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Melanie White

EAU CLAIRE — Melanie Marie White, 32, of Eau Claire passed away at home Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, after losing her struggle with opioid addiction.

She was born June 15, 1986, in Eau Claire, to Richard and Janice (Cherrier) White. She was a graduate of Regis High School in 2004 and of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, in 2011. After graduation she worked for the United Health Group in several positions and at the time of her passing was a claims auditor.

Mel was known for her sharp wit and her sardonic sense of humor. She picked up on everything. Heaven help the person who tried to pull a fast one on her—they would be met with a knowing smirk and a slightly raised eyebrow. She was kind, a wonderful confidant, a non-judgmental and empathetic listener.

Growing up, Melanie excelled at sports, especially in softball and volleyball. Her diminutive height (she was an even five feet) made her both an excellent softball catcher and a dynamite volleyball setter. She experimented with an ill-advised “dreadlock” phase in high school, but once she found they tangled with her catching helmet, off came the dreads!

She loved the music of Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead and Ani DiFranco. One summer, she covered our bathroom tiles with puff-paint song lyrics. Her teenage bedroom was lined with classic vinyl album covers. She wore boys Hollister cargo shorts and used men’s ties for belts. She was just creative like that. Later in life, she took that creativity and funneled it into a passion for makeup. She was a talented make-up artist and was depended on to spruce family members up for special events. She could make anyone look beautiful.

It’s impossible to talk about Melanie’s life without mentioning her love for her children, Dylan Michael (13), Lily Sunshine (10), Jayla Rose (4), Carter Richard (3), and Cashton Jacob (2). They were the love of her life. She was a wonderful and caring mother, who juggled a full-time job and five kids and their activities with skill and enthusiasm. They meant the world to her, she meant the world to them.

Unfortunately, when you lose someone so young in such a senseless way, there is no neat and tidy phrase to which we can find comfort. She left us too early. Addiction ravages and in its wake, it leaves behind a devastated network of family and friends, left to pick up the pieces. We will miss our daughter, sister, partner and mother.

Melanie is survived by her children; parents, Richard and Janice of Eau Claire; her sister, Amanda of Minneapolis; her partner, Lamont Goss; and special friend, Nick Ruhe. She is also survived by aunts and uncles, Jeannie and Craig King, Tom Cherrier, Jerry and Susie Cherrier, Diane Shantz, Mary and John Gronquist, Joe and Lynn Cherrier, Michael “Buzzy” Cherrier, Janet and Mike Revoir, Bill and Heidi White, Anne Hartwig and Joe White; numerous cousins, not to mention dozens of friends. She was preceded in death by her maternal and paternal grandparents.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at noon Saturday, Dec. 8, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 1712 Highland Ave., in Eau Claire, with Father Francis Thadathil and Deacon Greg Power officiating. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, at Lenmark-Gomsrud-Linn Funeral Home, 814 First Ave., in Eau Claire, and again one hour prior to the Mass Saturday at the church. Inurnment will be held in the spring—Melanie’s favorite season.

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