Melba Holden

Melba Pearl (Bradley) Holden was born September 4, 1922 in Birch Tree, Missouri, the oldest child of James Franklin and Mary Altha (Ledbetter) Bradley. She departed this life on April 11, 2015 at Mercy St. Francis Hospital in Mountain View at the age of 92 years, 7 months and 7 days.

Pearl was saved as a young girl at a Brush Arbor meeting in the community but didn’t attend church until later in life when she and Darrell started going to Oak Grove Baptist Church, then joining that church in 1964. Her membership remained there until her death.

She graduated from Birch Tree High School in 1941 and also did some post graduate classes in office training given at Birch Tree High School. Her plans were to move to Washington, D.C. and work, but plans have a way of changing and she began her career in the work force at the Bank of Birch Tree where she was employed for 26 years.

Pearl was united in marriage in March 1946 to Lawrence Darrell Holden, whom she had met while he was in the Navy during World War II. They made their home in and near Birch Tree for most of their married life. In 1960, they moved to a farm outside of Birch Tree in the Oak Grove Community and spent over fifty years there, then sold the farm in 2012 and moved to Assisted Living in Mountain View. They were not blessed with children, but enjoyed working with the youth in their church. She taught Sunday School for the Juniors and Teens class while also serving as the Pastor’s wife. Pearl also served as Counselor many times at the Baptist Camp in Van Buren, Missouri, along with Darrell.

She learned to play the piano later in life and was able to play in church services during the time she served as a pastor’s wife. She and Darrell also enjoyed spending many hours practicing the piano and singing at home. Some of her other interests were cooking, gardening, working with her flowers and going on family picnics and get togethers. She enjoyed digging into the family genealogy plus sharing her many experiences and life stories, which she left for all of us to read in the book she wrote about her family.

Pearl was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Don and Glenn Bradley; and one sister-in-law, Dorothy Bradley. She was also preceded in death by all of Darrell’s siblings and their spouses.

She is survived by her husband, Darrell, of the home; one sister-in-law, Vera Bradley of Mountain View; and a host of nieces and nephews, cousins and friends.

She was loved by all who knew her and will be greatly missed.

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at Chapel Hill Church, Mountain View with Pastor Robert Wiggs officiating. Burial will be in Chapel Hill Cemetery under the direction of Yarber Mortuary, Mountain View. Memorials may be made to either Chapel Hill Cemetery or Bethlehem Cemetery. Condolences may be expressed at

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