Melba Jean (Noble) Byrd Phillips

April 27, 1930 ‒ August 04, 2017

Fredericktown, Ohio
Formerly of Marion, Ohio

Melba Jean (Noble) Byrd Phillips, age 87, of Fredericktown, died peacefully Friday morning, August 4, 2017, at the Kokosing Lake Campgrounds with her loving family by her side.

On April 27, 1930, Melba was born in Marion, Ohio, the oldest of three daughters of the late Cecil and Muriel (Holt) Noble.  She graduated from Marion Harding High School in the class of 1949.

Shortly following graduation, Melba married Roger Augenstein in 1949.  They lived in Indiana and had her only daughter together, Marcia.

In 1953, Melba returned home to be closer to her family, where she worked at the HPM Corporation in Mount Gilead, as the secretary for Don Taylor in their exporting department.  A few years later she worked in the HPM Credit Union.

Getting a second chance at love, Melba married Richard “Dick” Byrd in 1961, who died at the young age of 38 in 1969.

A woman of faith, Melba was raised in the Fite Memorial Baptist Church in Marion, and attended the Edison United Methodist Church in Edison.  She also was a member of the Canaan and Williamsport Granges.

In 1971, Melba married Karl L. Foust and gladly took in their son, Ben.  She was Karl’s caretaker for many years until his death.

In 1997, Melba went a special Alaskan cruise with her sister, June Hawk.  On that trip she found a wonderful man from Salem, Oregon, James Phillips.  Soon thereafter they were married, and she joined him in Salem.  They shared 17 wonderful years together.  He preceded her in death in 2014.

An excellent cook and baker, Melba loved spoiling her family with their favorite meals and treats.  They were all especially fond of her broccoli casserole and cookies.  She also enjoyed collecting anything related to Santa Claus, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, and books by Gene Stratton-Porter.  She made countless hand stitched craft animals for the Morrow County Hospital Emergency Dept. too.

The past three summers, Melba has cherished her time at the Kokosing Lake Campgrounds, watching the birds at her many feeders and feeding the squirrels.  She especially loved walking around the lake with her beloved dog, Tiger, and visiting with her new friends, “who were all so good to her.”  She was fascinated by the eagle at the lake, and saw it just days before her death.

Melba truly had a heart of gold.  She was always there for her family and friends, all of whom she loved dearly.

Left to cherish her memory are her daughter, Marcia Wenger of Fredericktown; a step-son, Ben Foust of Columbus; three grandchildren: Julie (Scott) Gompf, Matt (Angie) Wenger, and Laura (David) Swihart; a grandson-in-law, Rick Bago; 13 great-grandchildren: Ashley (Steven) Cooper, Brooke (Ryan) Laroche, Paxton (Cody) Schwaderer,  Bailey (Mitch Cooper) Gompf, Holly Gompf, Austin (Kaylene Testa) Bago and Pvt. Braden Bago, Trevour, Madison, and Reagan Swihart, Chase Ray, Luke and Kara Wenger; 9 great-great-grandchildren: Bryce, Shelby, Riley, Grant, Brady, Jillian, Josie, Coy and Gracie; a sister, June (Floyd) Hawk of Edison; a brother-in-law, Denver Morrow of Elkhart, IN; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Including her parents, Melba was preceded in death by her son-in-law, Bill Wenger; granddaughter, Christie Bago; sister, Irma Morrow; and former spouses: Roger Augenstein, Richard Byrd, Karl Foust, and James Phillips.

Her family will greet friends from 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 8, at the Snyder Funeral Homes, Craven Chapel, 67 N. Main St., Mount Gilead.  Services honoring her life will also be held there at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, with Celebrant Don Lockwood officiating.  Burial will follow in Bryn Zion Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Morrow County, 228 South St., Mount Gilead, OH 43338, or to Morrow County EMS, 140 S. Main St., Mount Gilead, OH 43338.

On behalf of her family, they would like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to Barb Moore for everything she did to help her stay in the campground and to Hospice of Morrow County.

Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead are honored to have been chosen to serve Melba’s family and your sympathies may be shared with them via

  • So sorry for the family. May the good Lord wrap you in his loving arms at this time of loss. Hugs and prayers, Cherie

  • I worked with Melba at HPM always a friendly person Prayers for her family
    Barbara Moore

  • Marcia and family: Praying for God’s comfort and peace during this difficult time. Marcia, you are a wonderful daughter and did so much for your mother the past few years. May that knowledge give you comfort.

    Denny and Carol Lehman

  • So sorry to hear of your moms passing. May you and your family enjoy the many memories of Your mom.

  • We are sorry to hear of your loss of your mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and great great grandmother. We will be praying for comfort peace during the days to come. May you feel God’s comfort as you celebrate her life and love for you and Him.

  • We wish to extend our deepest sympathy tp Melba’s entire family. May the Lord bless you all with peace and comfort in knowing all pain and suffering is gone now. So sorry for the loss.

    Sincerely sent,

  • Dear Marcia and family:
    Sending heartfelt sympathy to all of you. I’m so glad you had these last few years together with much love, camping and animal friends. She couldn’t have asked for a better daughter!

  • Marcia and family, so sorry for the loss of Melba. Her pain and suffering is now gone. Find peace and comfort in the promise of eternal life in heaven. God bless you all!
    Sincerely, Becky, Bev and Ronnie Byrd

  • Marcia, we were so sorry to here of your mom’s death . Thank you so much for keeping us apprised of her condition. You were such a beautiful daughter to her. We know she will be missed. Pleas accept our heartfelt sympathy.

  • I am so sorry for your loss of your Mom..Marcia, You did so much for her and made All those days such Happy ones for her..How Blessed you are to have such Beautiful Pictures of all those olden days..of your Mom and the Family….R.I.P Melba and God Bless you and your Beautiful Family..

  • Sending hugs and kisses
    God bless you all with His loving kindness
    We love all of you
    So blessed to have met Melba

  • She was a very special person in my life after working together for so many years at HPM. I’ll always have those memories. So very sorry for the loss to you and your family, Marcia.