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Melba Berger Williams

December 24, 1939 September 27, 2018
Melba Berger Williams
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Obituary for Melba Berger Williams

Melba Berger Williams lost her battle with cancer on Thursday, September 27, 2018.

Melba was born to Joe and Alice Holland Berger on Christmas Eve 1939 at Baptist Hospital in Memphis, TN. At the time, the Berger family was living in Vance, MS, where her mother was postmistress and her dad was a rural carrier. The family moved to Jackson, MS, when Melba was two years of age.

Melba’s first singing performance was at Kiddie Matinee at age 3. By age 7, she sang at City Auditorium as four of the children who were selected to audition for Horace Hite. Melba placed 2nd and won jewelry for her performance. Melba attended Poindexter School during elementary. Melba’s dad was transferred to Belzoni, MS when she was 10 years of age. She loved this little town from the beginning.

Melba was a true Southern Belle educated at the University of Southern Mississippi and at the University of Georgia. She was a business owner with an office in her home to allow her to be a stay-home Mom. Melba was married to the late Hugh Beckham, who was the father of five of her children. She moved her children from Belzoni to Clinton Schools in 1976. Her children include Melanie Shadow Baker from Nashville, TN (David), Sylvia Beckham Chapman from Birmingham, AL (Steve), Alisa Beckham Haguewood from Jackson, MS (Don), Mary Hugh Beckham from Birmingham, AL, Hugh Beckham, Jr. from Nesbit, MS (Elizabeth), and Tom Beckham from Mooresville, NC (Holly). Melba had 12 beautiful grandchildren that she loved dearly.

In early 2015, Melba had an idea of reconnecting friends, classmates, and residents of Belzoni with a group on Facebook entitled, “Memories of Growing Up in Belzoni, MS”. This group is now approaching 2,000 members. From this group came the idea of a weekly column in The Belzoni Banner authored by Melba entitled, “Amazing Memories: Growing Up in Belzoni”. Melba wrote a column every week for over three years, so we could all enjoy and share our rich history. Melba wrote in a whimsical way that took her readers back in time. She was a great storyteller, and with 6 children, she did not lack for entertaining tales. The column continues today as a monthly feature with guest writers contributing to the column.
Melba’s Facebook group and her column sparked the idea of returning the “Belzoni Heart of the Delta Sign” to Belzoni. This historic sign stood at three entrances to Belzoni during the mid-1900s, welcoming residents and visitors from near and far to the town. Melba served on the Project Team to bring the “Heart of the Delta Sign” back to Belzoni, and her dream will soon become a reality.

Another of Melba’s many claims to fame include “Melba’s Caramel Cake”, a specialty that she baked and shipped all over the country. Melba and her dear husband, Hudson, gave the recipe to Walnut Hills Restaurant in Vicksburg, MS. This restaurant is known as one of Mississippi’s Best Restaurants, and they are proud to carry on Melba’s legacy.
Melba’s most important years were when she met and married the handsome Hudson Williams in 1978. Hudson was truly a Southern Gentleman, and they enjoyed 40 years of marriage together. Melba and Hudson traveled extensively, and everything seemed “Tea and Hydrangeas” until Hudson’s diagnosis with cancer six years ago. Ten days after his funeral, Melba was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, after lovingly caring for Hudson until his death.
Through Melba’s Facebook group, her Amazing Memories column, and her work to bring back the “Heart of the Delta Sign”, Melba has left her “Footprints in the Sands of Time”, never to be forgotten. What a remarkable legacy she leaves!

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 30, 2018 at Sebrell Funeral Home in Ridgeland. Burial will be private. Visitation will begin at 1:00 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, Melba asks that you consider a donation in her memory to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Melba would like to leave her family and friends with a favorite quote:
“Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower.
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind.
-William Wordsworth

To send flowers in memory of Melba Berger Williams, visit the Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Visitation

Sunday

30

Sep

1:00 PM 9/30/2018 1:00:00 PM
Sebrell Funeral Home

425 Northpark Drive
Ridgeland, MS 39157

Sebrell Funeral Home
425 Northpark Drive Ridgeland 39157 MS
United States

Service

Sunday

30

Sep

2:00 PM 9/30/2018 2:00:00 PM
Sebrell Funeral Home

425 Northpark Drive
Ridgeland, MS 39157

Sebrell Funeral Home
425 Northpark Drive Ridgeland 39157 MS
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Private Graveside Service Final Resting Place

Private
Private, Private Private

Private Private Private Private
United States
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