MELVIN ERNEST ESPY
Melvin Ernest Espy, 88, of Watonga, Oklahoma, passed away on Sunday, February 10, 2019. Melvin was born on September 13, 1930, in Leedey, Oklahoma, to Jack and Della (Lamb) Espy.
He and Eloise Poarch eloped in Shamrock Texas, on October 25, 1948. He served as a combat infantryman in L Company 179th Regiment 45th Infantry in Korea. The coldest day he ever experienced was Christmas day on the front line in Korea.
Melvin attended Watonga High School and graduated from Oklahoma State Tech in Okmulgee with a degree in Diesel Mechanics where, for a time, he was an instructor. He applied his talents and skills working for several oil field companies, which took him all over the world, including the Sahara desert, the Arctic Circle, and volcanoes in Hawaii. After Melvin retired from Haliburton in 1992, he and Eloise made Watonga their full-time residence.
His passion for aviation started at the age of five when he saw his first airplane, and he earned his private pilot’s license while living in Alaska. Melvin built his own ultralight aircraft and could often be seen flying it over Watonga and Roman Nose. He was a member in good standing of the “Watonga Airport Bums.”
His parents preceded him in death. Also preceding him were his brother and sister-in-law, Fred and Maxine Espy and his step-father, Henry A. Spybuck, all of Watonga.
Melvin is survived by his wife Eloise of the home, two sons: Tim Espy (Carla Andrews), Columbia, Missouri, and Roy Espy (Janine Van Laningham), Roman Nose, Oklahoma. Grandchildren: Allyson Espy Linck (Jamie), St. Louis; Alex Espy, Kansas City; Patrick Espy, Oklahoma City; Stacey Larion, Kenai, Belinda Smith Joshua) Kenai, ; Rory Espy (Becky), Watonga; and John Espy, Kenai, Alaska. Also surviving are 14 great-grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held Saturday February 16, at Trinity Baptist Church, 700 N. Clarence Nash Blvd, Watonga, at 10:00 a.m. Graveside service with Military Honors will follow at IOOF cemetery, Watonga. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Trinity Baptist Church or the Watonga Senior Center. Services entrusted by Wilkinson Mortuary. THE FAMILY WILL HOLD A VISITATION FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS AT WILKINSON MORTUARY FRIDAY EVENING FROM 5-7