Melba Ann Teed

November 2, 1917 to October 11, 1999

by Phil Johnson

To "Mum" and Grandma

Melba Teed, Sandy Johnson’s mother and my mother-in-law, never presumed to have authority outside the family, but she exercised considerable power through appreciation and positive reinforcement. She thought of ways to give and to support—twenty-five- dollar checks now and then in the mail for no particular reason and always a check in a card for a birthday or an anniversary. She looked for ways to help, tasks that her children needed done in their respective homes, and she worked hard herself to help complete the jobs.

She welcomed me into the family and made me one of her children. She watched over and nurtured her grandchildren, she taught us about quality. She went to the little farm markets to get fresh corn and vegetables and to the springs to get pure water. She liked to pick blueberries on Blue Hill, not far from her home in Weymouth, Massachusetts. For years, she and her husband Don were pillars of the Quincy Covenant Church.

Melba rarely expressed a theological opinion. She was more tuned to how people treated one another. This does not mean that she did not have clear, deep convictions. In later years, with the children grown and gone, she and Don began to go to a Baptist church. Don was raised and baptized a baptist and was thus eligible to join a Baptist church. Mum, though, had been baptized as a child in the Covenant Church, and, as she confided to her daughter, she considered that baptism sufficient. She participated fully in two Baptist congregations, and her funeral was in the Baptist Church in Laconia, New Hampshire, but she never joined.

From the beginning, Melba was a strong supporter of Pietisten. She looked for occasions to renew an already renewed subscription, make a donation, or to give someone a subscription.

The last years of her life were difficult because she suffered from Alzheimers’ Disease. Through those years, her husband, Don, cared for her. In spite of her problems, Mum retained a sense of humor—more than we were aware. When we visited this past August, she spoke very little. One morning when she and I were sitting at the kitchen table, I told her that her nephew Don (16) now had a driver’s license and a car. Without hesitation, she said: "I guess we all better watch out." We laughed.

Her family will miss Melba Teed and they are blessed by her memory.

Phil Johnson is Editor Emeritus of Pietisten.

See all articles by Phil Johnson