She was born May 13, 1928 in Columbia Cross Roads to the late Ernest and Lillie (Miller) McKerrow. Growing up in Columbia Cross Roads, she was the youngest of eleven children. She lost her mother at the age of twelve and became the lady of the house with two brothers and father at home. Melvia was a 1947 graduate of Troy High and soon after she lost her father in 1948. She met her future husband on a blind date and later married Charles F. DeWalt on Oct. 24, 1948. They purchased a farm in Rummerfield, PA. There she worked at her husband’s side milking cows, working the fields, and cutting fire wood. She was a member of the Herrickville Church and helped with dinners at the fire hall. Around this time they started a family. They thought factory life would be an easier way of life so they sold the farm and rented a house in Kesslersrville, PA. Later, they bought a house in Moorestown, PA. There they became members of the Salem United Methodist Church. Melvia was an active member of the church’s women’s group which put on dinners and fundraisers. Also, she was an active member of the Moorestown School PTA and advocate of getting a reading program in the school. When her husband was in the VA hospital for almost a year in 1962-1963, she took a job in a blouse factory to pay the bills. In 1967 they moved the family to Columbia Cross Roads, where Melvia became an active member of her childhood church. She helped wherever God called like cleaning the church, teaching Sunday School, putting dinners together, and clubs. She was a member of the UMW and served as president in the later years.
Melvia is survived by her children Lillie Anna Thomas of Canton and Wallace Mark DeWalt of Charlotte, Tenn.; grandchildren, Timothy (Amy) Thomas, Jeffrey (Courtney) Thomas, and Martha (Joshua)Watkins; great grandchildren, Avery Watkins, Isais Watkins, Katelynn Thomas, Matthew Thomas, Elijah Thomas, Marian Watkins, and William Thomas.
Melvia is preceded in death by her husband Charles DeWalt; brothers Charles, Eben, Floyd and Gerald (Ted) McKerrow; sisters Emma McKerrow, Hazel McKerrow, Ada Warner, Mary King, Alma Hitt, Thelma Fleming; and Son-in-law Lester Thomas.
Family and friends are welcome to gather from 11:30 am-12:30 pm on Saturday, August 19, at the Columbia Cross Roads United Methodist Church 6700 Austinville Rd, Columbia Cross Roads, PA. The memorial service to honor Melvia’s life will be held at the conclusion of the visitation at 12:30 pm on Saturday, August 19th at the church with her pastor, Rev. Jennifer Wolfe officiating. Burial will be in Glenwood Cemetery at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Melvia’s memory to the Columbia Cross Roads United Methodist Church 6700 Austinville Rd, Columbia Cross Roads, PA 16914 or to the Endless Mountain Mission Center 51 Mission Center Dr., Troy, PA 16947.