Melton, Barbara Jean

October 7, 1946 - February 23, 2018

Barbara Jean Melton died on February 23, 2018, at the age of 71, of small cell lung cancer.  Barbara was born in Atmore, Alabama on October 7, 1946 to Lola Mae (Culver) and Thomas Albert Melton.  Although she left the South as a young child, with her mother and sister, she embraced her southern roots.  She was raised primarily in Lawton, Oklahoma by her mother and stepfather, Lieutenant Colonel Donald P. McCutchen.

She graduated from Lawton High School in 1964.  Barbara was married to Nick Richards of Lawton from 1967 – 1983.  They had one child together, Nicole Richards.  Barbara attended Cameron University, from which she received a Bachelor of Business Administration.  Since 1986, she had been living in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, where she had a successful career in the health insurance industry.  Along the way, she developed many long-lasting friendships. Barbara enjoyed good food and wine, cooking, reading, music, dancing, art, and travel.  She loved spending time with family including her extended family throughout the country.  She was outgoing, fun, classy, smart, witty, honest, thoughtful and caring.  She was the best mother and friend I could have ever wanted.

She is preceded in death by her father, mother, and stepfather.

Survivors include her daughter, Nicole Richards; sister, Elizabeth Pearson; nephew, David Loudenback and niece, Mary Loudenback Hart; two aunts, Mary (Culver) Herring and Wilma Houston Culver; two of her mother’s cousins, Gene Culver and Virginia (Culver) Snyder; her first husband, Nick Richards, thirteen cousins, and several great nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, please make a memorial donation to the Lung Cancer Research Foundation at

“If you had not have fallen
Then I would not have found you
Angel flying too close to the ground
And I patched up your broken wing and hung around a while
Trying to keep your spirits up and your fever down

I knew someday that you would fly away
For love’s the greatest healer to be found
So leave me if you need to, I will still remember
Angel flying too close to the ground

Fly on, fly on past the speed of sound
I’d rather see you up than see you down
So leave me if you need to, I will still remember
Angel flying too close to the ground.

So leave me if you need to, I will still remember
Angel flying too close to the ground.”

—Willie Nelson

Arrangements under the direction of:
ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home 
19310 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75252

5 replies on “Melton, Barbara Jean”

Peggy Evans says:

Barbara was a really good friend of 25 years. Some of the closest times we had were in the last nine months while she was getting radiation or chemo. Once when she was exhausted, I laid next to her on the bed while we talked. We ended up telling stories and laughing with great joy.

She fought hard to stay with us. She was stronger than I thought.

Barbara knew my heart so she has to know now that my heart will miss her a lot. I’ll never forget.


Kathryn Wilks says:

Barb & I became best friends in the 3rd grade. We played dolls in the beginning, traded that for rock and roll music and boys as we progressed through Jr. High and High School. She was always fun, a good student, and a loyal friend. Our lives took different directions, yet the memories stay dear to my heart. Her quick wit, deep gravelly voice were always so unique.

I’m grateful to have known her in a personal way. My deepest condolences to Nicole and all Barb’s family. May GOD keep you in HIS love and care.
Karlann Bonifield Wilks

Steve Johnson says:

I met Barbara when she was a student at Cameron University. She was a wonderful person, full of fun and I will always remember her with love. She was a great mother to Nicole and I am sorry I lost touch with her. My prayers are with Nicole and Barbara’s family.

Karla Candelaria says:

I am so sad to hear of your mother’s passing. The time I spent with Barbara (we were coworkers) was so enjoyable. I was fond of her laughter and her directness; I appreciate both those qualities in a person. Professionally, she was an awesome coworker and she took pride in her work. She spoke of you often and was very proud of you. I know you will miss her terribly as we st FEP will. My prayers are with you as you adjust to your beautiful mother’s physical presence. Take care.

Tamara Sheely Summers says:

Nicole, I am sorry for the belated response but wanted to collect my thoughts and say what a beautiful tribute this is to your sweet mom. You are right, she was true to her Southern roots in her hospitality and love of life! You hit the jackpot with a great mom who was also a friend, but the reverse is also true: Barbara could not have asked for a more loving, devoted daughter! She was always proud of you and counted herself lucky to have you as a friend as well. You are undoubtedly the best thing that ever happened to her! Please know that we continue to hold you close in our hearts.

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