Melba J. Baker


OVERTON - Services for Melba J. Baker, 88, Overton, will be at 4 p.m. Monday, March 18, in the Forest Home Baptist Church in Kilgore with the Rev. Earl Duggins officiating. Burial will be in Ebenezer Cemetery near Arp under direction of Cottle-Pearson Funeral Home, Overton.

Melba went home to be with her Lord and Savior Friday, March 15, 2013, in Tyler. She was born Sept. 5, 1924, in Kirbyville to the late John Thomas and Fannie Mae Gunter Hale. She was valedictorian of her high school class in Kirbyville and worked for the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., during World War II. She married William L. Baker Jr. Dec. 6, 1946, in Galveston and moved to Overton in 1979 from McAllen. She was a lifetime mother and homemaker.

In 1988 she opened Melba's Jewels and Collectables and retired in 2008. She was a pastor's wife for 56 years and a member of the Forest Home Baptist Church in Kilgore.

Besides her parents, she was also preceded in death by brothers and sisters, Josh Hale, Marvin Hale, Garland Hale, Johnnie Mae Mickler, Pat Jackson, Juanita Foster and Ebbie Dunn.

Survivors include her husband of 66 years, the Rev. Bill Baker, Overton; two sons and a daughter-in-law, William Luther "Buddy" Baker III, Overton, and Randall Ray and Jo Ann Baker, Sulphur, La.; two daughters and sons-in-law, Jana and Dan Rogers, Comfort, and Lisa and Don Strong, Kilgore; two sisters, Jackie Johnson, Dallas, and Ann Huffman, Sealy; seven grandchildren, David Baker Rogers, Jill Rogers, Will Baker, Jennifer Baker, Michael Baker, Jonas Sandoval and Jeremy Sandoval; 16 great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers will be Will Baker, Michael Baker, Jonas Sandoval, Jeremy Sandoval, Dan Rogers and Frank Sandoval.

Visitation will be Sunday, March 17, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Cottle-Pearson Funeral Home in Overton.

Online registration and condolences are available at or to

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Cottle-Pearson Funeral Home
905 South Commerce Street
Overton, TX 75684
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Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph on Mar. 17, 2013