|Birth: ||Jan. 23, 1940|
|Death: ||Oct. 19, 2009|
1/23/1940 to 10/19/2009
Age 69. Ms. Melum was born to Mattie Hight and Lloyd George Baker in Grants Pass. Shortly thereafter, the couple moved to Portland where her brother was born and the family remained. Dancing was a major theme which developed early in Bev's life. At age 4, she began dancing at the Richard Billings Dance Studio and continued until playing basketball caught her attention at age 12. She attended Duniway Elementary School and went to Cleveland High School where dancing entered her life again. During her freshman year she was invited to dance at Emery Clay's Dance Studio which led to dancing all over the Pacific Northwest, including Canada, with frequent appearances at Amato's Supper Club. Not only was Emery himself a great influence, but Bev developed many lifelong friendships. Her higher learning education was at Portland State University, University of Hawaii and San Jose State University in California. She traveled the South Sea Islands including Fiji, Tonga and Samoa, studying and learning many native dances. She was also the only haole to dance with a native Hawaiian dance group. These were honors that she treasured all her life. She received both an elementary teaching degree and a secondary degree for teaching high school and college levels. She and a friend started a promising dance studio in Portland which ended abruptly for her in 1965 when she made the evening news by falling down an elevator shaft. After a year-long recovery, she headed back to Hawaii. It was during this time teaching at Nanakuli, Hawaii, that Ms. Melum met and married Gary Melum. Again they relocated to the Portland area. Her involvement with Jefferson High School's performing arts department flourished. She created the tap dance department. In September 1986 she took a sabbatical for two years to teach "tipi toe" in Milan, Italy. Learning to speak Italian on the fly, she taught at a private studio, but had the privilege of giving performances at La Scala. For several summers thereafter she was invited back to teach small classes between some other trips she took. She was constantly going somewhere-China, Indonesia, Jordan, Egypt, the Middle East, South America, all over Europe, and especially to Italy. Returning to Portland, her job again changed, as the performing arts program in Portland began to move across the river to Vancouver. During her time teaching physical education at Vancouver's Roosevelt Elementary School, she was again instrumental in helping to establish the first performing arts school in the state. In 1994 she became a grandmother when her son and wife had their first child. She went on to have four grandchildren whom she loved dearly and who visited her every summer. Finally, retirement brought a continuation of her zest for life and learning. She loved to entertain all her friends and relatives-the more the better. On December 9, 2009 scattering of ashes in the waters of Hawaii which she loved.
Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea.
Created by: J.A. & D.S.
Record added: Nov 30, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 44984346
On Oct 19th, Bev Melum's former students will change their Facebook cover pics to tap shoes and their profile pics to their favorite photo of Bev. Please join us.|
Added: Sep. 22, 2013
Thank you, Bev, for making these tap shoes come alive. You taught me so much - how I wish I could go back just four short years and tell you just what an impact you made! The shoes are going back on - 30 years later - in honor of your irrepressible spirit...(Read more)|
Added: Sep. 16, 2013
J.A. & D.S.
Added: Nov. 30, 2009