Melva  Gamet
Melva Gamet

October 6, 1924 - November 5, 2018
Born in Portland, Oregon
Resided in Corvallis, Oregon


October 6, 1924---November 5, 2018

The great granddaughter of an orphan who survived both the 1840 Oregon Trail and the 1847 Cayuse attack on the Whitman Mission, has died in Corvallis at the age of 94.
Named for her father, Melva Miller Gamet was born in Portland on October 6, 1924, to Melvin and Laura (Johnson) Miller. Like her four sisters, Melva was steeped in Oregon history and many in their extended pioneer family made a lasting impact on Pacific Northwest communities as builders and business owners.
Melva became her father’s star athlete when she lettered in three sports at Creswell High School. She resided in Corvallis after high school and eventually took business courses in Portland. Before it was commonplace she lived independently, working as a bookkeeper in a hardware store in Eugene then as a telephone operator. She made fast friends among the other telephone operators and two of them introduced her to their “little brother” Jack Gamet.
Jack and Melva were married in 1948 in Eugene. Jack had an undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon but they moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, where Jack completed his post graduate work in physical therapy at Duke University.
After graduation they returned to Oregon and Jack worked for the Veterans Hospital in Roseburg. In the late 1950s the couple started a private physical therapy business, literally out of their garage. Melva was the bookkeeper and physical therapy aide, as well as the mother of three.
Their business grew and the family moved to Gary, Indiana, in 1963. Now the business included occupational and speech therapies. They were among the first in the country to initiate mobile medical services for smaller underserved communities.
In 1983 the couple returned to Oregon, settling in Eugene. Melva was active in Methodist Church groups, the League of Women Voters and volunteered at hospitals wherever they lived. These groups were the basis of her lifelong friendships. Jack and Melva travelled extensively in Europe, Asia and Australia and spent many vacations in Hawaii. Jack died in 2013.
Melva is survived by her sister Elizabeth Sullivan of Moscow, Idaho; son Doug (Nancy McLean) of Portland; daughter Laura (Brian) Alonso of Seattle; and son Gordon (Mary Sabatka) of Albany; 11 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be at 1pm Sunday November 25th at Faith Lutheran Church in Albany.
If you wish to remember Melva, the family suggests that you take time to talk with your oldest relative to learn more about your own family’s history -- or at least visit the closest community museum. Knowing about your roots may inspire you to make a difference now, wherever you may be in life. Contributions may be made to the Assistance League of Eugene or the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum in Florence




Memorial Service
Faith Lutheran Church
930 Queen Ave SW
Albany, OR US 97321
Sunday, November 25, 2018
1:00 PM