Melba Hancock Estes

Jan. 23, 1933-

March 6, 2016


Melba Hancock Estes passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 6, 2016.

Melba was born in Waxahachie on Jan. 23, 1933, to Herbert and Juanita Hancock. She graduated from Waxahachie High School, where she was chosen Homecoming queen her senior year. Melba then attended Baylor University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1954. While at Baylor, she was a member of a local club that later became affiliated with Chi Omega Sorority and into which she was initiated.

Melba married her high school sweetheart John L. Estes on Aug. 7, 1954. As newlyweds they lived briefly in Austin and El Paso where she worked as a schoolteacher while John finished Law School and served in the army. The Esteses then moved back to Austin as John began his legal career and the couple began raising their family. After three years in Austin, John and Melba moved to Dallas where they have since lived. There, Melba raised her two sons, Phillip and Clay, and later doted over her four grandchildren. Her grandchildren were Melba’s pride and joy. Family traditional holiday meals, feeding the ducks at the park and hosting elementary school field trips to her house were among the many things she enjoyed sharing with her family. For many years she needlepointed, and their home is decorated with many of her handiworks. She was able to create intricate designs by merely looking at a photo and transferring the image to canvas. Her creations are also on display at the Belo Mansion where she joined forces with the Dallas Bar Association in the renovations that took place in the 1980s.

Melba was active in the Dallas Lawyer’s Auxiliary and several book and Bible study groups. She and John belonged to the Park Cities Presbyterian Church.

Melba took time to recognize the beauty in this world. From the picturesque places she visited, to the needlepoints she created, to the antique shops she loved to prowl. She and John enjoyed traveling with various bar associations and safaris and have visited many countries around the world such as Europe, Central America, Canada, Africa, Ireland, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand.

Predeceased by her parents and her son Phillip, Melba is survived by her husband of 61 years, John, her son, Clay and daughter-in-law, Brenda, and four grandchildren, Laura, Hunter, Libby and Hayden, all of Dallas, Texas. Brothers, Billy Hancock and Marty Hancock, of Waxahachie, and numerous nieces and nephews also survive her.

A private burial will be in Waxahachie and a memorial service will be held at 4 p.m., Monday, March 14, 2016 at Sparkman Hillcrest Funeral home with the Rev. David Hutchins presiding. The family will receive guests following the service at the home of John Estes.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the John and Melba Estes Visiting Professorship at the University of Texas School of Law, 727 E. Dean Keeton Street, Austin, TX 78705, or to the charity of your choice.