Cover photo for Melvin Fay DeSpain's Obituary
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1926 Melvin 2016

Melvin Fay DeSpain

April 17, 1926 — September 26, 2016

Melvin DeSpain passed away, Monday, September 26, 2016 in Pocatello, Idaho. He had previously lived for about 50 years in St. Johns. Melvin was born in Joseph City to David and Rozalia Gillespie DeSpain. He was the 9th of 10 children and attended school there and in Holbrook and joined the Navy in June of 1944; serving at Pearl Harbor in the Fleet Records Division. Melvin received an honorary discharge in June of 1946 and shortly thereafter married Leah McLaws, his childhood friend and sweetheart, in the Mesa Arizona Temple. They had two daughters, Vicki and Pamela and later adopted a son, Barry. He worked for many years for the Mesa Public Schools and served in various wards of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as Ward Clerk. Later, after being divorced, he met and married LaVelle Whiting, a widow with four children, Pam (Karl) Benson, Claudia, Kenneth, and Edward Whiting in Mesa. They moved to St. Johns, a place they loved and called home. Melvin ran a Sears franchise and ran an interior design store in Show Low and also St. Johns. He always worked to make things beautiful, including his home and his yard. He spent many hours beautifying his yard as well as the St. Johns cemetery. He and LaVelle loved to travel and spend time with family. They served together for many years in the Mesa Arizona Temple which he considered one of the finest times of his life. He knew who Jesus Christ was, and shared his testimony often. He loved and served his family with his whole heart and was a gentle man with a giant heart. He will be missed dearly. Melvin was preceded in death by his wife, LaVelle; son, Barry (Charity) DeSpain; step-daughter, Pam (Karl) Benson; step-son-in-law, Steve Lowell; step-daughter-in-law, Nanette Whiting; step-son, Edward Whiting. He leaves behind his daughters, Vicki (Dennis) Eldridge, Pamela (Val) Youngberg, step-daughter, Claudia Lowell, step-son, Kenneth (Karma) Whiting and many many grandchildren and great grandchildren who loved him. Funeral services will be held Saturday, October 1, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, St. Johns Downtown Chapel, 35 W Cleveland St., with visitation one hour prior. Interment will follow the funeral services at the St. Johns Westside Cemetery.
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Service Schedule

Past Services

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Saturday, October 1, 2016

12:00 - 12:45 pm (Eastern time)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, St. Johns Downtown Building

35 West Cleveland Street, Saint Johns, AZ 85936

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Funeral Service

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, St. Johns Downtown Building

35 West Cleveland Street, Saint Johns, AZ 85936

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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