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Dorothy Josephine (Nelson) Melby, 87, of Park Rapids, formerly of Fergus Falls, passed away peacefully Sunday, July 20, 2014 in Winchester, Va.

Dorothy was born July 27, 1926 in Scandia Township, Morrison County, Minnesota to Elmer and Hilda (Rustad) Nelson.

She graduated from Fergus Falls High School in 1944, and went on to the St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing in Fargo, N.D., graduating in 1947.

Dorothy was united in marriage Feb. 8, 1948 in Fergus Falls, to Richard E. Melby. This union was blessed with four children: Susan, Richard, David and Robert.

Dorothy was a practicing nurse for one year before her first child was born, and then became a homemaker and supporter for her husband and children.

The young family lived in Minnesota, California, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and finally Alexandria, Va. In 1985 their dreams came true when they retired and built their home on Little Sand Lake, near Park Rapids.

Dorothy always had many visitors at the lake house and she welcomed them with her homemade magic bars, Rice Krispies treats and delicious turkey on crusty rolls.

She was a longtime and faithful member of Calvary Lutheran Church, Sons of Norway Nordskagen Lodge 626, P.E.O. Chapter T, Little Sand Lake Association, "The Sewing Club," "The Birthday Club" and Bible study at her church.

Dorothy thoroughly enjoyed visiting with her friends, traveling within the U.S. and abroad, and planting flowers around her lake house. She also loved activities like pontooning, floating in the lake with a noodle and summer visits from her family and friends. She took pride in making all feel welcome.

Above all, Dorothy was a person of rare dignity, grace and humility who devoted herself to her family and had a compassionate zeal for life and those around her.

She will be lovingly remembered by her children, Susan (James) Koering of Littleton, Colo., Richard (Katharine) Melby of Stephenson, Va., David (Diane) Melby of Winchester, Va. and Robert (Beverly) Melby of Purcellville, Va.; 12 dearly loved grandchildren; nine precious great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Nancy Melby of Crookston; as well as nieces, nephews, extended family members and many friends.

Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Richard Melby; two brothers, Harlan and Merton; and two sisters, Cecile and Eleanor.

Funeral service: 3 p.m. Thursday, July 31 at Calvary Lutheran Church, Park Rapids with Pastors Steve Norby and Sara Jensen officiating.

Active casketbearers: her grandchildren, Krista (Koering) and Carl Korfmacher, Kari (Koering) and Vincent Castiglione, Esther Melby, Dana Melby, Justin Melby, Katie Melby, Elizabeth (Melby) and Jeremy Gorman, Julia Melby and Jamie Koering.

Honorary casketbearers: her great-grandchildren, Henry and Owin Korfmacher; Jack, Lily and Violet Castiglione; Brandon, Rider and Remington Koering; and Kenzel Melby.

Visitation: 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 30 at Jones-Pearson Funeral Home in Park Rapids and also one hour prior to the service at the church on Thursday.

Everyone is invited for fellowship and coffee at the church immediately following the service.

Interment: Bethel Cemetery, rural Park Rapids.

Memorials are preferred to Calvary Lutheran Church Building Fund, American Diabetes Association or The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

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