Melva was born in Eldon, Ontario (near Kirkfield) on August 29, 1927 to Verna and Jack Tough. Her parents were godly, loving people and attended church every Sunday.
When Melva was 5 years old they moved from Ontario to the Morrin district in Alberta where they worked on a farm owned by Verna's brother, Percy Robinson. At a very early age, at around 5, she began taking piano lessons. Playing the piano became her first love and Melva always had a secret dream to become a minister's wife and play the piano in the church services for him. Melva didn't reveal this dream until alter in her life.
Melva attended White Rose School for the first 9 years and then went to high school in Drumheller. She boarded with the pastor and his wife, Rev & Mrs. Jim Routley, helping with housework and babysitting their children. These wonderful people became her role models and she often said she wanted to be like Mrs. Routley. It was at this time that Melva started playing the piano full time for the church services and loved doing it!
When she graduated from high school, Melva was praying and wondering what she should do with her life, but she didn't have to wonder long. At Sylvan Lake Bible Camp that summer she rededicated her life to the Lord and knew immediately that God wanted her to go to bible school and give her life in service of the Lord. Melva's sister Lorraine (who was 3 years older), was training to be a nurse and her parents said they would pay for Melva's training also, wherever she wanted to go. So at 18, this very shy farmer's daughter boarded the train for Victoria to go to the British Columbia Bible Institute (BCBI) and was met by her uncle and the President of the bible college, Rev. Ernie Robinson. He and his wife helped Melva greatly and she settled quickly into "dorm" living and studying the precious Word of God. It was such a wonderful change from high school and she always says that were the happiest days of her life.
It was in Victoria that she took pipe organ lessons in a grand old cathedral, played at many services, taught Sunday School, and visited hospitals. After graduating, Melva went to Kamloops and played the organ for Rev. Phil Gaglardi's church and his daily radio broadcast. During bible school Melva met and fell in love with her future "minister" husband, Ross Pennoyer. After being married in August of 1949 and moving to Salmo to pastor, Melva's dream came true. For 43 years, Melva faithfully played the piano at church service for her minister husband. She said she has NEVER regretted her decision to follow Jesus Christ and give her life in service to Him. Together they pastored churches in Salmo, Montgomery, Calgary, Red Deer, Prince Albert, Castledowns, and Edmonton.
Melva is the mother of 3 boys: Ronald Bruce, Wayne Howard, and Bernie Scott. She always said she would rather have boys than girls, so again she got her wish. Melva loved them so much and cared for them in her own loving way. She taught them to say their prayers at night, and to be honest and kind.
Melva worked in day cares after her own family was grown and loved the little children there also. She has played at hundreds of church services, weddings, funerals, and wherever anyone needed some music. Melva played for the Sunday services at Alberta Hospital in Edmonton for many years. She always said that she was so blessed to play hymns as she would play the "words" and not only the melody.
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