COLUMBIA — Laura Melloway was a loving grandmother above all else.
"Her life to me was more about babies, about her grandchildren, than anything else," her daughter Pamela Melloway said.
Laura Naomi Melloway of Columbia died Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012, at her home. She was 88.
She was born June 14, 1923, to Alvin Thomas and Mary Loretta Sparks in Fulton.
She married Charles Robert Melloway on Sept. 15, 1939, in Columbia.
Her daughter said she was a farm girl who loved blue roan cows and always had a few until she moved into Columbia late in her life.
"She took each one of us under her wing and taught us how to cook," Pamela Melloway said. "She taught us how to make bread and how to live off the land."
She said her mother was also very supportive of her daughters when they wanted to show horses.
After she moved to Columbia, Pamela Melloway said her mother missed her cows and chickens and would say she wanted to go back to them. She enjoyed flowers and ceramics and owned a ceramics shop for 15 years in Ashland called Laura's Ceramics. Her daughter said she was always willing to open the door to her shop to help someone get what they wanted.
"She put herself last and everyone else before her," Pamela Melloway said.
Years ago, Mrs. Melloway brought her nieces together from Oklahoma to see their father — her brother — so that he could see them all before he died.
"She did anything and everything to get people together who have parted ways," Pamela Melloway said. "She saw the good in everyone."
Mrs. Melloway cared for all of her 13 grandchildren at one point and loved having them around. She was especially happy when the third generation came around. Pamela Melloway said she was young when she had her first son, and her mother helped raise him.
"He thought of her like another mom," Pamela Melloway said.
Mrs. Melloway is survived by five daughters, Dorcas Nichols, Julie Melloway, Charlene Klug, Mary Kay Melloway and Pamela Melloway; her sister, Margret Parot; her grandson Robert Becket, whom she considered a son, 12 other grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
Her husband, Charles Robert Melloway; a daughter, Vickie Lee Gorham; two brothers, Kenneth Sparks and Tom Sparks; and a sister, Mary Bloss, died earlier.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the funeral home. Burial will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Missouri Heart Institute, 1701 E. Broadway, Columbia, MO 65201.
Tributes can be posted at memorialfuneralhomeandcemetery.com.