Melissa Zoellen Perry Zelayandia
Born: 2/28/1969 in Fairhope, Alabama
Died: 9/4/2021 in Lakeland, Florida, at the way too early age of 52
Raised in a home filled with love and laughter by an extraordinary mom who ensured all her children – birthed and otherwise – knew the true value of compassion and kindness in this world.
Melissa worked in a number of retail and service positions before she found her calling helping others secure their futures through insurance and financial planning with the Joy Morse Insurance Agency.
Melissa was most passionate about her family and her faith. Her daughter, Jade - her “Starshine” - was the absolute apple of her eye and the source of her greatest pride and joy. She loved deeply and completely with never a moment’s hesitation or the slightest reservation. Her nickname – the Queen of Positivity - came from the pure love that was at her core. She was unfailingly compassionate, accepting, and kind. And, oh, how she was loved by others…
How her family described her: “joyful, kind, effervescent, filled with pixie dust” “childlike innocence”, “jovial”, “consistently encouraging and positive”, “sunshine on a cloudy day”, “kind, gentle, sweet, with a wicked sense of humor”, “faithful and loving”, “the best laugh, an infectious laugh”, “a beautiful heart, always loving and generous”, “incredibly kind to everyone she met”, “an infectious laugh; everyone around her couldn’t help but smile with her”, “incredibly quick mind; always fast with a comeback or hilariously sarcastic remark”, “great about seeing the bright side of things, the positive, the silver lining; and so quick to point that out so everyone around her could see that too”, “made you feel welcome, loved, and accepted”, and “she was love.”
How her friends described her: “She was such a beautiful person inside and out”, “a gem, a beautiful soul”, “I will always remember her bright smile . . . she always gave me positive thoughts”, “she was literally one of the sweetest, most genuine, and caring people I have ever met”, “such a beautiful soul; her smile lit every room”, “this world has lost a true inspiration to all who knew her”, “such a beautiful person, so kind and loving”, “one of the sweetest people I have ever known”, “such a beautiful sister; truly inspiring and full of faith”, “loved her positive force”, “she was such a kind soul and sweet spirit”, “always loved; never had a negative thing to say about anyone”, and “the living example of unconditional love, pure positivity, inspiration, and light.”
Preceded in death by her mother Judith Helen Malcolm Perry, big sister Tammy Lee Perry Brown, and father James Benjamin Perry. Survived by her daughter Jade Alexis Perry, husband Oliver Zelayandia, brothers Jimmy [Brenda] Perry, Shane [Vicki] Perry, Jason [Janna] Perry, sister Priscilla Gallese Coates, numerous heartbroken nieces and nephews, cousins, and other relatives, as well as her church family and many loving friends and coworkers.
The family is especially grateful for Melissa’s closest friend, Stefanie Lucas-Chritton, whose steadfast, loving, and constant support in our sweet Missy’s final days was both a huge blessing and a great comfort.
Memorial donations can be made in honor of Melissa’s memory to the COPD Foundation (www.copdfoundation.org) or the American Lung Association (www.lung.org).
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