Geraldine Rose (Grasso) Melvin

September 17, 1926 ~ September 24, 2019 (age 93)


Geraldine Rose Melvin, age 93, of Glendale, Arizona, formerly of Centerville, Iowa, passed away peacefully, Tuesday, September 24, 2019 after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Geraldine was born on September 17, 1926 in Centerville, Iowa, the daughter of Italian immigrants, Alfred and Angelina (Casale) Grasso.  She was proud of her Sicilian heritage and Catholic faith. She was a graduate of St. Mary’s Catholic elementary school and of Centerville High School. She furthered her education, attending Ottumwa Heights College from 1944-1945, before enrolling in St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing in Ottumwa from 1945-1948. Although World War Two had ended prior to her graduation, Geraldine completed her service obligation to the Cadet Nurse Corp program by working at Iowa VA hospitals.

While in Nurses training, she met and dated H. Quentin Melvin, formally of Coatsville, Missouri. On September 3, 1949, Geraldine was united in marriage to Quentin Melvin at the rectory of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Centerville.  They were married for 46 years until his death. To this union, seven children were born, Christine, Quentin, Charles, Leon, Alfred, Thomas, and Matt. The family lived in Iowa for 10 years.

Geraldine and Quentin relocated the family from Ottumwa to Phoenix, Arizona in 1959. She continued her nursing career with Maricopa County Hospital. She was dedicated to and became an expert on eldercare, spending the majority of her professional career as Head Nurse and Administrator of Hilton Nursing Home. Hilton’s became her home away from home for twenty years. Geraldine spent her whole adult life in the service of others, always full of empathy to help the less fortunate, the abandoned and forgotten. Her compassion to the helpless was loving and tireless; for which many remember her for. Upon her retirement, Geraldine and Quentin spent many peaceful years in the Ozark community of Lebanon, Missouri. There, she created many friendships and memories within the Saint Francis De Sales Catholic Parish. She returned to the Phoenix area to live near her children in 2009.

Left to cherish Geraldine’s memory are her children, Christine and Mark Cook of Phoenix, Charles and Brenda Melvin of Bucyrus, Ohio, Leon Melvin of Springfield, Missouri, Alfred and Natalie Melvin of Olathe, Kansas, Thomas Melvin of Avondale, Arizona, and retired Colonel Matt and Pamela Melvin of Kingwood, Texas; sixteen grandchildren; eight great grandchildren; her loving brother and sister-in-law, Mike and Wanda Grasso of Ottumwa, Iowa and sister-in-law (Jo Ann) Judd of Eldon, Missouri.

Geraldine was preceded in death by her husband, H. Quentin Melvin; her parents, Alfred and Angelina Grasso; a son, H. Quentin Melvin II; two brothers, James Vincent and James; and a sister, Caroline.

Although stricken with a disease that robbed her later years of memory and cognitive abilities, Geraldine would have reminded us all with never ending faith that God had provided her sufficient grace to endure her trials and struggles of the world. On earth she prayed tirelessly and now she continues to pray with our blessed mother, Mary the Mother of God.

The family would like to publicly thank Mariana Tirsoreana and her wonderful staff of Mom’s Place Assisted Living Home LLC. She was loved and taken care of so lovingly.  

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 AM, Friday, October 11, 2019 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Centerville with Father Timothy Armbruster officiating.  Burial will follow in the Coatsville Cemetery in Coatsville, Missouri.  A visitation will be held on Thursday, October 10, 2019 at Lange Funeral Home and Crematory in Centerville from 12:00-7:00 PM, with the family greeting friends from 5:00-7:00 PM.  A Rosary will be conducted at 4:40 PM on Thursday, October 10, 2019 at Lange Funeral Home in Centerville.  Memorials have been designated to the Alzheimer’s Association and may be dropped off or mailed to Lange Funeral Home and Crematory, 1900 S. 18th St., Centerville, Iowa, 52544. Condolences may be expressed online at 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Geraldine Rose (Grasso) Melvin, please visit our floral store.


October 10, 2019

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Lange Funeral Home & Crematory
1900 South 18th St
Centerville, IA 52544

Recitation of the Rosary
October 10, 2019

4:40 PM
Lange Funeral Home & Crematory
1900 South 18th St
Centerville, IA 52544

Mass of Christian Burial
October 11, 2019

10:00 AM
St. Mary's Catholic Church
828 South 18th Street
Centerville, IA 52544

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