Cover photo for Melva Dean Smallwood's Obituary
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1928 Melva Dean (Tye) Smallwood 2024

Melva Dean Smallwood

February 23, 1928 — June 8, 2024


Melva Dean Smallwood was born on February 23, 1928 to Henry F. and Lila McCune Tye in rural McLennan County outside of Waco, Texas.  She was the last remaining of eight siblings in her family.  Her last residence was at the West Rest Haven Senior Adult Facility in West, Texas.  She passed from this life into eternity on Saturday, June 8, 2024 at the Baylor Scott and White Hillcrest Hospital in Waco at the age of 96.   Visitation will be at the Waco Memorial Funeral Home on Thursday, June 13, from 5 to 7 P.M.  Funeral services for Melva Smallwood will be at Waco Memorial Funeral Home at 1:00 on Friday, June 14, with Pastor Terry Wilkerson officiating. Interment will follow at Waco Memorial Park.  

Melva lived most of her life in the Waco and Bellmead area.  She received her public education in the Waco School District.  During her adult life, Melva worked in many different areas.  She worked as a clerk in a variety store, sewing machine operator in an embroidery shop, and wait staff in a restaurant.  Her last position prior to retiring was owner and operator of Aqua Life Plus, a tropical fish store.  When Melva was not busy supplying for her family, she was a person of many interests and hobbies.  Melva was an accomplished artist painting Texas landscape scenes on canvas with oil paints.  She was an avid gardener with not only a beautiful yard, but potted plants to numerous to number.  When she was preparing to enter the senior adult center, she searched for people to give her plants good homes.  Melva cherished her pets.  She loved to play games including card and board games, and she was ready to go fishing on a moment’s notice.  Melva was a long-time member of the Oaklawn Baptist Church in Bellmead.  She lived a full and long life that was filled with times of sorrow and with times of joy.  Melva Smallwood departs this world leaving behind a family that will continue to carry a part of her determined and independent spirit into the future.

Those preceding Melva in death were husband, Bill Smallwood; daughters-in-law, Glenda Shaw and Jeannine Shaw; son-in-law, Donny Garner; and grandson, Geary Shaw.

Those remaining to cherish her memory are her four children:  Robert Shaw and wife Anne of Waco, Texas, Donald Shaw and wife Pam of Chappell Hill, Texas, Joyce Garner of Waco, Texas, and David Shaw and wife Bobbie of Woodworth, Louisiana.  Melva is also survived by six grandchildren: Tammy Harriman of Waco; Robin Reinke and husband Joey of Axtell; Becky Thomas and husband Kirk of Bellville; Kevin Garner and wife Rosa of Grand Prairie; Scott Garner and wife Melissa of Axtell; Tina Marland and husband Andy of Killeen.  Melva was survived by 15 great-grandchildren and 7 great-great grandchildren and nieces and nephews.

Melva Dean Smallwood lived a full life making many friends and acquaintances along the way.  She will be sorely missed but not forgotten.

The family wishes to express special thanks to the staff at West Rest Haven for the outstanding care provided to Melva and also to the Polka Boys for brightening her days. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Melva Dean Smallwood, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, June 13, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, June 14, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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