Melba F. Jury, 95, of Sparland, passed away Sunday July 9, 2023, at Heritage Health in Chillicothe, IL with family by her side. Born in Fulton County on January 19, 1928, to the late Ralph and Nellie (Hock) Culver, Melba was raised on a farm outside Maquon and graduated from Maquon High School in 1945. She attended Methodist Medical School of Nursing, becoming a nurse in 1949. While in nursing school she befriended Norma (Jury) Cheatham and Norma introduced Melba to her brother Paul Jury. Melba would marry Paul on December 31, 1948, at Elmwood Methodist Church. Paul passed on
For many years, Melba was employed as a nurse in the office of Dr. Frank Green in Chillicothe. She also worked as a nurse for Caterpillar and volunteered at St. Joseph's Nursing Home in Lacon.
Melba lived in a ranch house, built by her and Paul “at the top of the hill” in Sparland, well into her early 90s. Many Christmas Eve celebrations for the extended Jury family occurred in their home. Her homemade cinnamon rolls were a staple every Christmas morning and the recipe has been handed down. She enjoyed tending to the yard, telling stories about her cats, sharing sighting of wildlife in the yard, and visiting with friends and family. An active member at the Sparland Baptist Church, Melba could be found most Sundays after church dining with friends at Club LaCon.
Melba is survived by two sons, Douglas (Laura) of Sparland and Mark of Lewiston. She also is survived by seven grandchildren: Lisa (Mike) Fitzgerald of Lisle, Kevin (Abby) Jury of Winfield, Erin (Mark) Bussema of Lakeville, MN, Erica (Bob) Phillips of Peoria, Paul (Missy) Jury of Henry, Jacob (Cassidy) Jury, and Jasmine (Chris) Rhodes, 11 great grandkids, and one sister-in-law, Merrielle Akright of Henry. Melba was also preceded in death by all four of her brothers: Gordon, Warren, Giles, and Merrill; and sister Bernalea McDonald. Cremation rites have been accorded, with her ashes buried alongside her husband in the Sparland Cemetery. Per Melba’s request, no funeral was held. Memorials may be made to the Sparland Baptist Church or the A.R.K., Animal Adoption and Fostering in Lacon.