Melvena Callahan, born in Cleveland Ohio, the seventh child of the parent’s named above. The sibling of sister’s Precious, Lorine, and Annie Maud, all deceased. Brother’s Calvin, Columbus, Lorenzo, Melvin and Johnny Cleaver, all deceased.
God smiled on me when He gave my parents a beautiful special sibling of all, (a baby sister B. Lenora. We were like two peas in a pod.
I was brought up in a Christian environment and was taught to believe in God and His Son, Lord Jesus Christ as our “Lord and Savior”. Events that happens in life, specific acts and or experience can cause us to faulter. My mother expired when I was eight years old and my dad was left to raise nine children. I thank God every day of my life for giving me a father who taught me to love, to believe, to share, learn to forgive and pray. Life can bring forth emotions that can be deceiving. I decided to make Jesus my choice.
If we live in the spirit, let us also walk in the spirit. We are to please God. Remember, if God can’t do it, it can’t be done. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in truth and Spirit. (John 4:24)
Precious, Lorine and Annie were my mentors. If I needed to know, learn, or go anywhere, daddy would send me to them for advice, all three were loving special big sisters.
At the age of three, my sister said,”I was playing the piano and if I heard music, I could play it”. They called it (play by air). Also, at the age of three, Annie taught me to write my name so I could get books to read from the library. At age six I was chosen to take piano lessons from a teacher at the Playhouse Settlement at her home. Annie would take me until my mother died.
At age ten I was baptized by Rev. Emery Smith, Assistant Pastor to Pastor Charles Ailer, Founder of Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church. A member of the Red Circle Mission for Youth. A member of the Choral Group Choir for seventeen years, and served as President for two years. I also taught Sunday School class for preschoolers.
Educated in the Cleveland Public School System. I graduated from Central Senior High School. Graduated from Jane Adams Vocational School of Practical Nursing. State tested and was licensed by the State of Ohio. Graduated from Tri-C Western Campus with an Associate Degree in Science, tested by the State of Ohio, earning the Title of Registered Nurse. Continued Nursing studies at Ohio State and Cleveland State University. Also, a member of the Salvation Army Medical fellowship.
I will always consider myself a member of the Mission Ministry of Zion Hill, where I served as Vice President. During the seventeen year tenure for the Precept Upon Precept Class, I was registrar for fifteen years and musician for devotion and luncheon programs.
Served as musician at Greater Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church, Pastor A. Wm Jamerson, Founder. Established a youth choir, namely; “The Sounds of Praise”.
Pianist and organist for the senior choir after Organist Bruce Glass accepted a position at St. Timothy Baptist Church. We both participated in four concerts in the church’s Building Fund efforts.
In 1951, I was united in holy matrimony to Richard Ray Huff (deceased). From this union there were two sons, Richard Ray Huff, Jr (deceased), and Johnny Cleaver Huff. Wedded George E. Evans (deceased). To this union there was one son, Jason Allyn Evans, along with four girls from a previous marriage, Regina Rose (deceased), Marlene, Gwendolyn, and Teresa Evans.
Employed at Huron Road Hospital for five years, Metro Industrial Clinic two years, Booth Memorial Hospital for twenty years. When proprietorship changed I returned to Huron Road hospital and a changed name to Meridia Huron and the auspices of The Cleveland Clinic and was awarded three Service Awards, which were chosen by the co-workers for service excellence. I was employed there for ten more years until I retired. After retiring I became caregiver to family members, until the LORD transferred each one’s internal energy to Glory.
I was employed as Part-Time Registered Nurse (PRN) at a nursing home for three more years. At the doctor’s suggestion, I was not able to continue to work.
Our family was inclined to listen to all kinds of music, play musical instruments, sing and pray. My sisters were all stable here in Cleveland as adults. We attended the same church, skated, bowled, traveled, and enjoyed each other’s company and was always there for each other in times of need.
Sister Mel’s sons brought new meaning to her life via grandchildren and great grandchildren. She dedicated herself to them in every way possible. Lovingly teaching them, taking them to church, going to school for events, and by tutoring first to fourth grade reading to Moses Cleveland Elementary School as mentor. She made sure they knew the love of Lord Jesus Christ. A giver above and beyond what most grandparents would sacrifice.
Through her illnesses, she managed to continue to pour love on the great grannies for they added joy to her life. Sister Mel was a biblical widow and our Savior blessed her with years in spite of two surgeries and other illnesses.
Her work here ended and she focused back on honoring her parents, which she remembered from a short period of our lives. I (B. Lenora) did not remember much at all, however, she shared with me many, many things and deeds of our Christian dynasty. What Mamma did and how she managed a large household. How she asked our dad, “Do not separate my children” We always had each other.
She leaves to morn those she loved and were near and dear to her. B. Lenora Benson (Fred) Johnny Cleaver Huff, Jason Allyn Evans, Michelle Donaldson, Gwendolyn Sherif (Calif), Lemont Evans (Stacie), Grandchildren Ayisha Young (Delorne), Ayana (Romera Garner), Charles Braxton (Stacie), Avery, Xavier Braxton, Nova, Thomas Finley Huff, Shabakala Huff, Gayle Finley Huff (deceased), Jason Allyn II, Great Grandchildren, Antonio, Romera Jr. Delorne II, Rocco, Royal, Kai Zyon, Nephews, Michael Hawkins (Jennifer), Marceia, Katrina, and Christopher Hawkins, Charles Frederick Callahan (Debbie) Alexandria. Adopted Sister Bea Harris Doublin (Al), BFF, Sharon Daniels, Mary O’Neal, Barbara Grabril. Also, FAMILIES OF: Bakers, Callahans, Daniels, Hillsmans, Isabells, Jones, Vernons, and Vaughns Other family members, relatives and friends.
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