Obituary of David Wayne Melber
David Wayne Melber of Austin, TX, was called home to our Lord on April 2, 2022 at the age of 83. The Visitation will be held Sunday, April 17, 2022 from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Austin Arboretum located at 9505 Stonelake Blvd. Austin, TX 78759. Services will be held at Gethsemane Lutheran Church on April 18, 2022 at 11:00am, and can be live streamed by visiting gethsemaneaustin.org. In lieu of flowers, the family requests you send donations to one of David’s favorite charities: Heifer International or Autism Speaks.
David was born March 1, 1939 to Fritz and Bell Pittman Melber in Austin, TX. After graduating from McCallum High School, he attended the University of Texas at Austin on a track and field scholarship. He later received a Bachelor of Science from Concordia College, Seward Nebraska, being awarded Outstanding Student in the Academic Field of Religion and Outstanding Athlete in the Sport of Track and Field. He received a Bachelor of Divinity at Concordia Seminary, Springfield, Illinois, and was ordained into the ministry on December 3, 1968. He received a Masters of Education in Special Education at West Texas State University; has done graduate work in sociology, history, and social work; and doctoral work at Austin Presbyterian Seminary. In all, he has attended fourteen schools of higher education. After approximately 10 years in the ministry, he began a career in Social Work at the Department of Health and Human Services for the Aged, Blind, and Disabled, before returning to the ministry. During his careers, he served as a campus pastor in Illinois and Texas, a parish minister, social worker, and teacher (special education, Adult Basic Education, elementary/middle/high school education, continuing education in social work, and junior college instruction). He retired as pastor of Salem Lutheran Church in Austin, and has since served as an interim pastor at multiple congregations.
During his seminary studies, he met Lynn Hunter. They married in 1965 and had four children: Deborah, Angela, Rebecca, and Stephen. They later divorced. At his 35-year high school class reunion, he re-connected with fellow classmate Ann Connally Cavett Joiner, beginning what would become a 20 year marriage. Dave retired to care full time for his wife, who has since joined the church triumphant.
David has published two books, and was in process of writing several others at the time of his passing. He performed multiple “gigs” over the last 40 years as an Elvis impersonator. He was a Senior Olympian participating in the high jump, long jump, triple jump, hurdles, sprints, softball, and basketball. He was an avid softball player, participating in Senior Softball-USA National Championship games, and was inducted into the Austin Senior Softball League Hall of Fame. He was a life-long political activist, marching with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, in Chicago in 1966, and continued to participate in multiple state and local political activities from his college years until the time of his death.
David is predeceased by his parents, Fritz and Bell Melber, his wife Ann Melber, and his sister-inlaw Ruthie Melber. He is survived by his brother, Kenneth Melber of Houston, TX; daughter and son-in-law Deborah and Gregory Drury of Cypress, TX; daughter and son-in-law Angela and Hal Kuempel of Pflugerville, TX; daughter and son-in-law Rebecca and Russell Rhodes of Cypress, TX; son Stephen Melber of Dallas, TX; grandchildren Audrey Drury, Walker Drury, Hunter Drury, Zane Kuempel, Rex Kuempel, Megan Salles, Kathryn Rhodes, Krysten Rhodes, Dylan Salles, Angelica Olvera, Cortne Baily, Cassandra Gutierrez, Mariah Melber, Brianna Olvera; five great-grand children; and multiple nieces and nephews.