Melba L. McGinnis, beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, passed away on May 15, 2022. She was born August 6, 1933, daughter of the late Rev. Roy P. Steen and Viola M. (Bertke) Steen, in Madison, WI.
Melba was a 1951 graduate of Neenah H.S., and attended UW-Milwaukee. She worked as a Research Assistant in Educational Research and Development in the Racine Unified School District in coordination with Stanford University for many years. She then continued to touch the lives of many children in special education programs in both Kansas and Wisconsin, until her retirement from the Menasha School District in 1998. In Melba’s earlier years she was very involved with various church committees and activities, and was a long-time member of Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Appleton. She also volunteered at Appleton Medical Center. Melba loved spending time with family and friends, traveling, the arts, nature, her beautiful flower gardens, was an avid reader, and after living briefly in Louisiana, carried the love of New Orleans and Dixieland Jazz throughout her life. Melba was gracious, kind, and loving, always brightening the lives of others. Heard so often from others was how much they admired her smile and positive attitude even in the face of her health challenges, and she was an inspiration to all who knew her. Despite all of Melba’s accomplishments, she felt her greatest one was that of her beautiful family.
Melba will be greatly missed, and is survived by her three daughters, Karen (Larry) Lehner, Linda (Joe) Moffitt, and Barbara (Mike) Homolka, special grandchildren Andrew (Melissa) Lehner, Jennifer (Cameron) Wengrzyn, Jesse (Emily) Moffitt, Josh Moffitt (Allen Schoen), Bill (Pamela) Moffitt, Rob Moffitt (Chad Hodge), Tim Moffitt (Chris Duke), and great-grandchildren Evan and Aliyah Calnin, Aubrey Wengrzyn, Landon, Ella and Joe Moffitt, Daniel Moffitt, and Nate Thompson-Hershman. She is further survived by her brother, Gareth L. Steen, and numerous special McGinnis relatives including sister-in-law Dody McGinnis, granddaughter Laura Ann (Brian) Bowen and great-grandchildren Caitlin and William, stepson Gary McGinnis, many special nieces and nephews, and dear friends.
On March 29, 1980, Melba was united in marriage to her loving husband, Donald E. (Gene) McGinnis. They enjoyed 25 wonderful years together, until his passing in May, 2005. Melba was also predeceased by her dear sister, Dianne Kuehl, brothers-in-law Jerry Kuehl, Art Bottinger, and Ed and Earl McGinnis, sister-in-law Mickey McGinnis, and stepson Allen McGinnis.
Funeral services for Melba will be held on Friday, May 20, 2022 at Emmanuel United Methodist Church, 740 E. College Ave., Appleton, with Rev. Ben Morris and Rev. Nancy Twichell officiating. A time of visitation will be held from 9:00 AM until the time of the service at 11:00 AM. She will be laid to rest beside her husband, Gene, in Appleton Highland Memorial Park.
Memorials in memory of Melba can be made to Emmanuel UMC or Valley VNA Senior Services.
Melba was positive and strong during her courageous four-year battle with cancer. The family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Alexander Starr and the staff at ThedaCare Regional Cancer Center – Appleton, Dr. Jack Anderson, and the staff of both Valley VNA Senior Services and ThedaCare at Home Hospice, for their wonderful, kind and compassionate care of Melba