Melissa Ruth Hays

Born March 10, 1986 in Melbourne, Florida
Departed April 8, 2024 in Melbourne, Florida

Sweet Melissa Ruth Hays came into this world March 10, 1986. Merry, her mother, was born March 11, 1953. Many times they would celebrate their back to back birthdays together for 38 short years. Just last year, Merry, Melissa, and sister Tiffany took a girls trip to the Smoky mountains. They visited DollyWood, many wonderful restaurants, and most of all enjoyed being with each other surrounded by God’s beauty.

Melissa was born at Holmes Regional Medical Center. In the Delivery Room Merry was surrounded by Melissa’s loving dad Doug and Merry’s best friend Leah who was also born on March 10th. The 3 girls shared many wonderful birthdays together.

Melissa lived in Melbourne all her life. She graduated from Melbourne High School. Although Merry and Doug divorced when Melissa was an infant they shared many happy times together enjoying their daughter.
Melissa had an awesome work ethic that she learned by watching her grandfather, Tom Tyson, her dad, mother, and sister, Tiffany. At 16 she started working at Checkers. She was hired by Dick’s Sporting Goods when they opened in Melbourne. She trained many new employees and managers. Dicks has been very supportive as she battled cancer for two years. If she needed time off they covered her graciously.
Her loving heart embraced many people in her short life. She was friends with Ashley throughout high school and beyond. Later in life she met her BFF Kim B. They immediately bonded over their dogs and sushi. Melissa’s passion was to learn how to groom her precious Gizmo, her Shorkie, who blessed us with 16 years. Inspired by Jan G. at Dog Patch, both Melissa and Kim trained under her for two years with the dream of owning the Dog Patch when Jan retired. Through it all they both worked two jobs. The cancer made this endeavor difficult. Most weeks Melissa would only have one day a week off and one day devoted to cancer treatment under the watchful eye of Dr. David Hei, Caroline and Jennifer. Melissa was determined to fulfill her responsibilities. She actually worked 6 days the week before she died.
Melissa met James and after a five year courtship, they married. They worked hard to save money to buy a home. They adopted a sweet pit bull puppy, Harley. The strain of dealing with her diagnosis of cancer was too much and they divorced in 2023.

Once again, God provided what Melissa needed. Jan C, one of Merry’s wonderful nurse friends lived alone in Melbourne Village. Called by God, Jan opened her home to Melissa. They quickly became the odd couple (Melissa 36, Jan 76). Last year Melissa adopted a French bulldog mix, Chloe. She is so special that she was given 5 names and will forever be called Chloe Ana Madonna Grace Hays. Melissa and Jan often talked for their two dogs, Gloria and Chloe. Melissa set up cameras so she could watch the dogs when no one was home.

Melissa’s dad, Doug, had moved to Atlanta when he worked for Delta. Melissa stayed in Melbourne with her mother but could fly free to Atlanta every few months. Doug moved back to Cocoa Beach after he left Delta. Melissa was so happy she could see her dad more often. They would walk on the beach near his condo. His fiance’, Laura, moved down from Atlanta and they married shortly after.
Doug was able to rekindle his love of Rock-n-Roll and got a group together that he named Sonic Rendition Band. As often as we could, we would watch Doug play. This year on her birthday, March 10, we went to Island Time in Cocoa Beach where Doug was playing. Many friends and family attended her birthday celebration. Doug sang “Sweet Melissa” as she watched with tears in her eyes.
She had lost her hair in November during her first round of chemotherapy but she proudly rocked her many beautiful caps. She wore a cap given to her by her sister Tiffany and Paula for her brother Tommy’s wedding to Toya. She danced with her sister, mother, brother, nieces, and friends most of the night.

Melissa’s Aunt Kim and Uncle Tony often invited Melissa, Jan, Merry and her husband, Norman over for dinner. We would laugh and play games. She was sometimes able to attend our Kentucky Derby day celebrations complete with hats, mint julips (yuck – but necessary), and yummy Kentucky themed food.
Melissa was able to go to Easter service at Calvary on March 31st. Tiffany, Tommy, Toya, nieces Amira and Taliah joined Merry and Norman along with Jan. They enjoyed a wonderful Easter dinner at the home Melissa and Jan shared.

The next week brought lots of pain and nausea as her liver was overcome by the cancer. She fought hard until she said “I’m done”. She was in the hospital for pain and nausea control from Friday to Monday April 8th early morning when her human body failed and she transitioned to Heaven to be with Jesus, her Savior, and so many who have gone on before her.

Just as she was taking her last breaths, our precious Jennifer (Aunt Kim’s daughter) made it into her room to give Melissa a hug just before Melissa passed. Jennifer, a transplant nurse, made the family handprints, thumbprints, and bracelets. Jennifer and Natalie, our wonderful night nurse, stayed with Melissa until she was moved to the funeral home at 11am.

We will be celebrating Melissa’s life on Thursday, May 16th from 12-4 at the American Homesteading Foundation Hall at 535 Hammock Rd, Melbourne Village.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to The American Cancer Society.

Guestbook Entry

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5 entries.
Marquita Fuchs from Indialantic wrote on May 16, 2024:
Dear Merry and Family , Sending love to you at this time , Marquita
Janeen Chiscon from Indialantic wrote on May 8, 2024:
Dear Merry, and all who loved Melissa. Sending you all prayers of strength, comfort, and peace. Melissa is embraced in the Lord’s warm arms, full of peace and light. She will always be with you, and never leave your heart. Janeen
Alfreda G Davis from CAPE CANAVERAL wrote on May 3, 2024:
My deepest most sincere condolences to the families 🙌, I'm praying 🙏 that our lord will hold you close to his heart and give you the strength and comfort in your time of bereavement and beyond. Look to the lord for your strength. God is a good God, he knows your needs in these trying times. It's never easy losing a loved one. I just pray you have all the peace and love from God to help your family endure. God's continued blessings upon you all always 🙏 🙌 ✨️ 💛 ❤️
Cindy from Melbourne wrote on April 26, 2024:
I knew Mellisa her whole life. I was lucky enough to be the family hairdresser. She was so sweet and humble and yes I could see her passion for her animals. She had the most beautiful soft curly hair. I haven’t seen her the past few years and was so sorry to hear of her suffering. You will be so missed sweet beautiful girl. So blessed to be your friend. Love you 💖💖💖💖💖
Leah Longyear from Sarasota, FL wrote on April 22, 2024:
Dearest Melissa and Precious Family, In celebrating Melissa‘s life the first thought that comes to my mind is joy! Melissa is joy encapsulated! She will be greatly missed on earth. Thank God, she is pain-free and celebrating with Jesus and we know we will have an eternity together. My best birthday ever was getting to be in the delivery room when Melissa was born and took her first breath. The birthday triplets had many fabulous birthday celebrations together. Her love of dogs was amazing. Her love of people was even better. I love you, Melissa! You are so precious! Forever Birthday Buddies, Leah
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