PETERSBURG — Melton Stilwell, 62, of Petersburg, formerly of Princeton, passed away Jan. 19, 2022 at Jasper Memorial Hospital from complications from an auto accident he had in December.

He was born Sept. 11, 1959 to Johnny William Stillwell and Phyllis Jane (Stewart) Tucker.

On June 7, 1998 he married the love of his life, Brenda (Higdon) Stilwell and they were married for almost 24 years.

He worked from a very young age of 14 at Princeton Farms Popcorn Co. He was there until 1994 when the farms closed down. His current boss Robert (Bob) Smith with Highway Machine Company came over and hand-picked five guys. Melton was one of them, and the only one of the five still there. He worked for the same family all of his life.

He loved to go camping and riding motorcycles. He was an adventurer and loved to travel. A couple of his favorite trips were cruises to the Bahamas and Hawaii. He was planning on doing more traveling with his wife after he retired. He enjoyed spending time with his Grands as much as possible. His granddaughter Chloe Kelly was always going on trips with him and Brenda. There was some wonderful memories made on those trips. Anytime Jameson and Oliver were around there was a wrestling match and so much laughter. He enjoyed watching Oliver race his dirt bike and was looking forward to a new racing season. They were his world along with his dog Dandy. Whenever he was watching TV, Dandy was right there beside him, his best friend.

He is survived by his wife Brenda, and his step children Amanda (Lloyd) Woods, Clint (Devin) Lloyd; daughter Ashlee Thorbecke; son Stewart Stillwell; grandchildren Chloe Kelley, Oliver and Jameson Lloyd; sister Madeline (Stilwell) Johnson; sister-in-law Karen Stilwell; many cousins, nieces, and nephews; brothers-in-law Roger (Kim) Higdon, Charlie (Mary) Higdon and Jerry Higdon; aunt Pat Carrico and Alvin; aunt Ruth Hambey; uncle Paul Fulfer.

He was preceded in death by his parents Johnny Stilwell and Phyllis Tucker; brother Calvin Stilwell; mother-in-law Jean Higdon; and step nephew, Daniel Ray Lorenz Jr.

Service for Melton is at 2 p.m. EST Sunday, Jan. 30, at Harris Funeral Home in Petersburg. Visitation is from 3-7 p.m. EST Saturday, Jan. 29, at the funeral home and 10 a.m. until service time Sunday. Pastor Brad Keenan will officiate. Burial follows at Iva Cemetery. Harris Funeral Home is entrusted with care.

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