Melva Laurel Grace Elliott, 107 Years Old: A Bit of Our History Died
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Melva Laurel Grace Elliott passed away peacefully on November 2, 2016 in Fortuna, California at the age of 107 from natural causes.
Melva was born on October 29, 1909 in Stockton, California. She was the youngest of 9 children to parents Edward Bennett Walker and Emma Daisy Safronia Walker. Melva married Clyde Harry Hopper in 1928 at the age of 18 in Ukiah, California. They had three children, Clyde, Joyce and Irene.
In her early years, Melva and her family lived and worked in northern Mendocino and Southern Humboldt Counties. Melva’s husband Clyde held a variety of jobs including working as a fireman in Fort Bragg and a steam donkey operator in Briceland. Her husband also ran a logging crew for the Page and Gates Lumber Company in Leggett while Melva ran the cookhouse. During these years, Melva also worked for a time at the Rockport Café and Hotel in northern Mendocino. Melva’s husband Clyde passed away in January of 1955 at the age of 46 after 26 years of marriage, Melva was 45 years old.
Melva then went to work at various local restaurants in Humboldt and Trinity Counties. She worked at the Heartsook Inn, the Benbow Inn, Richardsons Grove Restaurant, and the Patricks Point Lodge and at the Nuggett in Weaverville. Melva remarried at the age of 54 to Roger A. Elliott, where they lived for many years in Trinity County in the town of Hayfork. They shared a passion for the outdoors and spent many years fishing, hunting and camping in the mountains. They enjoyed competing with each other, and often entered dueling items in the Trinity County Fair. They later moved to Redway to be closer to family. Roger passed away in 1991 at the age of 80 after 26 years of marriage, Melva was 81 years old.
After her husband’s death, Melva lived by herself in Redway until the age of 103. Melva spent these years gardening, going to rummage sales to look for trinkets to add to her collections, and playing pinochle with her daughters and grandchildren. She was a lifetime member of the Rebekah Lodge of Fort Bragg, and a member of the Garberville Grange. She also volunteered for the Garberville food pantry and at the Healy Senior Center in Redway. She was a kind person with a lovingly stubborn personality. She loved a good game of pinochle and was a bit of a bear when her team lost. She was a great baker and made amazing pies and cakes. Her pie crusts were legendary. She was a true matriarch of the family, and we all gained strength in life from knowing her.
Melva was preceded in death by her parents Edward and Emma Walker; her siblings Marquerite, Edith, Ervin Elmer, Ansel, Emma, Ethel Muriel, Leola, and Ruth; her husbands Clyde Hopper Sr. and Roger Elliott; her son Clyde Hopper Jr.; her son in law Stan Randall; her step-daughter in law Juanita Elliott; her granddaughter Brenda Randall; and her great-great grandson Stanley Bruce Randall.
She is survived by her daughter in law Pat Hopper; her daughter Joyce Taylor and son in law Marlin Taylor; her daughter Irene Randall; her son in law Ronald Elliott; her grandchildren Barbara Rasband (Bill), Steven Taylor (Linda), Stacey Taylor (Barbara), Suzy Taylor, Cathy Randall-Studebaker, Leland Randall, and Ginger Smith (Robert); step grandchild Patrick Elliott; her 16 great-grandchildren Jessica Rasband, Tanner Taylor, Marty Wadell, Christopher Wadell, Donnie Bickel Sr., Chelsea McCurdy, Jerrica Taylor, Jeffery Richardson, Verlin Taylor, Shawn Studebaker, Becky Garwood, Melinda Smith, Roger Smith, Christy Randall, Stanley Randall; her 25 great-great grandchildren Trinity Rasband, Jared Wadell, Ashley Hickey, Nova Wadell, Asher Wadell, Cierra Bickel, Donnie Bickel Jr., Desiree Randall, Ryan Henry, Sophia Studebaker, Sierra Studebaker, Nova Garwood, Emma Studebaker, Zane Garwood, Dakota Smith, Eli Smith, Aiden Smith, Joe Smith, Sage Pimentel, C.J. Beaton, Samantha Randall, Taylor Randall, Jared Sherman, Justice Sherman, Kaylee Valk; niece Ruth Ellen Peterson; and nephews Walt Silva and Don Silva (Delores).
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the owner and staff at Ladies Choice in Fortuna for the exceptional care Melva received in her last year and a half of life.
Services will be held at 2 PM on Wednesday November 9th, 2016 at the Sunrise Cemetery in Fortuna.