Obituary for Melvin Chenoweth


Melvin Chenoweth

May 19, 1939 - August 10, 2020

On Monday, August 10, 2020, Melvin Chenoweth, loving husband, wonderful dad, and awesome grandpa, passed away at the age of 81.

Born to Emmett and Lucinda (Durnil) Chenoweth on May 19, 1939, Melvin was raised in Indianapolis, and married Jill Davis, his high school sweetheart on her birthday, October 17, 1959.  She survives.

Melvin graduated from Emmerich Manual High School and Harry E. Wood Barber School. He joined his dad, Emmett, as a barber at Chenoweth’s Barber Shop, where he gave flat-tops, told stories, and learned jokes that he couldn’t repeat at home. During the economic downturn of the early 1970’s, which he blamed on the long hair of the Beatles, Melvin changed careers, becoming a trained optician at E.H. Schmidt Optical, and later at Walmart Optical Labs. He never met a pair of glasses that he couldn’t repair.

Together with Jill, Melvin raised two daughters, Delisa and Pam, in whom he instilled his love of nature as well as his penny-pinching tendencies. Throughout his life Melvin was very involved in his family’s activities. He served as Commissioner for Greenwood Lassie League, where he also umpired hundreds of girls’ softball games.  Affectionately “Wooly-Worm” to the Girl Scouts in Troop 1114, Melvin was the official Wagon Master for their summer camping trips. He never missed a girls’ basketball game, a Greenwood band concert, and he cheered at every marching band contest.  And just as importantly, he was quite accomplished at puttering in the garage and garden.

He excelled as the world’s best Grandpa to Amy and Tyler, playing Barbies and Matchbox cars, and dispensing advice and unconditional love.

Melvin and Jill had a passion for travelling North America in their RV, visiting nearly every state, spending time with the families of their much-loved nieces and nephews, and sampling biscuits and gravy at every local café along the way.  Winters were spent RVing across the South, and summers throughout the USA and Canada.  His last short trip was a perfectly executed 60th anniversary surprise for Jill to the West Baden Springs Resort.

Melvin is survived by his wife, Jill, of Greenwood; daughters, Delisa (Steve) White, of Milwaukee, WI, Pam (Mike) Evans, of Fishers; granddaughter, Amy (Mario Diaz) Narr, of Milwaukee WI; grandson, Tyler Narr, of West Bend, WI; sister, Sharon Greene, of Indianapolis; as well as uncles, an aunt, cousins, and many nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Melvin’s life will be held at a future date.


Memorials may be sent to:


Johnson County Senior Services

731 S State Street, Franklin, IN 46131

(317) 738-4544


Greenwood Lassie League

PO Box 624

Greenwood, Indiana 46142


Girl Scouts of Central Indiana

7201 Girl Scout Lane

Indianapolis, IN 46214


Peace Corps

1275 First Street NE

Washington, DC 20526


Dick Kivett posted on August 15, 2020

RIP Melvin, from an old high school buddy.

Dick Kivett posted on August 15, 2020

RIP Melvin, from an old high school buddy.

Dick Kivett posted on August 15, 2020

RIP Melvin from an old High School pal.

Carol, Richard, & Clifford Russell posted on August 11, 2020

Sharon, Our sympathy to you & your family members on the passing of your brother. Praying for Jesus' peace & comfort for you all during this time.

Carol, Richard, & Clifford Russell posted on August 11, 2020

In memory of , Carol, Richard, & Clifford Russell lit a candle

Joy Wandrey posted on August 10, 2020

My heart goes out to you all. May his memory be a blessing and may you find peace.


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