Funeral services for Charles Wesley Melrose of Enid will be 10:00 a.m. Thursday at the Ladusau-Evans Chapel with Rev. Don Tines officiating. Burial will follow in the Union Cemetery at Billings, under the direction of the Ladusau-Evans Funeral Home.
Charles Wesley Melrose, born December 27, 1908, in Tonkawa, Oklahoma, passed from his earthly life on May 11, 1998 in Enid. Mr. Melrose lived a long and full life that encompassed many careers, events and eras. As he often remarked, is life span covered the advent of household electricity, to man's first walk on the moon, to technological advances opening the window to the Twenty-first Century.
Those who knew him were awed at the depth and breadth of his spirit and character, his intelligence and his love for all humanity. Although a man of simple tastes, he was truly a man of letters a poet, a country philosopher and a humanitarian. He shared with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren his love of God, good works, literature, music and nature. He was generous to all who knew him, both the great and the small.
Mr. Melrose, "Wes" as he was known to friends, was of a pioneer family who participated in the opening of the Cherokee Strip. His father, also named Charles Wesley Melrose, and mother Laura Treweeke Melrose, settled in 1893 on 160 acres in Garfield County, in North East Quadrant of Section Ten in Township Twenty-three North of Range Three West of Indian Meridian.
His paternal family, descendants of James Melrose of Peebles, Scotland, immigrated to America in 1730 and supported revolutionary war efforts for this country in Somerset, New Jersey. Mr. Melrose's maternal grandparents, William Fisher Treweeke and Mary Pentecost Treweeke, immigrated to the United States from Breege, Cornwall, England in the mid 1800's, settling in Illinois and Kansas.
Mr. Melrose grew up in the Billings-Garber and Enid areas, graduating from Enid High School in 1927. He and his family farmed wheat on their original land acquired in the Oklahoma Land Run and enjoyed the much too short-lived "oil boom" of the 1020's. He spoke fondly of his days at Enid High School where all the rage was "raccoon coats" and his beloved shiny new Model T Coupe. Following those glory days, the severe droughts and unthinkable hardships of the Great Depression never impeded his ability to persevere and his undaunted faith in the Creator, his country and the Great State of Oklahoma.
During World War II he served in the U.S. Army Fifth Air Corps Division in the South Pacific, primarily in the Philippine Islands and Biak, New Guinea. In the 1940's he attended the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in aeronautics and mathematical theory.
Mr. Melrose retired as a civilian employee of Vance Air Force Base where he was a senior jet engine mechanic, an inventor of numerous and patented aviation technologies, and not the least of which, a mentor, counselor and friend to the many young pilots in training at the base.
He was preceded in death by Maxine Delplane Smart Melrose, his beloved wife of thirty-four years, a sister and four brothers including his recently deceased twin brother, John Llewellyn.
He leaves a great legacy to his children: Brenda Lovett, Austin, Texas, Dan Melrose and wife Sharon and Janie Melrose Cowan of Enid. Grandchildren are Michelle Lovett Smedley of Cedar Park, Texas, Shannon Melrose, Tiffany Melrose of Enid.
Mr. Melrose's first introduction to parenthood was his honor to be step-father to three sons, William P. Smart of Glendora, California and David and Carl Smart of Enid, and father-in-law to Ann, Roberta Jane and Judy; and grandfather to Linda, Melissa, Laurie, Mary, Carl Jr. Karla K.,Wesley Dale, Brian and Mike.
He leaves a lifetime of journals and poetry for his family to cherish including the following:
It is always quiet
In the center
Of the whistling storm.
Love is the center
Of the Human experience
Which keeps us
Serene and warm.