Cover photo for Melba Coffee's Obituary
Melba Coffee Profile Photo

Melba Coffee

April 22, 1924 — June 21, 2020

Melba Kathryn Tyler Coffee was born April 22, 1924 in Topeka, Kansas and transitioned June 21, 2020. She was the last surviving member of her immediate family just like Wilbur, the love of her life. She was born at home at 11th and Oakley and grew up in this house. Melba started grammar school in Topeka, graduated from Topeka High School in 1942 and attended Washburn University for 2 years where she studied home economics. As a child growing up, her mother and siblings would go over to a big orchard across the street from their house and gather various fruits from the trees and bushes to help their Mother can and preserve the fruit. As a child she attended St. John A.M.E. Church in Topeka, Kansas and come rain or shine her parents made sure she and her siblings attended Sunday school and church every Sunday morning. Then as luck would have it she met the love of her life, Wilbur H. Coffee, Sr. and it was a magical union of a farmer and a city girl!! They were married in 1946 in Topeka. Wilbur and Melba started their married life on a farm south of Frankfort. She became a member of the Frankfort United Methodist Church and they had a remarkable life together in Frankfort, KS, raising three wonderful children, often hosting large family gatherings at the farm. For several years, Melba would have nieces and nephews from the city to come and work on the farm for the summers. Melba followed in her mother’s footsteps when it came to sewing, knitting and other various creative skills such as ceramics which she would make for her family and friends. She was also involved in the 4H club where she taught others her skills in sewing and cooking. After her children left the home, Melba decided to become an Avon consultant to service the local area. With her drive, and wanting more challenging work, she became the Deputy county clerk for Marshall County, a position that she served until she retired. She also served as the president of the Tuesday Morning Club and was a member of the Red Hat Club. Not being one to rest on her laurels, she became the secretary for the United Methodist Church in Frankfort. Melba’s sense of style was impeccable. She loved having a fashionable flair, whether it was eye-catching hats, an outfit she’d sewn, or sparkling jewelry such as the long earrings, which were her favorite. In true Melba style, she was giving in her love of all things beautiful, if you complimented one of her rings or another accessory that she was wearing, she was known to take it off and give it to you on the spot. Yes she loved fashion, but she loved people even more. Family was everything to her. She loved having her family around her telling stories of past and present in which she always had some humorous comment to add. She instilled in her family the importance of family and of knowing your family history. She would attend the Tyler Family Association’s reunion every year and had served in a leadership role for several years. Melba was devoted to her husband and was a loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother and great-great grandmother. She is survived by her children Denton Coffee, (Terry) Topeka; Wilbur Coffee, Jr, (Fran) Manhattan; and Donna Doolin, Monroe, Louisiana, six grandchildren: Cathy Hopkins, D’ne Fuller, Vonda Allen, Melanie Coffee Hesselberg, Kyler Coffee and Carlyn Pratte and 12 great grandchildren, and 2 great-great grandchildren. She leaves behind nieces and nephews and a host of many cousins and friends. She is preceded in death by her mother Jesse N. Lamberson Tyler, father Alonzo W. Tyler and her four sisters and two brothers and her husband, Wilbur, an infant son and two great grandsons. A memorial service will be held at the Frankfort United Methodist Church, August 15, 2020 at 10:00 a.m., private family graveside service to follow. A memorial fund is to be established and the contributions may be sent to the Frankfort United Methodist Church, 410 N. Kansas Ave, Frankfort, Kansas 66427. Arrangements by Padden Funeral Chapel, Frankfort. Funeral of Melba Coffee To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Melba Coffee, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Starts at 10:00 am

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Frankfort United Methodist Church

410 N Kansas Ave
Frankfort, KS 66427

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