Melba Eileen Cochran Huddlestun, age 93, died peacefully in her home on September 8, 2020 of esophageal cancer. She was under the care of Heartland Hospice of Marion and her family. Taking care of herself in her home until the last half of August, Melba enjoyed keeping up with family and friends by mail, phone, and online. She kept the U.S. Post Office busy sending out her many cards to people all over the country.
She was born in Woodlands, WV on August 6, 1927 to Ezra H. Cochran and Alberta Boston Cochran, and was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 53 years, Howard B. Huddlestun; her son John A. Huddlestun; and her son-in-law Leland Cooper.
Surviving are children Jane Cooper of Reynoldsburg; Sue (Ken) Thomas of Reynoldsburg; and Gary (Rosana) Huddlestun of Winter Garden, FL, grandchildren Rustin Cooper of Blacklick; Sarah (Brett) McGlone of Auburn Township; David (Erica) Thomas of Pataskala; Taylor (Sheryl) Huddlestun of Fort Bragg, NC; Michael Thomas of Reynoldsburg; and Jarett Huddlestun Engel of Washington, DC, great-grandchildren Reagan Cooper; Ryan Huddlestun; and Lincoln McGlone, brothers Howard Cochran of Okeechobee, Fl and James (Linda) Cochran of Moundsville, WV, niece Melinda (Ken) Barrett of Arlington, VA, and great-niece Lillian Barrett.
After graduating high school at 16 in Moundsville, WV, Melba attended West Virginia Wesleyan where she met her husband, Howard, from Delaware, OH. They both went on to work at Wright Field in Dayton, OH testing aircraft fuel for WWII. They married October 26, 1946 and moved to Marion, OH, where they soon helped start The Marion Theatre Guild. Melba was a lifetime member of Disciples of Christ, starting at First Christian Church in Moundsville and then at Central Christian Church in Marion. Active in many ways at church, Melba loved being librarian for the adult and children’s libraries at Central Christian for over 50 years. An avid reader, she enthusiastically promoted the importance of reading to all. She also volunteered as an Adult Reading teacher and at Friends of the Library book sales. As a talented seamstress, she always kept herself, her children, and their dolls beautifully attired.
We found a quotation on her desk from THE LIBRARY BOOK by Susan Orlean:
“In Senegal, the polite expression for saying someone died is to say his or her library has burned. When I first heard the phrase, I didn’t understand it, but over time I came to realize it was perfect. Our minds and souls contain volumes inscribed by our experiences and emotions; each individual’s consciousness is a collection of memories we’ve cataloged and stored inside us, a private library of a life lived.”
Melba has asked that, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to either of these wonderful services:
Marion Public Library
445 E. Church St.
Marion, OH 43302
Heartland Hospice Care of Marion
685 Delaware Ave., Suite 300
Marion, OH 43302
A private graveside service will be held for the family. A memorial service for the public will be held in the future once COVID restrictions have been lifted.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Melba E. Huddlestun, please visit our floral store.