Gardening 06

Melva Jean (Johnston) Martin

June 6, 1936 ~ October 24, 2022 (age 86) 86 Years Old


Melva Jean Martin, 86, of Plainview, died Monday, October 24, 2022, at her home surrounded by the family she so dearly loved.  A graveside service will be held on Wednesday, October, 26, 2022, at 2:00 PM, at Salem Cemetery in Plainview under the direction of Humphrey Funeral Service.  Pastor Roy Brooks of First Baptist Church, Plainview, will officiate.

The daughter of Lee and Myrtle (Whitten) Johnston, she was born June 6, 1936 in the Bridgeport community near Plainview.

Melva was preceded in death by her parents; her late husband, John A. Martin; three sisters: Ina Mae Underwood, Mima Jamail & Mildred Janski; a brother, Robert Johnston; a son-in-law, Bob Gassaway; and a very dear friend, Gladys Moore.

She is survived by her two daughters:  Kathy Jones (Jerry) of Gravelly, and Carla Gassaway of Plainview; two grandsons: Justin Lancaster (Mandy) and Clint King (Jennifer), both of Plainview; a granddaughter, Jamie McEwen (Aaron) of Nimrod; three step grandchildren and their families; ten great grandchildren; a great-great grandson; a sister-in-law, Billie Johnston; a special friend of 63 years, Theogene Wideman of Plainview; and a host of other relatives and friends.

Melva worked 15 years for C&D Drug Store of Plainview, and operated her own business in property management for many years.  She was proud of her service to the citizens of Plainview in being their first and only female mayor (1986-89), and the first woman to serve as mayor in any Yell County city.  She was a member of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary, the Plainview Beautification Committee, and the Plainview Alumni Committee.  She enjoyed gardening, flowers, working in her yard, and serving her Lord in and through the ministry of her church, First Baptist of Plainview.

Words cannot begin to describe how much “Mamaw” will be missed by all who knew and loved her.  She was an amazing mother, grandmother, business woman, and friend.  She will be lovingly remembered for her kindness, generosity, civic mindedness, and strong faith.

Melva’s internet obituary and online guestbook are available at

The short video below shows Melva's family & friends providing her with a time-honored tradition - covering her grave by hand.  This is a meaningful experience for a family and one that expresses deep honor to a loved one.  We are grateful for these men and children for their act of love and care.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Melva Jean (Johnston) Martin, please visit our floral store.


Graveside Service
October 26, 2022

2:00 PM
Salem Cemetery
Salem Road
Plainview, AR 72857


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