Cover photo for Melba J. Swope's Obituary
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Melba J. Swope

March 26, 1934 — September 20, 2023


Melba J. Swope

Melba Janice Swope nee Smith was born to the union of Carmel and Bessie Jeffries Smith on March the 26th of 1934.   Melba was the youngest of seven siblings.  Melba passed away on September 20th of 2023. 

Melba was a graduate of Carrollton High School of Carrollton, Missouri and went on to attend the University of Missouri at Columbia, Missouri.  She would later meet her beloved husband, Charles Swope at Mizzou.   Melba and Charles were wed in Columbia, Missouri in January of 1955.   As Chuck completed his degree, Melba worked as a secretary In the Agricultural Engineering department. After Chuck graduated, they moved to Maysville, Missouri then to Holt, Missouri in 1958.

Melba and Chuck were blessed with two sons, Bobby in 1961 and KC (Kevin) in 1963.   During the boy’s childhood Melba remained at home as a mom and homemaker. 

In 1965 they moved to the RSR Ranch in Burlington Junction, Missouri.  While at the ranch Melba became actively involved in the “Times of Missouri Cowbells” now known as the Missouri Cattlewomen’s Association.  Melba served as President of the Cowbells and on the National Board of Directors.  During the beef boycott of the 1970’s she served as the National Radio and TV Committee Chairperson.

Melba also purchased and ran the Tarkio College Bookstore, where she was a good friend to many of the college students.   In 1979 she served as a safety inspector at the Maryville Union Carbide plant. 

When KC and Bobbie moved to Columbia to attend college at Mizzou, Chuck and Melba moved to Moberly, Missouri.  It was in Moberly she started her career in a Senior Living facility as an Activity Director.  In 1986 she became the acting Administrator of Willow Lane Senior Center in Butler, Missouri.  She stayed at Willow Lane until March of 2000 when she retired. 

They then moved to Cuba, Missouri to be close to their grandchildren Jared and Erin Swope.  Melba became a substitute teacher at The Cuba R2 schools, and quickly became a favorite of the students.  Melba felt the joy of being a surrogate Grandmother to the students and giving out hugs to all.  She was touched and thrilled to give the commencement address to the class of 2009 at Cuba High.  

Melba was preceded in death by her Husband Chuck Swope, her son Bobby Swope, her brothers Garland and Carmel Smith, her sisters Von Dora Helm, Dorothy Kelton, Ruth Kelly, Ruby Mayden, and LaVerna  Randall.

She is survived by her son KC and wife Melanie Swope, Grandson Jared Swope and wife Emily Moore, Granddaughter Erin Harlan and husband Jake, Great Grandson Quentin Harlan and Great Granddaughter Maggie Harlan, foster son Scott Swope and wife Rosa and daughter Carroline, numerous nieces, nephews and friends.  

Melba never met a stranger and brightened the lives of everyone she met. 

Visitation will be held on Thursday, September 28, 2023, from 5-8 p.m. at Mizell Funeral Home.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday, September 29, 2023, 11:00 a.m. at Holy Cross Catholic Church with Father Dan Lueckenotte as the celebrant.

Interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, Cuba, Missouri.

If desired, memorials would be appreciated to the Cuba Friday Backpack Program.

The Mizell Funeral Home of Cuba is honored to be serving the family of Melba J. Swope.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Melba J. Swope, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Thursday, September 28, 2023

5:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

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Friday, September 29, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Holy Cross Catholic Church

415 W. School St., Cuba, MO 65453

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Friday, September 29, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

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