Melba D. Privet died on Jan. 1, 2018, at Gundersen Tweeten Care Center, surrounded by her loving family. She was 88.

Born Oct. 25, 1929, in Caledonia, Minn., Melba Thillen graduated from Loretto High School in Caledonia.

Melba became a lifelong homemaker, gardener, and farmer alongside her husband. She also worked side-by-side with her children, active in 4-H for more than 20 years.

Melba married Ronald H. Privet on June 5, 1951, and together raised six children: Gary (Bernadene) Privet, Caledonia; Jean Ann (Lonny) Tweeten, Spring Grove; John (Jeri) Privet, Sugarland Texas; Karen (Edward) Voight, Caledonia; Mark (Laurie) Privet, La Crescent; and Kenneth Privet, Caledonia.

Also surviving Melba are her 18 grandchildren: Peter (Lynda) Privet, Lora (Brian) Wild, Tony (Lynette) Privet, Brenda (Josh) Brumm, Kari (Michael) Ingvaldson, Karen (Russell) Larson, Kati (Brandon) Bergey, Karla Tweeten, Tyler (Sara) Privet, Alex Privet, Anna Privet, Tessa Privet, Jessica (Ryan) Kealhofer, Kevin Voight, Brianna (Keith) Jonsgaard, Macy Privet, Spenser Privet, and Grace Privet. She also has 21 great-grandchildren including Sam, Ava, and Leo Privet; Beau and Zander Wild; Shaun, Kandis, Lydia, and Leah Privet; Mylee and Garytt Thorson; Jaxtyn and Kaycee Brumm; Tristan Ingvaldson; Hayley, Jordan, and Tyler Larson; Kinsley Bergey; Quinn Privet; and Brennan and Karson Jonsgaard.

Melba is also survived by her sisters, Esther Felten of Caledonia, Fern Richards of Brownsville and Sr. Evelyn Thillen of Rochester.

Melba was preceded in death by her husband, Ronald; her parents, John and Apollonia Thillen; parents-in-law, Peter and Catherine Privet; sisters, Carol Schieber and Lorraine Vick; brothers, Valerie and John Thillen; sisters-in-law, Eileen Welscher and Rose Marie Deters, and brother-in-law LaVern Privet.

Funeral services were held on Friday, Jan. 5, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Caledonia.

The burial was held at Calvary Cemetery, Caledonia.

McCormick Funeral Home, Caledonia, is assisting the family with arrangements and online condolences may be given at