Lawrence Earl Melby

Born: 31 January 1930 in Dallas, Dallas County, Texas

Died: 11 January 1979 in Dallas, Dallas County, Texas from a heart attack

Buried: 13 January 1979 at Grovehill Cemetery, Dallas, Dallas County, Texas

Married: Elizabeth Ann O’Hearn on 10 July 1956 at Christ the King Catholic Church in Dallas, Texas

Parents:

  • Arne Theodore Melby
  • Mabel Claire Eggen

Siblings:

  1. Claire Arlene Melby

Children:

  1. Lawrence Earl Melby, II
  2. Elizabeth Marie Melby
  3. Margaret Claire Melby
  4. John Theodore Melby

Military Service: Lawrence was drafted into the Army on 26 February 1951.  During the Korean War, he served as a demolitions expert, but was never deployed overseas.

Excerpt from ‘The Eggen Family History’ (pgs 75 -76):

Lawrence Earl Melby is the first child and son of Mabel Claire Eggen and Arne Theodore Melby.  He was born on January 31, 1930, in Dallas, Texas.  He attended William Lipscomb Elementary School, J. L. Long Junior High School, and Woodrow Wilson High School which was only a block from his home.  He graduated from high school in May 1947.  Lawrence attended Arlington State College and Southern Methodist University, belonging to the Sigma Chi fraternity.

Lawrence served in the United States Army from January 1951 to January 1953 at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina.  He was a corporal and a qualified demolition expert.  He worked two jobs most of his life.  He worked as a draftsman at Austin Brothers Steel and General Portland Cement.  He was baptized and confirmed in the Central Lutheran Church.

Lawrence loved big band music, bowling, hot rods, drag racing, and any fast sporty cars.  During his childhood he enjoyed building and flying model airplanes until young assisting hands arrived.  He also loved to tinker on cars.  He was a loving son, brother, and father.  Following the deaths of his father and father-in-law, he faithfully checked on his mother and mother-in-law and helped them whenever necessary.  After the four children were in school, it became a ritual for Lawrence to take them to his mother’s to visit on Sunday evenings.  On Saturday mornings his favorite pastime was in his bed with the four children gathered around him to watch Educational TV cartoons.  He also was very proud of his creamy yellow 1952 Studebaker convertible.  He related to his family that one day he saw his dad driving his precious car and was proud to see him “opening it up.”

On July 10, 1953, Lawrence met his future wife Elizabeth Ann O’Hearn (Betty) on a blind date.  They became formally engaged on July 10, 1955, and were married on Tuesday, July 10, 1956, by Msgr. William J. Bender at Christ the King Catholic Church in Dallas, Texas.  He never forgot his anniversary according to Betty.

Elizabeth Ann O’Hearn is the daughter of John Lynch and Lois O’Hearn.  She was born on August 5, 1936, in Dallas, Texas.  Betty attended Holy Trinity Elementary School, Highland Park Junior High School, and graduated from Highland Park High School in 1954.  While in high school she was on the swimming team.  She also attended Texas State College for Women and Rutherford Business School.  Betty was baptized in Sacred Heart Cathedral and confirmed in Holy Trinity Catholic Church both in Dallas.  She enjoys art, swimming, and reading.  Betty has never “met a stranger” according to her oldest daughter.  Betty worked for Texas Instruments retiring in 1992.  In 1987 Betty moved in with her mother in order to care for her until her death in 1997.

For most of his life Lawrence worked two jobs.  Prior to his death Lawrence was able to fulfill his life long dream of owning farm land which he purchased in Cooper County.  In September 1971-72 and March 1978, Lawrence suffered heart attacks.  On January 13, 1979, immediately following the worst ice storm in Dallas, Lawrence passed away at his home in Dallas.  Services were held at Crane Funeral Home in Dallas.  Lawrence was buried in Grove Hill Cemetery in Dallas on January 13, 1979.

Lawrence was 5 feet 11 inches tall, had blond hair and blue eyes.  Betty was 5 feet 8 inches tall with dark hair and brown eyes, now 5 feet 4 with gray hair (her words).  They have four children.

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