Celebrating the life of Melvena Riddle Wetsel
Be the first to share your favorite memory, photo or story of Melvena . This memorial page is dedicated for family, friends and future generations to celebrate the life of their loved one.
We ask on behalf of the family that you keep your comments uplifting and appropriate to help all who come here to find comfort and healing.
Melvena Riddle Wetsel was born March 16, 1929, on the family farm in Jackson County to Audra Clarence (A.C. or Dutch) and Eathel Ferrell Riddle. She joined a two-year old brother, A.C. Jr. Melvena started school when she was five years old in a two-room schoolhouse, Aaron School, in rural Jackson County. The school consisted of two teachers with one room for 1st through 4th grade and the other for 5th through 8th grade. She then attended 2nd grade at Olustee and 3rd through 8th grade at Prairie Hill Country School in Jackson County. She graduated 8th grade at Prairie Hill and then went to high school at Victory. She was Salutatorian of her graduating class in 1946. Her parents moved to Mangum, Oklahoma in 1945 so Melvena finished her senior year at Victory by staying with Cecile Stidham, who taught there and was a family friend.
She met R. Carroll Wetsel in 1945, who was home on leave from the U.S. Navy towards the end of World War II. He was riding on a horse behind his best friend, Rodney Calhoun, in a parade with the Mangum Mounties Riding Club. Upon graduation she moved to Mangum to join her folks. She attended Southwestern Teachers College, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, for one year on an academic scholarship.
On August 18, 1947, she married R. Carroll Wetsel. They moved out to the farm Northwest of Granite and took over the farming from Robert Columbus and Beulah Beatrice Busby Curtis, Carroll’s Maternal Grandparents that had settled on the land on January 1, 1900. The old farmhouse did not have running water, electricity, or a bathroom. Over the years, their parents would help them remodel the house to accommodate the growing family adding several bedrooms, a new kitchen and converting one room to a sewing room for Melvena.
Carroll and Melvena were blessed with two sons, Robert Wayne (Bob) born September 26, 1948 and Billy Dwain (Bill) born February 9, 1953. Melvena was a devoted farm/housewife and she loved to cook and sew. The family was always amazed how she was able to take care of the home and cook three meals a day for a family of four while only having to go to town once a week to do the family’s laundry, grocery shopping and other errands. Melvena was a great cook and enjoyed making pies, such as coconut or chocolate cream and pecan, homemade bread, and cinnamon rolls. She was always ready to try a new recipe. When her sons were in grade school and needed a costume for the class play, she was ready to make it herself.
Melvena was involved in organizations with her husband, such as the Mangum Mounties, Greer County Square Dancers, the American Legion and Legion Auxiliary of Granite. She was active in the Lake Creek Home Extension Club, ESA of Mangum, Greer County Quilters Guild, and a member of the First Baptist Church of Granite. Melvena helped Carroll clerk farm and estate sales and worked in the Mangum Livestock Sales Barn office. She enjoyed playing bridge and other card games and a variety of board games including her favorite - Pollyanna. She loved playing that game with multiple generations of her family. She was happiest when any of the kids, grandkids, and great grandkids were visiting.
For 62 years R. Carroll and Melvena continued to farm and add to the acreage. She moved out to the farm in 1947 at the age of 18 and lived there until her health declined in November of 2022. Subsequently, she was a resident at Victoria Gardens in Allen, Texas. Melvena celebrated 62 years, 3 months, and 21 days with the love of her life before Carroll passed away on December 9, 2009.
She was preceded in death by her parents, A.C. (Dutch) and Eathel Ferrell Riddle, her brother A.C. Riddle, Jr., her husband R. Carroll Wetsel and son Robert (Bob) Wayne Wetsel.
Melvena is survived by one son, Bill Wetsel of Plano, Texas, Grandson Todd D. Wetsel and his wife Amanda of Amarillo, Texas, Granddaughter Michelle N. Wetsel Hodge and her husband Stephen of Bellville, Texas, Great-Granddaughters Natalie Wetsel and Avianah Mendez of Amarillo, Texas, and additional relatives and friends.
To send flowers in memory of Melvena Riddle Wetsel, visit the Tribute Store.
235 South Pennsylvania
Mangum, OK 73554
115 south Penn
Mangum, OK 73554