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Melva ButlerOctober 12, 2017
Melva Marie Butler, 58, a longtime Baker City resident, died Thursday, October 12, 2017 at St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Baker City. A Celebration of Melva's life will be held on Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 12pm at the Veterans Memorial Club 2005 Valley Street, in Baker City, Oregon.
Melva was born December 31, 1958 to parents Jerry and Hazel Lovell at the Wallowa Memorial Hospital in Enterprise, Oregon. She attended Emmett High School and later graduated from Capitol High School in Boise, Idaho in 1976.
She married Dan Lees in 1978 and they became the proud parents of two wonderful and loving children: Jennifer and Michael Lees; whom both graduated from Boise State University with Bachelor of Science degrees in Civil Engineering.
Dan and Melva shared 28 years together and later divorced. While living in Emmett, Idaho they competed in dirt bike racing. Few people know that Melva was the statewide motocross champion of Idaho for two years. She took home many trophies and was an inspiration to all female riders.
The family moved to Prairie City, Oregon in 1988 where Melva worked for the U.S. Forest Service fighting wildfires. She also coached the high school ladies’ volleyball and basketball teams.
In 1990 they moved to the Sumpter valley and Melva worked in Baker City at Safeway, and later at Marvin Wood Products. Melva was best known for her business “Melva’s Upholstery” which she opened full-time in Baker City in 2010. With limited knowledge and massive determination, she became extremely competent in her profession, gaining a huge following and an outstanding reputation. She not only met customers, but easily developed friendships with many of them due to her smile and personality. She was very proud of the business that she started from scratch.
Melva met her true love in Sumpter. She wasn’t necessarily looking for a life partner, but then she met a “flatlander”. Ryan swept her off her feet and on September 27, 2014, Melva married the love of her life and best friend, Ryan Butler. They were inseparable and their commitment to each other was truly visible to all that knew them.
Melva enjoyed cooking and entertaining her friends and family. Everyone cherished an invitation to spend time and have a meal at the Butler’s. She was also a member of the local VFW.
She was dedicated to her children and grandchildren. She loved gardening, home canning, laughing, smiling, being kind to everyone and her generosity was as big as her heart. She loved going to work, producing beautiful workmanship with her upholstery work. But her most cherished accomplishment was being an awesome “Nana”.
Melva’s legacy is one of compassion, unconquerable spirit, and a work ethic that far surpassed most people. “Love-you-buh-bye" was one word to her. Her life philosophy was to always see the best in people, care unquestionably, and love immeasurably. All that knew her felt blessed to have had her in their lives because she represented all that is good.
Melva was preceded in death by her father, Jerry, and brothers Danny and David Lovell.
She is survived by her loving husband, Ryan Butler of Baker City; mother Hazel Emery of Baker City; daughter Jennifer Long and her husband Justin of Baker City; son Michael Lees and his wife Angela of La Grande; grandchildren Hunter, Hailey, and Brook of Baker City, and Rhiley, Ella, and Tripp of La Grande; brother Darell Howard and sister Sherry Given both of Baker City; Furbabies CC, her dog, and two cats, Olivia and Leon; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Those who would like to make a donation in memory of Melva may do so to help defray service expenses through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home and Cremation Services PO Box 543 Halfway, Oregon 97834. Online condolences may be shared at www.tamispinevalleyfuneralhome.com