Obituaries » Melba Cornett Crank

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Melba Cornett Crank

April 7, 1924 - March 3, 2020

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Melba Cornett Crank, 95, of Lynchburg died peacefully on March 3, 2020. She was the daughter of the late Leonides Polk Cornett and the late Martha Jackson Cornett. She was predeceased in death by her two brothers, Leonides P. Cornett, Jr. and Jack D. Cornett and wife Mary, as well as, daughter-in-law Susan H. Crank, son-in-law Benjamin W. Green Jr., great grandson Maddoc Colacurcio and her loving husband, the Reverend Dr. Charles E. Crank, Jr.

Melba is survived by her three sons, Charlie (Linda), Steve (Connie), Brian (Becky) and daughter Kathy. She is also survived by grandchildren Caroline, Alex, Lee, Lauren, Drew, Eric, Heather, Wes, Ward, and Will, as well as 15 great grandchildren.

Melba was a 1949 graduate of Lynchburg College where she majored in religion and later served on the Alumni Board.  She was also the matriarch who started a long line of Cranks to attend Lynchburg College in her path.

Her passions in life were family, church, and singing. She taught Sunday school, served on numerous church committees, sang in the choir, and served as President and member of West Virginia and Virginia Church Women United.  Melba’s gift for singing was truly special. She performed at the Greenbriar in West Virginia, the National City Christian Church in Washington, D.C., and even at the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair. But it is how she could turn even a simple “Happy Birthday” melody into something truly magical that her family will never forget.

Melba’s greatest love though was family, whether it be babysitting, family reunions, attending various school and sporting events of children and grandchildren or just cooking enormous amounts of food for her “above-average-sized“ family members. And, of course, no family gathering was ever complete without her sought-after banana pudding or strawberry cake! Lesser known, albeit equally as endearing, facts about Melba included a love of country line dancing as well as an affinity for keeping up with the latest in pop culture. Her grandchildren could always count on her for an engaging conversation around the latest celebrity buzz.

Melba was much loved and will be greatly missed. Anyone who came in contact with her was certainly drawn to her warm smile and embracing, positive nature. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more loving and caring disciple.

The family would like to thank Heritage Green Assisted Living for their kindhearted tender care.  Celebration of life details will be determined at a later date. The family asks that any memorial contributions go to the University of Lynchburg (1501 Lakeside Dr. Lynchburg VA 24501) or First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ – 3109 Rivermont Ave. Lynchburg, VA 24503).

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family, (434) 237-9424.





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