JEFFERSON COUNTY IL 
OBITUARIES
Melba Hodge Shurtz
Melba Hodge Shurtz was born on April 6, 1920 in Waltonville, Il 
the second daughter of James Walton and Elsie Estela Newell Hodge.  
Two more sisters would follow in the next few years.  She grew up 
on a farm and graduated from Waltonville High School in 1938.  She 
attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, graduating in 1940.  
She next taught at Science School until her marriage to Fred Marshall Shurtz 
on March 25, 1944.  She travelled from coast to coast as a navy wife, 
finally settling in Spring Valley Ca until her death on July 19, 2003.  

She was an active member of the Spring Valley Womens Club, the United Church 
of Christ Congregational Church and the Friendship Circle associated with the 
church.  She was the mother to Sandra Sue Nickell, who predeceased her on 
Feb. 9, 2003, and Kathy May Balsley, as well as Kathy's husband William. 
Four grandsons and six great-grandchildren also survived her as did her sisters 
Idabell Hodge Rightnowar and Selma Hodge Walters, both of Mt. Vernon.  

She was predeceased by her parents and sister Eleanor Hodge.  

Melba took meticulous care of her home, and was greatly loved by her daughters, 
grandsons and friends.  She and Fred celebrated their golden anniversary in 1994 
and she showed great compassion and devotion to him in the months preceding his death 
in 1998. 



Source: Personal memory  
Date: May 19, 2009
Submitted by: Kathy Shurtz Balsley
Relationship: Daughter
 

 

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