Central Crossing to dedicate Melba Eakin Memorial Garden

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The public is invited to attend the dedication of the Melba Eakin Memorial Garden on Tuesday from 12:45-1:45 p.m. at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob.

The garden was inspired by Melba Sutton Eakin, who along with helping establish the center, was known for her civic deeds and contributions that enhanced the lives of residents in the area.

Eakin was born May 29, 1945, and died Feb. 5, 2012.

She was an original member of the Central Crossing Senior Center corporation and board of directors since its establishment in 1999. Eakin held several positions, including secretary, vice president, chief publicity officer, and, according to Jeff Harp, current chief publicity officer for the center, and was the driving force in obtaining funding for the construction the center in 2003.

Eakin graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina with a master's degree in business administration. She was employed prior to retirement with Shell Oil Company, serving their offices in London and New York.

Locally, she was a member of the Central Community United Methodist Church, where she was active in several social programs.

"Melba gave extensive executive experience to our organization and leadership that was so important during our growing years," Harp said. "She was an unselfish giver, one that knew the value of being a volunteer to help others. Her mother, Jessie Sutton of Pineville, La., instilled in Melba the driving force to get the job done. That spirit was with Melba during her entire journey with the Central Crossing Senior Center and was the contributing factor in our growth and development. This addition is dedicated to Melba in honor of her contributions to our organization."

Harp said the garden was created as a direct result of the combined efforts and planning of numerous volunteers, and the generous contributions of donors, who will be present and recognized at the dedication.

"In addition to those individuals, Melba's mother will be present, and this event will serve to honor her support to the center and memorial garden as well," Harp said. "The garden is intended to be a place of quiet solitude and prayer where one can recharge their spirits, meditate or reflect. The public is encouraged to come show support and appreciation for this special place on July 12, right after lunch. Lunch that day will be very special, so plan on coming for lunch, and staying for the dedication."

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