved around several times during his childhood. As a teen his uncle brought him to Kingsville, TX to work for him. He did not settle in Kingsville then but would make his way back to spend more than 75 years of his life. At age 18, he went to machinist school which then took him to the shipyards during the war. This is where he met the love of his life, Gladys Holliday. They married soon after and made their home in Kingsville initially living on the King Ranch. This is where they welcomed their only child Gwendolyn Diane. She was the apple of his eye and being a father was what he was most proud of. Van had a long career with Exxon Mobile starting on July 6, 1945 when it was still Humble Oil & Refining. He began in the oilfields and retired from his dream job as a supervisor in 1988. Van was a doting father and beloved grandfather and great grandfather as well as a respected father-in-law. Besides his family, golf was his passion and he started playing at age 6 when he was working as a caddy. He won 3rd at state in high school and played several times a week up until a year ago boasting more than 10 holes in one over the years. As a member for over 65 years, he also achieved the honor of Master Mason in the Freemason tradition. His Christian faith was extremely important to him, and he declared this faith at age 7. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Kingsville for 60 years. Van was preceded in death by his mother, father, older brother AL, younger brothers ML and Billy and Gladys, his wife of 60 years.
Those left to remember and honor him include his daughter Gwen Flood, son-in-law Collin Flood; granddaughters Keesha Amezcua, Britton Flood and Stacy Flood and grandson Jeff Flood; his great grandchildren Opal, Bishop and Darrow Amezcua; Jacob, Lucas, Eli and Liam Flood; Jackson and Colton Lanier; his sister Shirley Archer and brother Charles Melton.
There will be a viewing for family and friends on Sunday evening, July 12 from 5-8 pm at Turcotte Piper Mortuary. The celebration of his life will be held there on Monday, July 13 at 1 pm.
Services are entrusted to Turcotte-Piper Mortuary, 205 General Cavazos Blvd., Kingsville, Texas 78363.
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