Lanterns

Jean Marie Melvin

November 9, 1922 ~ July 13, 2019 (age 96)

Jean Marie Melvin, 96, of Des Moines, IA, died July 13, 2019, at Wesley Acres Retirement Community in Des Moines.

Memorial services will be held in Des Moines and in Kansas City. The first will be in Des Moines on Friday, September 20, 10 am, at Wesley Acres. There will be a second service on Saturday, September 21, 10 am, in the chapel at Johnson County Memorial Gardens, Overland Park, KS. Private burial.

Jean was born November 9, 1922, to George S. and Martha (Lorenzen) Bretnall in Baldwin City, KS. The family later moved to Ames, IA, where she graduated from Ames High School and attended Iowa State University.

Jean married J. Keith Melvin on April 4, 1943, in Columbus, MS, where Keith was serving in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. They had three children.

The Melvins lived in the Kansas City area following the war. She and Keith travelled together often and took their family on great vacations that created many fond memories. Jean worked for Western Association and Old Mission United Methodist Church.

Jean returned to Iowa in 2000, living first in Indianola and later Des Moines. She belonged to First United Methodist Church, P.E.O. Chapter BP, and several bridge groups.

She was a wonderful wife, mother, Tutu (grandmother), sister, and friend, as well as a gracious hostess and excellent cook. She volunteered with Campfire Girls, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, at her kids’ schools, and at church.

A true sports fan, she especially loved football and college basketball. Jean and Keith attended the Indianapolis 500 for many years.

She is dearly missed by her children, Judy Henn, Fairfax, VA, and Patty (Kevin) LaGree, Des Moines, IA; grandchildren, Tony (Juliet) Penna, Clemson, SC; David (SallyJean) Penna, Vienna, VA; Bret (Alison) LaGree, Atlanta, GA; Carrie (Mike) Dunham-LaGree, Des Moines, IA; Alicia (Jeremy) Banks, Overland Park, KS; Christina Melvin, Independence, MO; Mike Melvin, Bonner Springs, KS; 11 great-grandchildren; sister Milly Long, Evans, GA; four nieces and a nephew. She was preceded in death by her parents, George and Martha Bretnall; husband, Keith Melvin; son, Jim Melvin; and sister, Lolly Clotts.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Wesley Acres, 3520 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50312, designated for Good Samaritan Endowment.

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