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Photo by Bobby Ross Jr.

‘Aunt Melba,’ rhinestone-wearing Alzheimer’s patient, dies less than two hours after Glen Campbell

The 97-year-old Texan was featured in a Christian Chronicle story earlier this year.

‘Aunt Melba” Warrach was a huge fan of country and western music.

Into her 90s, she loved to wear cowboy boots, blue jeans and rhinestone-studded denim jackets, recalled her nephew Harold Tidwell.

“Before she moved to Christian Care, her preferred mode of transportation was her late husband’s pickup truck,” said Tidwell, an elder of the Greenville Oaks Church of Christ in Allen, Texas, north of Dallas.
In a photo taken several years ago, Melba Warrach, left, is pictured with Phil Elmore, president and CEO of Christian Care Senior Living Communities, and Nadine Capshaw. (PHOTO PROVIDED BY JAN JUNGMANN)

Perhaps it’s fitting that Aunt Melba died on the same day as one of the stars she adored: Glen Campbell, the legendary singer of “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Wichita Lineman.”

Both were diagnosed in their latter years with Alzheimer’s disease.

Campbell, 81, was pronounced dead at 10 a.m. Tuesday at a Nashville, Tenn., hospital, sparking millions of remembrances around the world.

Less than two hours later — at 11:52 a.m. — Aunt Melba, 97, “passed away very peacefully” and in much more obscurity at the Bluebonnet Memory Care unit at Christian Care Centers’ newest senior living community in Allen, her nephew said.

As part of its Caregivers series, The Christian Chronicle profiled Aunt Melba in a front-page story earlier this year:

Pictures on Aunt Melba’s walls and mementos on the shelf above her TV — including bobbleheads of her favorite Texas Rangers baseball players — offer glimpses of the life she can’t recall.
At a young age, she was nicknamed “Miss Priss” because of her attention to detail. Her blouse, for example, had to be ironed just right. On this afternoon, a light blue blanket and decorative pillows are placed perfectly on her bed.
She doesn’t recognize her nephew but can identify the faces of her siblings at all ages. She can piece together jigsaw puzzles. She can read the names of Bible books.
Harold Tidwell shows her a portrait of her extended family, and she smiles.
“I hadn’t seen that,” she says of the photo, which hangs by her door.
The Tidwells don’t try to convince her otherwise. They welcome the opportunity to spend as many moments as she has left in her world.

Read the rest of the story.

Graveside services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 11, at Restland Cemetery, 13005 Greenville Ave. in Dallas.

Aunt Melba poses for a photo with her nephew, Harold Tidwell, and his wife, Gail. (PHOTO BY BOBBY ROSS JR.)

Filed under: Caregivers National Top Stories

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