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He felt that his family was a gift from God Melvin Thomas Levan was bom Jan. 2, 1938, in Douglas County in the Hunter community to Edgar A. and Elona Sanders Levan. On Feb. 21, 1961, he was united in marriage to Peggy Jean Leckenby. He was reunited with Peggy on Sept. 23, 2008 when he passed away at Cox South Hospital in Springfield.
Growing up in the Hunter hills, Melvin learned many lessons that would serve him well all his life. He learned responsibility and to take care of his family. He learned hard work which was reflected as he worked at Mans Steel over 25 years. He worked in the timber industry for many years and could identify plants and God’s “critters” by sight and sound. He learned to appreciate nature and was more comfortable in God’s great outdoors than he was in a crowded city.
He learned to follow bees and harvest honey in washtubs. He knew about wild foods and berries, especially gooseberries for cobblers. He always seemed to find mushrooms in season, when other people could not find them.
He enjoyed hunting and usually brought home a good “mess” of squirrels. He could have the squirrels cleaned by the time you had the skillet hot enough to fry them. Venison was often on the table at his house.
As his health caused his lifestyle to slow down he had more time to read his Bible and memorize large portions of Scripture. He loved to discuss the Bible. He felt that his family was truly a gift from God to be enjoyed.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; and two sons, Melvin L. and Michael Levan; two brothers and three sisters.
Melvin is survived by three sons, Thomas and Patty Leckenby, of Mansfield, Robert and Leslie Levan, and Mitchell Levan and Keisha, of Ava; and seven daughters, Velma Jean Levan, of Ava, Patricia and Ed Thomas, of Maryland, Bobette and Gary Williams, of Chadwick, Connie and Ronnie Jagears, of Seymour, Christine and Raymond Crane, of Summersville, Lorene and Paul Diver, and Geraldine Levan, of Ava. He is also survived by 25 grandchildren, and two brothers and three sisters.
He will be missed by a host of other relatives and friends.
Graveside services were conducted at 10:30 Thursday, Sept. 25, at the Turkey Creek Cemetery with the Rev. Jay Adrain officiating. All arrangements were under the care and direction of Ava Family Funeral Home.