Melba Rosemary Cave

March 6, 1925 ~ October 21, 2022 (age 97) 97 Years Old


Melba Rosemary Cave, age 97, passed away early on the morning of October 21st, 2022, surrounded by her daughter, son-in-law, and care giver.  Melba was best known for her warmth, friendliness, good nature, and her love of her family, including her son, David Leonard, her daughter Lynette Leonard Ireland, her granddaughters, Kimberley Briscoe and Katie Mowrey (Matt), and her great-grandchildren, Kolton (5) and Keegan (3) Mowrey.

Melba was born in Salem, Oregon on March 6th, 1925 and was the seventh child to Will and Grace Holbrook.  Melba was the youngest of her siblings.  The family lived in Malin, Oregon.

Melba attended elementary school and high school in Malin, Oregon.  She was a gifted musician playing both the piano and organ.  For many years she sang in the choir and played the organ at the Calvary Baptist Church in Lafayette, California.

Soon after World War II, Melba met and married Lynn Leonard, a returning U.S. Marine in Klamath Falls, Oregon, where he was stationed after his combat service in the Pacific Theater.  Melba at the time was working at a local bank in Klamath Falls.  Lynn Leonard was an accomplished musician in his own right playing not only in his Marine Corp band but later in the Lawrence Welk Orchestra. Soon Melba and Lynn moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, first residing in San Francisco and then moving to Lafayette, CA approximately 70 years ago.  Lynn and Melba had 3 children, Lynette, David, and the late Douglas Leonard.  For years, Melba was a Pharmacy Technician for Longs Drug Store in Walnut Creek.  Lynn Leonard passed away in 1972.  Soon after that, Melba married Gordon Cave.  Gordon worked for Lawrence Livermore Lab at the University of California, Berkeley.  By the early 1990s, Gordon and Melba retired and began a series of road trips throughout the Western United States in their 5th wheel trailer visiting old friends, playing golf, and seeing the sites.  When back at home in Lafayette, Melba tended to her rose garden and took up the game of golf.  Gordon passed away in 2006.  Melba then sold her home and moved to Rossmoor actively playing bridge and golf.  Melba is survived by her daughter, Lynette Ireland and husband, Robert Ireland of Alamo, her son, David Leonard of Antioch, her granddaughter, Kim Briscoe of Brentwood, and her granddaughter, Katie Mowrey and husband Matt Mowrey, and great grandsons, Kolton and Keegan Mowrey, of Clayton.

Private graveside services were held on November 3rd, 2022 at Oakmont Cemetery in Lafayette, CA.  A private memorial service will be held at a future time.

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