Rudolph “Rudy” V. Melton, 95, longtime resident of Zena, passed away on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 at Grove Nursing Center in Grove.

Rudy was born in Verden, Oklahoma to Walter and Elva Mae (Matlock) Melton during the Great Depression.

In 1940, he joined the U.S. Army and served for five years during World War II, with campaigns in New Guinea and the Southern Philippines.

Rudy earned the rank of sergeant and was awarded with a Philippine Liberation Ribbon with a Bronze Star, American Defense Ribbon and Bronze Service Arrowhead Good Conduct Medal.

In 1945, Rudy married the love of his life, Betty Fulton in Oklahoma City, and they made their home in Tulsa.

Rudy retired in 1967 after a long career as an electronics engineer at McDonnell Douglas in Tulsa.

He was an avid golfer and a long standing member of Elk River Golf Club in Noel, Missouri, where he could frequently be found until recently, when his health began declining.

Rudy was preceded in death by his wife Betty Melton, three brothers and one sister.

Left to carry on his legacy: son, Rodney Melton and daughter, Judy Melton, both of Grove; grandson, Steven Melton; granddaughter, Sara Onugha and husband, Jide, great-granddaughter Adriana and many nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Rudy’s life take place at 11 a.m., Thursday, June 21, at Nichols Stephens Funeral Chapel with lunch to follow. Chaplain Mark Lavine will officiate.

A private family burial at Zena Cemetery will be at a later date.

Arrangements entrusted to Nichols Stephens Funeral and Cremation Services, Grove.