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Willie Bea (Thomas) Melton
July 14, 1931 ~ May 16, 2023 (age 91) 91 Years Old
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Willie Bea Thomas was born on July 14, 1931 being the first child of Johnie B. and Lillie Mae Thomas in Baxley, Georgia.
She confessed her love for Christ very early in life. She started singing for Christ when she was so small child. So small that she had to stand on a crate to be seen in the choir.
Willie Bea graduated from High School in Wheeler County, Georgia in 1947. While in High School she played basketball, which she enjoyed very much and that love continued in college. After leaving Morris Brown College she relocated to Detroit, Michigan in 1952.
While in Detroit, Willie Bea met the love of her life, Melvin Melton Sr., in 1953. Willie Bea and Melvin married in February 1954 and to this beautiful union 5 children was born. She went to work for Chrysler Corporation, one of the Big Three auto makers after her last child started school, she was employed there 17 years. In 1984, she moved with her husband to Jemison, AL. where they joined Holly Grove Church. With the love of song in than she joined St. James Highland Church. With the love of song in her heart she joined the gospel group, the BMS. She enjoyed singing, traveling, and cooking. One Sundays, many people from the neighborhood stopped by to have dinner at The Melton's Residence to enjoy Mrs. Bea's cooking. Mrs. Bea also enjoyed bowling and did so for many years.
While a stay-at-home mom, Mrs. Bea cared for three(Calandra Reed, Celia Bryant, and Justin Smitherman) children she adored dearly. These children became her Godchildren. Years later, she and her husband joined St. James Highland Church, where she was a faithful member until her health began to fail. Willie Bea and Melvin were married for 57 years before the love of her life was called home to be with The Lord on July 10, 2011.
Mrs. Bea (as known to everyone) was called to be with The Lord on May 16, 2023. She was preceded in death by her parents Johnie and Lillie Mae Thomas, husband Melvin Melton Sr., son Melvin Melton Jr., and brother Johnie Lee Thomas.
Mrs. Bea leaves to cherish her memories four beloved children, three daughters and one son. Angernette (Carl) Johnson, Regina Beckett, Karen(James) Taylor, Willie (Toyleise) Melton; Three Bonus children that was grandchildren she raised, Sherice Melton, Charles Melton, Shavon Beckett. Eight more grandchildren Chiquita Melton, Gregory Carter, Nataysha Taylor, Terrance Taylor, Tyneka Taylor, Jamelia (Kevin) Ford, Jamaica Thurman, Janell Melton; Twenty-eight great grandchildren, Four great- great grandchildren; Brothers-in-laws Simon Melton, Johnie Melton Jr., Sisters-in-law Linda Melton, Sharon Melton, Lorraine Jordan. A sister from another mother Cinda Tyes, a best friend, Ivie Eddings, one aunt Marie Cray, a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other family, and friends.