Inside the back cover of her well-worn Bible, you’ll find the words, “The Christian life is a marathon, not a sprint.”
Melanie Darae Beck McLain finished her race and departed this world to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on January 25, 2020, in Denton, TX, after a race well run.
Melanie was born August 30, 1956, to John and Dot Beck in Leesburg, Florida. After graduating from Leesburg High School, she attended Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. During the first semester of school, she sent her mother a picture of the man she thought she’d marry. She hadn’t met him yet, and when she did meet him, he was otherwise occupied; but marry him, she did. Her romance with Tom McLain started in their college and career Sunday School class, where Melanie lost a class competition that required her to carry a sign that read “I’m last in Calvary Class”. When Melanie “forgot” to take it with her, Tom helped her out with a reminder or two… Thus began the fun that characterized their relationship. Tom and Melanie married on June 3, 1976, and they laughed, cried, struggled, and served together for 43 years.
Melanie was a dreamer. She had beautiful ideas, always thinking of how to serve both her immediate family and her church family. Melanie came to Christ as a girl and desperately wanted to serve God and be an example of the believers. She joined the Student Union at Calvary Baptist Church in Leesburg, Florida to learn how to teach children and reach people for Jesus Christ. She went to Bible college with plans for an education degree, but happily finished with her “M.R.S. degree”.
She often felt she had not done enough and saw missed opportunities when reflecting on her life, but we remember differently. We remember a wife who supported her husband’s dreams and goals; a mother who gave her time and energy toward educating her children to love learning and understand responsibility and service; and a Nana who delighted in and loved her bigs and littles with a precious love.
She was a US citizen who believed in protecting the land where she was free to openly serve and worship God; a First Responder turned EMT who served in two different counties for nearly 20 years; a giver who supported foreign missions through Faith Promise financial giving and prayer; an enthusiastic and talented piano player; an alto who worshiped with enthusiasm; a wife to the man who served as the youth leader and the music director; a teen camp sponsor; a wedding decorator and planner; a homemaker who wanted everything to be special; and a Sunday School teacher to 2s and 3s, Jr. High, and the toddler nursery where she taught little people to sing and learn God’s Word. She was an encourager who wanted others to feel welcomed and included because she understood what it felt to be lonely. She was a believer who thought that doing the right thing was the obvious choice. She always wanted her home to be where everyone congregated, but distance was usually a problem. Instead her home was opened for those-in-need, whether to stay for hours, days or years.
When we learned in November 2019 that the cancer had grown worse, Melanie didn’t want to tell anyone. She wanted to celebrate her Pastor’s retirement and was thrilled to be able to fully sing during the choir presentation. She was excited for the installation of another shepherd to lead her church family. She wanted to celebrate Christmas with her whole family together for the first time in 10 years. She wanted Jesus to be the focus of the end of the year. While she didn’t want the attention on her as she ran the final leg of her race, she was very grateful when she learned people were praying for her. She said, “If they’re praying, they are spending time at the throne of God and there’s no better place to be.”
Melanie Darae McLain was preceded in death by her father, John Beck, and her half-brother, Danny Beck. She is survived by her husband, Thomas McLain; mother, Doris P. (Charlie) Beck-Cole; mother-in-law, Kathryn McLain; daughter, Tara McLain, of Wichita KS; daughter, Rachel (Stephen) Elliott of Wichita, KS; daughter, Olivia (Seth) Crow of Waco, TX; son, David Max (Amber) McLain of Waco, TX; and 9 grandchildren, Andrew, Sophia, Alyvia, Emma, Ruby, Ezekiel, Cyrus, Remington, and one on the way.
There will be a Visitation from 9am-7pm, Thursday, January 30, with the family present 5:30-7pm, at Shinkle Mortuary in Haysville.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 pm on Friday, January 31, 2020, at Calvary Baptist Church of Derby, KS, where she was a member since 2015. In lieu of flowers, Melanie requested gifts be given to the Missions program at Calvary Baptist Church.
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Calvary Baptist Church (Missions Fund)
1636 E. Patriot Ave., Derby KS 67037