Melody (DeeDee) Lee Welbaum Smith departed her earthly journey peacefully on February 19, 2020, to the loving arms of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Home schooled because of JRA until high school, she was a member of the first graduating class of Homestead High School in 1972, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Melody achieved a BED at Indiana University and a Master of Education (Ball State University). Shortly after graduation, she accepted a special education position with the Chillicothe City Schools and taught the orthopedic handicap students, first through sixth grades, until her retirement.
Melody had been active until recent health issues slowed her participation in the First Presbyterian Church, Chillicothe Lioness Club, Retired Ross County Teachers Association, Century Club, and the Joshua Sill Civil War Round Table. In honor of her great-great grandfather, she was a member of the Auxiliary to the Sons of Union Veterans.
Melody enjoyed traveling the inland waterways by steamboat and exploring the many river ports. Summer vacations were spent at Gettysburg College and experiencing the hallowed battlefield. She loved and pampered her Yorkshire terriers, Mandy and Maggie.
On September 3, 1988, Melody married Ralph Edward Smith in the Chapel at the University of Dayton. Additional surviving family members include her sister, brothers, and their spouses; Cassandra (Welbaum) Ferris, Benjamin Welbaum and companion Jean Hayes, and Christopher (Stephanie) Welbaum, aunt; Wilma Nierman and numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Arnold W. and Anna Mae (Sorrel) Welbaum.
Melody devoted her life to faith, family, and community. Challenged with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at an early age, she demonstrated perseverance, endurance, and love throughout her life. She always managed to see the greater good in everyone. The family would like to extend a special thank you to all caregivers who provided their support and care during Melody’s illness.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, February 29, 2020 in the First Presbyterian Church, 13 Mead Dr, Chillicothe, OH, with Rev. Dr. Jason T. Link, officiating. Private family burial will occur at a later date. The FAWCETT OLIVER GLASS AND PALMER FUNERAL HOME is honored to serve the family. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to either, Juvenile Arthritis Assoc., 8549 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 103, Beverly Hills, CA 90211, juvenilearthritis.org, or American Bible Society, P.O. Box 96812, Washington, DC 28890-6812, americanbible.org.
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