Melba Rary, age 102, of Decatur, died May 27, 2023. Melba Rainey was born February 15, 1921 at the 19-room Piedmont Sanitorium, which soon thereafter was renamed The Piedmont Hospital. She was born to Clara Kadel and William Warren Rainey.
Melba graduated from Pryor Street Elementary, Girls' High and attended Agnes Scott College.
A lifelong voracious reader, Melba proudly claimed to have likely held a public library card longer than anyone. She obtained her first at age 5. For most of her life she averaged reading a book a day. She loved the Latin language. The combination of those interests made her the "go to" call for many friends who were stymied by a crossword puzzle clue.
Melba loved sending greeting cards. She never purchased box sets of cards but selected one especially for each birthday, anniversary, or thinking-of-you recipient. No duplicates, ever. Her cards were instantly recognizable by the multiple random stickers affixed to the envelope.
She worked in the 1940s and 50s as a Personal Lines Manager for Allstate Insurance and in the 1970s for Safeco Insurance.
Melba served as Treasurer of Sardis United Methodist Church for more than 20 years. She was recruited to the Sardis choir at age 75 and enjoyed nearly 15 years as a member. She was an avid baseball fan, a love she passed along to each of her children. She saw Atlanta Cracker games at Ponce de Leon Park and attended her last baseball game at Truist Park, at age 98.
Melba was preceded in death in 1995, by her husband, Henry Grady Rary, also a native Atlantan; and her daughter-in-law, Sissie Rary, in 2021. She is survived by son, Warren Rary of Decatur; granddaughter, Emma Rary of Norfolk, VA; son, Donald Rary (Anna) of Gainesville; daughter and best friend, Lisa Rary of Flowery Branch; sisters-in-law, Joyce Rary Green and Lois Rary Springer; as well as many nieces and nephews. She is also survived by special friends, Dixie Tempel and Laura Landen.
A private graveside burial service will be held at Crestlawn Cemetery. The family is beyond appreciative to A.G. Rhodes Wesley Woods for the loving care provided to Melba in her final years. Memorials in lieu of flowers, may be directed to CUREChildhoodCancer.org.
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Funeral Home Information
Turner & Sons Funeral Home
2773 North Decatur Road