Melba Miller

Obituary of Melba Miller

Melba Gambill Miller peaceably entered into her eternal rest Sunday July 12, 2020 in Jefferson, NC. An Ashe County native, she was born September 1, 1922 to Dr. James C. and Effie Lowe Gambill. She was preceded in death by her husband Dr C. E. "John" Miller, her twin sister Alda Gambill Perkins McKinney and her daughter Johnnie "Connie" Gambill Miller. Melba's other siblings that preceded her in death include: Lena Wagoner, Jessie Cox Moore, Ruth Miller, Zeb Gambill, Mary Cooper, Pete Gambill and Effie Lowe Burts. She is survived by her 2 sons, Chuck and Doug Miller, their spouses, Josie Stroud and Beth Miller, along with 5 grandchildren Paul, David & Emily Miller, Tracy Settle Kock and Bobby Stroud. She also is survived by in-laws Sharon Gambill, Calvin & Katrina Miller, Anna Dean & Bill Harless, Sherry & Joe Francis, TG & Sally Miller plus many loving nieces and nephews. From a large family of 6 sisters and 2 brothers, she was especially close to her twin sister, Alda Perkins. They lived next door to one another as adults. It has been said that during their time together they never had a cross word with each other! All the women in the family were artists and produced many beautiful paintings. Melba graduated from West Jefferson High School in 1941 and went on to study at Columbia Commercial College. Following school she worked as a bookkeeper in Washington DC and studied art at The National Art School. In 1945 she married Dr. Cameron E. Miller. Known to all as "John," Melba's husband completed his schooling to become a medical doctor and was revered by the people of Ashe County whom he served for more than 50 years. Melba and John often said that there was no better place on earth to live than Ashe County. She was a member of Bethany United Methodist Church in Baldwin where she had many friends. Melba, her husband John and their lifelong friend Florence Thomas enjoyed traveling together and attending many art workshops. During the creation of Ashe County's famous fresco paintings in the 1970s, Melba and others worked alongside artist Ben Long offering him helpful assistance with the project so many continue to enjoy to this day. In 1978, Melba became one of the charter members of the Blue Ridge Art Clan which was created by Florence and a group of her art students. Melba's husband, her daughter, and her twin sister all became accomplished artists and also soon joined the Blue Ridge Art Clan. After Florence Thomas died Melba was very involved with the opening of the Florence Thomas Art School helping fulfill her dear friends dream into reality. Melba has been a positive influence on many other local artists helping them develop their own creative talents. Over the years, Melba has enjoyed working in many different mediums from pencil, charcoal, oil, and acrylic to watercolor, collage and photography. Among her favorite subjects for painting are clowns, still life, landscapes, country churches and portraits. Due to the current Covid-19 problem the family is planning an outdoor graveside service to be announced in October. The service will be a triple service for her, her daughter Johnnie and Doctor Johnny where their ashes will be buried. In lue of flowers family requests any gifts to be directed to the Blue Ridge Art Clan or The Florence Art School. The family wishes to thank the hard working staff at Margate Health and Rehab that provided wonderful loving care for her during her last years of life.
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