James Keith Melville, 73, of Orem, died June 15, 1995, at his home in Orem after an extended illness.
He was born September 22, 1921, a son of John Harvey and Theodocila Chipman Shelley Melville in Bountiful, Utah. He married Ruth Weller October 31, 1947 in the Salt Lake LDS Temple for time and all eternity. Keith lived in Delta and Salt Lake City, graduating from West High School and lettering in football, basketball, and track. He attended the University of Utah, then enlisted in the Air Force. As a captain of a B17 bomber during World War II, he was decorated with the Air Flying Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He received his Masters in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley, later receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Utah. Keith taught at Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho for seven years and taught at BYU in the Political Science Department for 42 years, later retiring.Keith was active in the Democratic Party. He ran for U.S. Congress twice and the State Senate twice. He served as chairman of the State Democratic Party of Utah.
He was an active member of the LDS Church throughout his life, serving as High Councilman, Bishop twice and many other positions in the church through his life. Keith was a student of the scriptures; he felt that his great accomplishment in life was his nine children. Brother and Sister Melville served as member locators for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and also as docents at the Church Museum of History and Art in Salt Lake City, and as past Temple Square guides. He had a great love of gardening, farming, fruit orchards, and children.
He authored numerous books and articles as well as being a lecturer. He was the originator of Washington D.C. seminars for young people to intern for government offices. He was actively involved in BYU Education Week.
Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Ruth Weller Melville of Orem; his children, Mrs. Steven (Mary) Moake of Orem; Mrs. Reed (Becky) Miller of Provo; Jim W. and Becky Melville of Orem; John W. and Tracy Melville of Salt Lake City; Mrs. David (Joan) Washburn, Richard M. Melville, Mrs. Nathan (Janet) Hatch, Matt and Malinda Melville, all of Orem. He is also survived by 41 grandchildren and a sister, Lois Maxfield of Delta, Utah. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Mrs. Terry (Shelley) Foster and two brothers.
Brother Melville will be remembered fondly by many students whose lives he has touched through his teaching in church history and political science. Brother Melville expressed that through his illness he had gained many virtues that God wanted his children to glean, such as patience, faith, long suffering, brotherly kindness, and love for his fellow man.
Funeral services will be held Monday, June 19, 1995, at 11:30 a.m. in the Sunset Heights 7th Ward Chapel, 1260 South 400 West in Orem. Friends may call Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary, 495 South State in Orem and also Monday from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. at the ward chapel.
Interment will be in the Orem City Cemetery.
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