The staff of the Convention & Visitors Bureau extends condolences to the family and friends of former Sen. Emory Melton, who passed away Dec. 26.

The esteemed senator was a long-time supporter of tourism in Missouri and served on the Missouri Tourism Commission from 1972 to 1992. He is the namesake of the Senator Emory Melton Legislative Award presented annually by the Missouri Division of Tourism. In 2005, Sen. Melton received the Pinnacle Award, the top award presented by the CVB at its annual Salute to Travel & Tourism Awards.

“Senator Melton is a legend in Missouri’s tourism industry and had a stellar reputation in the Missouri State Senate. He will be sorely missed and I am honored to have known him,” said Tracy Kimberlin, president/CEO of the CVB.

Sen. Melton, 92, was a lifelong resident of Barry County and was committed to the expansion and progression of the Roaring River State Park.  He served as a Senator from 1972 to 1996 where he was often referred to as “the conservative conscious of the Senate” and the legislator who “reads every bill.”

Sen. Melton was an attorney, book author and publisher of the “Cassville Republican” newspaper. He also served as the Barry County prosecuting attorney from 1947 to 1951. A historian, Sen. Melton was a recognized expert on Civil War history in the Ozarks and served on the board of the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Foundation and the Missouri State Historical Society.

His son, Stan Melton, served on the CVB board of directors and is a former chair of the board.

Gov. Jay Nixon issued the following statement regarding the passing of Sen. Melton.

“Emory Melton was a profoundly dedicated public servant, accomplished statesman, and an inspiration to all who were fortunate enough to know him. As an author, lawyer, publisher and senator, Melton was driven throughout his life by his abiding faith, integrity, and love for this great state.  I was honored to serve alongside Melton in the Missouri Senate and will never forget the lessons I learned from his example – not the least of which was to read every bill before voting on it.

“Melton was committed to leaving Missouri better than he found it, and in so many ways that is exactly what he did. Among Melton’s proudest achievements was leading the effort to build an inn and conference center at his beloved Roaring River State Park, which Missouri families and visitors will enjoy for generations to come.

“Emory and his wife of 61 years, Jean, will always be remembered for exemplifying the very best of Missouri.  The First Lady and I send our heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones, and join all Missourians in celebrating his life and accomplishments.”

Visitation is 5-7 p.m. today at First Baptist Church in Cassville. Services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at First Baptist Church of Cassville under the direction of Fohn Funeral Home. Contributions may be made to Barry County Museum, The Historical Society or Russ Melton Scholarship Fund in memory of Emory.


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