Earl Howell Melton, 75, of Laurel, Miss., died Thursday, May 30, 2013, at South Central Regional Medical Center in Laurel. Funeral services were held at 10:00 a.m., on Monday, June 3, 2013, at Eastview Baptist Church in Laurel. 

Melton was a veteran of the United States Army. During his working life, Earl served as a meat cutter for several stores before going into business for himself. He also worked as a horseshoer. Melton spent 30 years serving as a DQP (Designated Qualified Person) for the National Horseshow Commission.

Melton had many friends in the Heart O’Dixie Walking & Racking Horse Association and was a “fixture” of that show circuit for 30 years.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Roger Earl Melton and Evelyn Lewis Sumrall and his sister, Jeanone Rayner.

Survivors include his wife, Kathy; sons, Michael Soelman and Scott Goode (Stephanie); daughters, Sherry Melton, Debbie Moreno (Chico), Karen Saucier (Hilton), Cindy Roberts (James), Susan Albritton (Jay) and Keri Parish (Anthony); 16 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; sisters, Gloria Jean Craven (Carl), Sue McClain, Bennie Rogers and brothers, Ray Melton (Frances) and Jerry Melton (Beth).

The family wishes to express thanks to Ben Gatlin and Dr. Patel for their care of Earl during his illness.