Grace Melton Black, 89, died peacefully Tuesday, December 7, 2021 at Rutherford Regional Health System after a sudden illness, surrounded by her loving family members.
Grace was born on October 30, 1932, in Caroleen, NC. She was preceded in death by her husband, Reverend Earl C. Black, Jr.: parents, Hatcher and Maude Melton; sisters, Eris Yelton, Edith Hosler, Selma Hamrick, Jewelene “Judy” Perry, Margaret Tunnell; brother, Max Melton; and granddaughter, Lauren Dawson.
Grace grew up in a large, loving family, and learned the values of Christian devotion and hard work from her parents. She graduated from Tri-Community High School and attended Brevard College. It was there that she met the love of her life, Earl. They were married on December 25, 1951 and embarked on a life together that led them to serve in churches in Eaton, Ga; Dobson, Elkin, High Point, Hickory, Kannapolis, Archdale, Lincolnton, Charlotte, and Cornelius, NC.
Grace was a loving partner for her husband, and always managed to find her niche wherever she lived. She was a consummate hostess and enjoyed entertaining and having Christmas open houses at the parsonage for the churches they served. Her butter mints, pecan puffs ,and cheese straws were legendary favorites at these events. She made every parsonage a true home for her family, and always welcomed friends at the table.
Grace moved back to Rutherford County after the death of her husband and helped with the care of her parents. She was surrounded her brothers and sisters and enjoyed their love and support as she began this next chapter of her life. She worked at First United Methodist Church in Forest City, and was a devoted member of the church. She taught adult Sunday School for many years. She was active in the United Methodist Women’s group and supported Christian missions in her community and around the globe. She was active in Eastwood Village Association and enjoyed working in her yard. In later years, Grace took up hiking with special friends Norman and Mary Jones and developed a love of outdoor adventure. She enjoyed spending time on the trails of the Smokies and climbed Mt. Leconte at age 80.
Grace’s children, grandchildren and great grandchildren were the light of her life, and she considered them her greatest treasure. Her nieces and nephews brought her great joy, and she was in her element at large family gatherings. She leaves a rich heritage of love, faith and service that can be seen in the lives of all of them.
Grace is survived by her children, Cliff Black (Diane) of Iron Station, Kathy Plowman (Ed) of Lakeland, Fla, and Lake Junaluska, David Black (Lynn) of Lincolnton, and Dawn Warren (Sabian) of Old Fort; grandchildren, Heather Walling (Jamie) of Charlotte, Philip Galyon (Sara) of Decatur, Ala., Krystal Flanigan (Justin) of Lincolnton, and Jesse Campos of Lincolnton; great-grandchildren, Justin Barreiro, Andrew Corbitt, Christopher Corbitt, Nathan Galyon, Riley Dawson, Anala Cullpepper, Molly Black ad Sofia Campos; brother Keith Melton (Ann); sister Anne Jones (Joe); and a number of nieces and nephews.
PLEASE NOTE CHANGE IN SERVICE PLANS.....The Memorial Service that was scheduled for Tuesday, December 28, 2021 has been CANCLED and will be rescheduled for a later date due to Covid concerns. The family is concerned for the safety of those attending and have decided to postpone until things are safer. Thank you for your understanding.
Memorial contributions in her memory can be made to the C4C Fund at First United Methodist Church, 341 E. Main Street, Forest City, NC, 28043.
The Padgett and King Mortuary & Crematory is in charge of arrangements and an online guest registry is available at www.padgettking.com
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