Melanie Jeanne James, 34, of Norwalk, died Tuesday at the Cleveland Clinic after a courageous three-week battle with leukemia.
She was born April 1, 1978 in Norwalk, the daughter of Harvey and Carrie James. She grew up in the Wakeman area and moved to Norwalk as a teenager.
She graduated from Western Reserve High School in 1996 and the EHOVE school of practical nursing in 1999, becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).
Melanie worked at Fisher-Titus Medical Center for the past 12 years, the last three of which she served in its Wound Healing Institute. Late last year, upon receiving additional education and training, Melanie became certified in wound care -- something she liked, since she enjoyed working with people.
She previously was employed by Mercy Hospital in Lorain, the Ohio Turnpike Commission and Drug Mart in Norwalk.
Melanie was baptized as one of Jehovah's Witnesses on May 8, 1993.
As an active member of the Norwalk Congregation, Melanie enjoyed attending and participating in meetings twice each week at the Kingdom Hall and sharing her Bible-based faith with others through the door-to-door ministry. She also enjoyed reading the Bible and Bible-based publications and learning about creation. All of that helped her develop a solid relationship with Jehovah God.
She also volunteered with a Regional Building Committee of Jehovah's Witnesses, helping construct kingdom halls in Bowling Green and Lima, and an assembly hall in Belleville, Mich.
Known for her quick wit and good sense of humor, Melanie was a joy to be around. She showered her nieces and nephews with attention and gifts. She found creative ways to entertain them, leading to many fond family memories.
She also enjoyed traveling and scuba diving. She and her close friends, Cory Williams and Janna Zeemel, visited places such as Bora Bora, Belize, Hawaii, and various European countries, including Amsterdam, England, Greece, Italy and Spain. Perhaps her two favorite trips were to Germany, where she attended an international convention of Jehovah's Witnesses in 2009, and Africa, where she saw paradisaic scenery and impressive wildlife.
From her travels, Melanie compiled an impressive collection of mugs.
Her loyalty and faithfulness to her Creator, right down to the end of her life, epitomized the true Christian faith, setting an example worthy of imitation. Melanie will be missed greatly by her family and fellow believers, all of whom eagerly look forward to seeing her again after she is resurrected in Paradise.
In addition to her parents, who reside in Norwalk, Melanie is survived by her siblings and their spouses, Jeremiah and Nadia James of Elyria, Christopher and Aimee Chafins of Maumee, and Paul and Ginger Brown of Little River, S.C.; nephews and nieces, Tatum, Shelby, Campbell, Katherine, Parker and Noah; maternal grandparents, William and Betty Carpenter of Elyria; paternal grandmother, Fern James of Plymouth; and aunts, uncles and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her paternal grandfather, Harvey James Sr.
A memorial service will take place at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, 37 Cline St., Norwalk, where visitation will take place one hour prior to the service.
Memorial gifts may be sent to the Norwalk Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, 37 Cline St., Norwalk, Ohio 44857.
Online condolences may be made by going to www.edwalkerfuneralhome.com.