Melba Jean (Sandifer) Araquistain

September 14, 1930 ~ May 11, 2020 (age 89)

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Melba Jean Araquistain passed away on May 11, 2020 in the Touchmark Assisted Living Facility in Meridian, Idaho. She lived there with her husband of 62 years, Paul Araquistain. Melba lived a wonderful life, full of love, exciting travel, and wonderful meals with family and friends. She was born in Paonia, Colorado in 1930 to Clarence and Edna Sandifer and grew up with her siblings, Bob, Shirley, and Charlotte. Melba graduated from Caldwell High School in 1948 and took her first job in public service at the Idaho Public Employment Agency.


In 1950, she met Paul Araquistain and that first night of dancing gave way to a love story worthy of Hollywood (full of wooing, intrigue, and happiness). They married on September 14, 1957 and raised three beautiful children: Michelle, Lisa, and Paul II. Melba raised her family in the burgeoning Silicon Valley as her husband helped grow the semiconductor industry. Once the kids were grown, Melba took up work at Y.A. Tittle Insurance Services as the Executive Assistant to founder and Hall of Fame quarterback Y.A. Tittle. Her retirement was delayed multiple times because she was deemed irreplaceable.  Over the course of these years, there was also lots of travel, including cruises to Alaska, safaris in Africa, road trips to the Grand Canyon, excursions in China, and time spent with family, friends, and food in Spain.


Melba radiated warmth and hospitality, while simultaneously exuding grace and elegance.  With sparkling eyes and great enthusiasm, she would swing the door open and usher friends and family into her beautiful home. In conversation, she made you feel like you were of sole importance. Always impeccably dressed, she was quick to put on her shoes to go out on the town, and always with her husband at her side. During their years of work, Melba and Paul would meet for lunch during the day; upon retirement they were inseparable.


Melba was preceded in death by her parents and siblings. She is survived by her husband Paul, three children, Paul II (John Lang), Michelle, and Lisa, niece Candace Harrison, niece Mary Araquistain, nephew Don Sandifer, and many other nieces and nephews.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a memorial celebration will be held at a later date. Private family graveside services will be held at the Canyon Hill Cemetery, Caldwell. Arrangements are under the direction of the Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel where condolences may be shared with the family at  

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Services are to be announced

Private Interment

Canyon Hill Cemetery

Caldwell, Idaho

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