Melissa Smith
Melissa Smith
Our beautiful, sweet Melissa left us far too soon on April 20, 2020. 

She fought a very good fight for a year against a rare cancer. She very much appreciated the love, support and help shown her by so many in their own caring ways. 

Born to Melvin R. and Rosemary Vermillion White on March 12, 1967, in Winnemucca, Nevada, she joined three sisters and one brother. 

At four months, her mother passed unexpectedly and Aunt Margaret Smith took the five children home after already raising her own three. Aunt Margaret became "Mama", adopting and raising Melissa and being her lifelong best friend and confidante. 

Often they would visit by phone five times a day. Melissa found joy in throwing "Mama" her birthday party each June. The day soon grew into our family reunion. 

Melissa had a caring and giving nature. You knew you were special to her when a brightly hand-decorated package arrived filled with a thoughtfully-chosen gift and card with your name spelled out in stickers. She also kept each card given to her and the envelope it came in. She especially enjoyed spoiling all the kids she loved, earning her the honor of "Coolest Auntie Ever!!" 

Melissa attended the Winnemucca Grammar School and Lowry High where she played girls basketball.

After graduation in 1985, she moved "up to the Lake" Tahoe  waiting some tables until she found her niche in banking. She worked in loans there for several years, transferred to Palm Springs, then came home to Carson City.

Her last career was in accounting for Perennial Vacation Club. 

Melissa was passionate about cat rescue. She adopted and nurtured many fur babies, her oldest now 20 years young. They were entertaining company and loved her unconditionally. 

She also loved the outdoors. A perfect day would begin by grabbing a drive-thru coffee, taking a very long walk around a beautiful neighborhood, snapping pictures to share from her phone. 

Tired from all that walking, she'd jump in her yellow Jeep for a drive around Washoe Lake hoping to spot a wild horse or deer. If there was any time left, why not meet a friend at Titos for an artichoke and Margarita!

Melissa's friendly, upbeat spirit made her many friends whom she kept for her lifetime.  They shared amazing adventures and crazy fun times together. 

She saw Eddie Money in concert several times and was arguably his biggest fan, jumping up on stage with him once!  She liked traveling and exploring new places, collecting postcards, magnets and keychains to keep and give. 

She was making plans for this fall when she would be feeling better.

Melissa will be laid to a much-deserved rest next to "Mama" in the Winnemucca Cemetery. Her heavenly welcoming committee includes "Mama", her parents, her grandparents Harold and Olive Haviland, Roland and Jeanette B. White, sister Sheri Allen, Eddie Money, and many cats who had been chosen to spend their lives with her. 

Left to miss her dearly until we meet again are furbabies Yoda, Rocky, Bear and Kit-Ten, sisters Nicky (Harv) Blackwell, Kathy (Bob) Buckingham,  Heidi Lee, Gay Lynn Miller, brothers Tony (Tricia) Vermillion, Tom (Ana Marie) Smith, many nieces, nephews, cousins and all their kids and her countless, wonderful friends who filled her life with so such love and joy. 

To remember Melissa, take a longer walk, send another card (preferably decorated), and have fun as if she were there laughing with you. A gathering will be held this summer in Genoa, Nevada for all to celebrate  Melissa Margaret Smith "the Life of the Party"!!