CMSgt. Robert P. Melby

CMSgt. Robert P. Melby, U.S. Air Force retired, 80, of Sedalia, Mo., passed away Wednesday, June 1, 2011, at his home.

He was born March 12, 1931, in Westby, a son of Olaf Sylvester and Ida Solberg Melby. On Feb. 17, 1973, in Gurnee, Ill., he married Naida B. Oliver, who survives of the home.

Robert was retired from the U.S. Air Force after 33 years of honorable service, earning the rank of Chief Master Sergeant. He was a flight engineer on the C-141 Starlifter during Vietnam. He was later superintendent of reserve recruiting in Northern California. He was a 32nd degree Mason and member of Sedalia Lodge 236 AF & AM. He was also a member of the VFW and American Legion.

He was an avid musician, singing and playing keyboard and bass guitar. He was a car and motorcycle enthusiast but his greatest joy came from being surrounded by his many grandchildren.

In addition to his wife, survivors include four daughters, Kristine (John) Johnson of Snellville, Ga., Patricia Whitlock of Baton Rouge, La., Cynthia Marx of Loganville, Ga., and Ruth Melb, of Baton Rouge, La.; a son, Pete (Sherry) Melby of Sedalia; two stepchildren, Patrick (Sheryl) Murphy of Lake Lucerne, Calif., and Colleen (Tom) Murphy of Hercules, Calif.; 17  grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; a sister, Patricia Rosenthal (Ralph) of Fond du Lac; two nieces and one nephew.

He was preceded in death by a daughter, Sandra Marie Melby; a son-in-law, Charles Marx; and his parents.

Masonic services will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday at Heckart Funeral Home in Sedalia. Military rites will be conducted by the U.S. Air Force. Burial will be at a later date in Christ Lutheran Church Cemetery in Jackson. The family will receive friends from 2 p.m. until service time Saturday at Heckart Funeral Home.

Memorial contributions are suggested to Bothwell Hospice.

Condolences may be offered at www.heckartfuneralhome.com