Melba was born in Hornersville on June 24, 1921, to Lee Edmunds and Bertha Rust Edmunds. After graduating from Hornersville High School and attending business college, she worked as an administrative assistant in the Missouri State purchasing agent's office in Jefferson City. During this period, she met and married a soldier who fought in the European Theater during World War II. After the war, Melba helped her husband complete his education on the G.I. Bill, after which they settled in Tulsa, Okla.
During the 1950s, Melba was active as financial secretary and member at Boston Avenue Methodist Church in Tulsa. Later, Melba was involved in Tulsa's Memorial Drive Methodist Church, where she served as president of the Women's Society. She served the community in roles ranging from Cub Scout Den Mother to American Heart Association fundraiser.
In 1968, Melba and her family moved to Tripoli, Libya, where her husband worked for an oil company. While living in Tripoli, she raised her family, was active in an interdenominational church, participated in an interfaith choir, lived through a national revolution, collected a range of Libyan souvenirs and artifacts, and traveled with her family extensively throughout Europe, the Balkans, and Israel.
Melba and her family returned to the United States, and she attended college. She graduated with a B.S. in Communications from the University of Tennessee in 1978. She wrote articles for East Tennessee newspapers and authored two histories of her family in Southeast Missouri: "A Bootheel Family," Parts 1 and 2.
She loved God and she loved her family. She loved friends, music, rabbits, butterflies, roses, chocolate, travel, swimming, writing, Earl Grey tea, and such TV comedies as "M.A.S.H." and "As Time Goes By". She was a talented woman of courage, compassion, thoughtfulness, poise, and wisdom.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Charles William Vaughan, Jr, of Bartlesville and Tulsa. She is survived by her sister, Edna Mae Zakharian; son, Charles Lee Vaughan; daughter, Judith Ann Vaughan; nieces, Annette Zakharian, Rosanna Zakharian, and Charlotte Zakharian Jones; nephew, Arthur Lee Zakharian; grandsons, Lee Edmunds Dunlap and Daniel Robert Dunlap; and her beloved dog, Spooky.
The funeral service will be in the Floral Haven Cemetery in Tulsa at 10 a.m., Monday, August 27.