Keith & Keith Funeral Home

YAKIMA - Gifford William “Sonny” Meling of Yakima passed into the hands of our Lord on Saturday, December 15, 2012, at Cottage in the Meadow; after a long battle with cancer and diabetes. Sonny was born on September 26, 1939 in Marshalltown, Iowa to Gordon and Joyce (Polston) Meling, and moved to the Seattle area as a toddler.

Sonny went to various schools in Seattle, and met Velma Jensen while they were students at Franklin High School, recognizing that there’s was a love made in heaven, they were married July 11, 1957 shortly after graduation.

Sonny was a natural horseman, whose skills were honed by his mentor Earl Barbour, beginning when he was 11 years old. After working many years at the race track and as a truck driver, he was able to devote more and more of his time to horse training, and all who knew him are aware that his passionate love was with the horses. Sonny enjoyed his years of working with children as well. Many kids benefited from the time he devoted to 4-H, as a leader and organizer of Pee Wee Rodeo in Clark County; as well as with the youth of Bethlehem Lutheran Church. His work with handicapped children gave him so much satisfaction and was an example for others to follow.

Sonny is survived by his loving wife, Velma; 3 children, Jerry Meling, Joe Meling and Jeannette (Joe) Bergren; four grandchildren, Casey Meling, Joe (Marta) Meling, Megan (John) Scraper, and Monica Kissack; also our adorable great granddaughter, Gracie Lynn Scraper. Left behind are his brother, Lee Meling and sisters, Beverly Hudson and Zenith Simard; also his loving mother-in-law, Ella Jensen and several in-law siblings and nieces and nephews who will miss him dearly.

In lieu of flowers please make donations to Pegasus Project Therapeutic Riding of Yakima or the Yakima Humane Society.

A memorial/ celebration of life service will be held Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 11:30 a.m. at Central Lutheran Church. To share a memory of Sonny, visit