Austin Ray Melson, 75, of Dalton, GA, died on Wednesday, January 2, 2013, after an 18-year battle with cancer.
Mr. Melson was a longtime member of Central Church of Christ, where he served as deacon of the “Young at Heart” group and taught Bible classes. One of his favorite topics was the 23rd Psalm. Known as the “Garden Man” because of his love of gardening and his wealth of knowledge on the subject, he shared not only helpful tips but also his bountiful harvests with those he loved. He was also generous with his time, volunteering for 13 years at Hamilton Medical Center. He and his wife, Betty, were even chosen as Volunteers of the Year because of their dedication and service to the hospital community. It was the first time that two people had received the honor at the same time.Retired from Dalton Utilities since 1999, “Pop” enjoyed a variety of careers, from selling ice as a young man to managing a credit union and serving as chairman of the Tennessee Credit Union League. He achieved many accomplishments throughout his lifetime but none greater than his marriage of 53 years and raising three wonderful children, seven grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
He was preceded in death by nine siblings.
Mr. Melson is survived by his loving wife, Betty Anne (Williams) Melson of Dalton; daughter and son-in-law, Anna and Josh Sanders of Kennesaw; two sons and daughters-in-law, Will and Janette Melson of Marietta and Tony and Angie Melson of Kingsport, TN; three sisters, Elizabeth Harville of Savannah, TN, Gladys Brown of Harvard, IL and Sarah Franks of Clifton, TN; two brothers, Herbert Melson of Mishawaka, IN and Frank Melson of Harvard, IL; and nieces and nephews.
The funeral service will be held Sunday, January 6, at 2:30 p.m. at the Pleasant Grove Chapel of Julian Peeples Funeral Home with Brother Ronnie Missildine, Brother Ross Jordan, and Brother Bryan Collins officiating.
The family will receive friends at the funeral home Sunday, January 6 from 12:30-2:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Central Church of Christ Building Fund, 515 N. Tibbs Rd., Dalton, GA 30720.
Funeral arrangements are by Julian Peeples Funeral Home.