Melba Eloise Cunningham

Melba Cunningham, 88, passed away May 15, 2014. She was dearly beloved by her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and lifelong friends. Melba grew up in the Church of Christ and was baptized at age 13. She was always proud to be a child of God and follower of Jesus.

Melba was preceded in death by her husband, parents, and siblings. She is survived by daughter Kay and husband Jim Smith of Bryan, Texas; son Steve and wife Sue Cunningham of Allen, Texas; son Greg and wife Nita Cunningham of Gunter, Texas; daughter Christy and husband Bill Williams of Gunter, Texas; grandchildren Kimberly and Jack Drake, Kellee and Brady Brister, Cole and Caroline Cunningham, Allison Cunningham, Austin Cunningham, Jeff Cunningham, Hunter Williams, Noah Williams, Jaxon Cunningham; and great-grandchildren Sterling Drake, Channing Drake, Cambring Drake, Will Wooten, Walker Wooten, and Savannah Brister. As well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Melba was born and raised in Olney, Texas, and moved to Abilene in 1964. She worked as a dental hygienist and later became known as the “Estee Lauder Lady” during her 30 years working at Grissom’s and Dunlap’s department stores in Abilene.

Moving to College Station in 1997, Melba was an active member of A & M Church of Christ and the seniors for Christ group. She enjoyed reading, shopping, visiting with friends and family, and keeping up with politics and sports. Melba was never at a loss for words, never met a stranger, and most always had a rhyme or witty comment. Those who knew her well will always remember receiving a “greeting” on a holiday, sharing a “morsel” at her table, and being mesmerized by the power of her lashes.

She wore many hats in her long life—daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother, loyal friend, good listener, salesperson, sports fan, and always child of God. Her lively nature and exceptional sense of style were delightful hallmarks but it was her love for her family and of Jesus which truly defined her.

Donations in her memory may be made to the National Osteoporosis Foundation,, 1150 17th St. NW, Ste 850, Washington DC 20036; Abilene Christian Schools,, 2550 N. Judge Ely Blvd., Abilene, TX 79601; or a charity of your choice.

Honorary Pallbearers: Grandsons and great grandsons


  1. Dear family members,
    I was so very sorry and sad to see the notice of Melba’s passing.

    Melba was a lovely, sweet friend. When
    I worked with Melba at the EL counter at
    Grissoms for a short time back in the 80’s, a wonderful friendship developed!

    She always made time to call me and keep
    in touch. I loved her sweet disposition and
    infectious humor! And, Melba was beautiful
    inside and out. One of our last conversations was about her applying her
    lashes in rehab! I laughed!!!! She had
    found a way to apply them without necessary

    I take comfort in knowing she is with
    her Heavenly Father. My thoughts and prayers
    are with you.

    In love and fond remembrance,

Sign the Guestbook