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By Blog Master
Posted: 10/03/2022
Tags: bios

Meet Melva Watts


Melva was born and raised in Topeka, Kansas, where she graduated from Washburn University with a double major in math and education. Although she resided in Topeka for many years, she found that the city didn’t fulfill her desire for adventure. Looking for more, she moved to the Bay Area and lived in San Francisco and Oakland. Finding her niche, she was employed in Human Resources in the banking and insurance industries for 25 years. 


Later she transferred to Pasadena where she utilized the educational component of her background teaching math at Pasadena High School for five years. Following that Melva taught in Learning Works Charter school as a full-time teacher and a sub for an additional 15 years. She has been a resident in Pasadena for 25 years.


Melva retired a year ago from employment, having worked since she was 15 years old. 


When she retired, Melva wanted to be involved in something that would give her an opportunity to meet interesting people and be engaged in helping others, as well as the opportunity to engage in challenging personal activities and learning. A long-time friend living in Northern California is active in Village Movement California, the state-wide coalition supporting Villages in California. She suggested that Melva contact Pasadena Village. She joined the Village August 13, 2021, and jumped right in. 


She enjoys participating with the Brown Bag lunches in the park, presentations such as the lecture/tasting about Trader Joes, and her neighborhood Triple Zip meetings, on Zoom and in person. She is sampling a variety of activities to socialize and meet more people. She appreciates the varied experiences, competency and backgrounds of the Village members. 


Recently she served on the Hiring task force for the selection of a new staff position at Pasadena Village. She was able to use her background in human resources and stated that she is “enjoying using her background and doing something useful and helpful.”


Melba’s children and grandchildren have their own lives but are her lifelines. She has two grown children and 4 grandchildren. Her daughter lives in San Francisco and is a civil engineer for the city of San Francisco tasked with building affordable housing. Her son is the Dean of Students and Athletic Director for LA Unified School District. Her granddaughters, one at Loyola Marymount, and one at Cal State are advocates for the homeless. A third granddaughter is completing a master’s degree at UC Santa Cruz.  Her grandson graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in economics, however, he finds his calling as a full time advocate for the homeless in Oakland, CA.


Melva loves singing and has been a participant in music for most of her life. She currently sings with the Pasadena Pro Musica choral group which has been in existence for 60 years. The group performs mostly classical music, offering concerts quarterly to the public for the low admission fee of $20. These concerts are performed at the Neighborhood Unitarian church in Pasadena, where Melva is a long-time member. The church is a liberal faith community that fully supports social justice which is important to Melva’s belief system.


Melva’s Sorority is another important activity in her life. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., founded in 1908 on the Howard University Campus (one of the historically black colleges and universities). Vice President Kamala Harris is also a member of this sorority. The graduate chapter here in Pasadena focuses on providing scholarships to High School seniors who need financial assistance to attend college. They also help with the distribution of back packs and school supplies to students.


Melva states, “I feel very fortunate to be a retiree in the Pasadena area. It is such a beautiful city, and the people are friendly, interesting and generous. I am enjoying exploring the city, finding new things to do, and meeting great people.”


Melva is a wonderful addition to our Village community and a great example of someone who has lived an active, involved life and continues to set that example in retirement. You will enjoy meeting her in person or on Zoom.



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