Ellis (Gene) Melton

Feb 7, 2014

It is with deep sympathy we inform you of the passing of AFDA’s first Hall of Fame Honoree Mr. Ellis (Gene) Melton, Sr. 97 of North Little Rock. Mr. Melton passed away on  Friday, February 7, 2014. He was born October 13, 1916 in Enola, Arkansas. 

Ellis was a graduate of Arkansas State Teachers College in Conway and California College of Mortuary Science. In 1943, Ellis was drafted into the United States Army Air Corps and proudly served as Sergeant and Surgical Technician in World War II, spending 13 months in Okinawa.

When his military duty ended in 1946, Ellis returned to Little Rock to seek employment in funeral service. While applying for a job at a funeral home, he learned of an opportunity with the Funeral Supply and Equipment Company as a sales representative. This job began a family history in the casket and funeral supply business. Named after Ellis, now Melton Company, Inc. is still serving his lifelong friends going on 68 years. Even years after his retirement, he would return to the office at Christmas time and make phone calls to check on friends. His passions included traveling the country with Louise in their motor home, family gatherings, and flying. He learned to fly small airplanes just before retirement, and acquired both his instrument and commercial ratings.

He was a longtime member of Park Hill Baptist Church where he and his close friends served as “money counters” for many years.

He was predeceased by Louise, his wife of 69 years and his parents Lessie and Ellis H. Melton. He is survived by his sister NathaLee Witt of Heber Springs, two sons, Ellis Melton Jr. (Kay), of Fayetteville and Presley Melton (Jo), of North Little Rock; daughter, Ginger Smith (Danny), of Russellville; five grandsons, Brian Smith, Jason Smith (Jennifer), Andrew Melton, Mark Melton (Katie), and Adam Melton; four great-grandchildren, Anna Smith and Lauren, Jack, and Lily Melton.

Funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m. Monday at Park Hill Baptist Church. Burial will be at 2:00 PM in Oakland Cemetery, Brinkley, Arkansas. Visitation is from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Sunday at North Little Rock Funeral Home. Online obituary and guest registry at www.SmithFamilyCares.com.