Melba Jean (Noble) Byrd Phillips, age 87, formerly of Marion

Melba Jean (Noble) Byrd PhillipsMelba Jean (Noble) Byrd Phillips, age 87, of Fredericktown, died peacefully Friday morning, August 4, 2017, at the Kokosing Lake Campgrounds with her loving family by her side.

On April 27, 1930, Melba was born in Marion, Ohio, the oldest of three daughters of the late Cecil and Muriel (Holt) Noble. She graduated from Marion Harding High School in the class of 1949.

Shortly following graduation, Melba married Roger Augenstein in 1949. They lived in Indiana and had her only daughter together, Marcia.

In 1953, Melba returned home to be closer to her family, where she worked at the HPM Corporation in Mount Gilead, as the secretary for Don Taylor in their exporting department. A few years later she worked in the HPM Credit Union.

Getting a second chance at love, Melba married Richard “Dick” Byrd in 1961, who died at the young age of 38 in 1969.

A woman of faith, Melba was raised in the Fite Memorial Baptist Church in Marion, and attended the Edison United Methodist Church in Edison. She also was a member of the Canaan and Williamsport Granges.

In 1971, Melba married Karl L. Foust and gladly took in their son, Ben. She was Karl’s caretaker for many years until his death.

In 1997, Melba went a special Alaskan cruise with her sister, June Hawk. On that trip she found a wonderful man from Salem, Oregon, James Phillips. Soon thereafter they were married, and she joined him in Salem. They shared 17 wonderful years together. He preceded her in death in 2014.

An excellent cook and baker, Melba loved spoiling her family with their favorite meals and treats. They were all especially fond of her broccoli casserole and cookies. She also enjoyed collecting anything related to Santa Claus, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, and books by Gene Stratton-Porter. She made countless hand stitched craft animals for the Morrow County Hospital Emergency Dept. too.

The past three summers, Melba has cherished her time at the Kokosing Lake Campgrounds, watching the birds at her many feeders and feeding the squirrels. She especially loved walking around the lake with her beloved dog, Tiger, and visiting with her new friends, “who were all so good to her.” She was fascinated by the eagle at the lake, and saw it just days before her death.

Melba truly had a heart of gold. She was always there for her family and friends, all of whom she loved dearly.

Left to cherish her memory are her daughter, Marcia Wenger of Fredericktown; a step-son, Ben Foust of Columbus; three grandchildren: Julie (Scott) Gompf, Matt (Angie) Wenger, and Laura (David) Swihart; a grandson-in-law, Rick Bago; 13 great-grandchildren: Ashley (Steven) Cooper, Brooke (Ryan) Laroche, Paxton (Cody) Schwaderer, Bailey (Mitch Cooper) Gompf, Holly Gompf, Austin (Kaylene Testa) Bago and Pvt. Braden Bago, Trevour, Madison, and Reagan Swihart, Chase Ray, Luke and Kara Wenger; 9 great-great-grandchildren: Bryce, Shelby, Riley, Grant, Brady, Jillian, Josie, Coy and Gracie; a sister, June (Floyd) Hawk of Edison; a brother-in-law, Denver Morrow of Elkhart, IN; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Including her parents, Melba was preceded in death by her son-in-law, Bill Wenger; granddaughter, Christie Bago; sister, Irma Morrow; and former spouses: Roger Augenstein, Richard Byrd, Karl Foust, and James Phillips.

Her family will greet friends from 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 8, at the Snyder Funeral Homes, Craven Chapel, 67 N. Main St., Mount Gilead. Services honoring her life will also be held there at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, with Celebrant Don Lockwood officiating. Burial will follow in Bryn Zion Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Morrow County, 228 South St., Mount Gilead, OH 43338, or to Morrow County EMS, 140 S. Main St., Mount Gilead, OH 43338.

On behalf of her family, they would like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to Barb Moore for everything she did to help her stay in the campground and to Hospice of Morrow County.

Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead are honored to have been chosen to serve Melba’s family and your sympathies may be shared with them via

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