Melba Ouida (Ledbetter) Mosher entered eternal rest on September 20, 2023. Our darling mother was born June 1, 1927, and was ninety-six years old at the time of her passing. She will be welcomed into heaven by her beloved husband of 58 years, William (Bill) Mosher, who has patiently waited for her since his passing in 2008.
May she be sweetly reunited with her parents, Fay (Barton) and Lester Ledbetter, Aunt Alva Barton, Uncle Jesse Riola, brother Bill Ledbetter, and the only son of Melba and Bill, William (Billy) Mosher, Jr.
Melba is survived by daughters Faye (Robert) Krull of Galt and Ouida (Herb) Garms of Sloughhouse and Billy’s widow, Kay Mosher of Rancho Murieta.
Melba was blessed with five grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. Kathleen (John) Davis and daughters, Gabby and Taylor. Jonathan (Kirsten) Krull and children Hudson and Peyton. Melanie (Jeff) Siesser and children, Madelyn Baiz and Billy Baiz, Jackie (Preston) Hanford III and sons, Preston IV and Herbie. Caitlin (Paul) Smith and daughters, Sophia and Roselyn. All will carry with them countless memories of grandma, each one precious and made with love.
Melba grew up spending her summers in Lake Tahoe. It was there, riding her dearest horse, Pet, that she was the happiest. She loved to ride across Desolation Valley, up Mount Tallac, or up to the Star Lake. It was where she was always happiest and dreamed to be.
Melba was a descendant of the Barton family on her mother’s side, whose rich family history included Sam and Rebecca Kyburz. Rebecca Kyburz, Melba’s great-great grandmother, was the first Emigrant American woman to live at Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento. Service and adventure, had been in Melba’s blood for generations. Her mother, Fay, and Aunt Alva Barton donated the land for the very first hospital in Lake Tahoe in 1962, the Barton Memorial Hospital.
A lifelong advocate for education, Melba’s own academic career began at the Rhoads School House, once on Sloughhouse Road and now a historical landmark located in Elk Grove Park, standing beside a bell donated by Melba many years after her attendance. Melba’s contribution to the local education system dates to 1948 when her family donated a part of their property on Jackson Road that became Cosumnes River Elementary School. 60 years later, the library at the new Cosumnes River Elementary School was named the Ledbetter Family Library, where their family legacy continues to this day.
After graduating from Elk Grove High School in 1945, Melba, then Ledbetter, majored in Education and minored in Art at Sacramento State College and was part of the inaugural graduating class of 1949. Her passion for education led her to become a teacher, a profession she held in the highest regard. She taught for several years in Courtland and Elk Grove.
Melba married Bill Mosher August 5, 1950 and they lived their whole lives together on the Mosher Ranch. The ranch, located on Grant Line Road, had been in Bill’s family since 1936, and Melba brought a great deal of knowledge and experience from her years growing up on her own family’s ranch. Together they ran a dairy and then years later beef cattle. Melba raised paint and quarter horses which brought Melba immense joy. Melba was also a world traveler having visited several countries in Britain, Europe, Italy (Rome and the Vatican), Russia, Africa and throughout North America throughout her life. After the loss of Bill, Melba continued to run the ranch without her husband, and it is this home, where they raised their children, that she remained up until she passed away.
Melba’s husband, Bill, was also a graduate of Elk Grove High School, class of 1943, and together they were both called Super Grads for their community devotion and contributions to the city of Elk Grove. They shared a passion for being of service to others, and of education. At their ranch, they hosted Spotlight on the Ranch, a local scholarship fundraiser for the Elk Grove Regional Scholarship Foundation. They were an essential and integral part of the successful Annual Trail Ride fundraisers for Project R.I.D.E, therapeutic horseback riding program for children & adults with special needs, in addition to her longtime support of the Center.
Melba’s impact on her community was evidenced by her involvement as one of the Founding Members of the Patrons Club of Cosumnes River Junior College, A member of the Historical Society, and the Mexican Heritage Scholarship. She was also a member of several elk grove clubs such as the LTA, Republican Women, the Garden Club and Native Daughters of the Golden West, along with a member of the Sacramento County Farm Bureau.
Melba, our mom, lived a beautiful life, surrounded by exceptional friends and her devoted family. Her time here was spent in the service of others. Her legacy will continue for generations, through her passion for education, support of others reaching their highest potential, and knowing that above all else, there is nothing too difficult to overcome with the love of your family. She was a survivor, a pioneer, and a matriarch. We love you more than words will allow, and we will dream of you in heaven, riding your horse along the water’s edge.
A viewing will be held Monday October 2, 2023 at 5:00pm followed by a rosary in Melba’s honor at 6:00pm at East Lawn Chapel on E. Stockton Blvd in Elk Grove.
The funeral mass will be at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Elk Grove, Tuesday October 3, 2023 at 10:00am.