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Welcome to the memorial page for

Melinda Sue "Mel" Pinkerton

March 8, 1988 ~ April 7, 2016 (age 28)

The Piano Brothers
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Melinda S. Pinkerton died peacefully at Pristine Post-Acute Care in Jamestown, Ohio, on Thursday, April 7th, at 10:17 P.M. under the care of hospice.  Melinda was surrounded in her final moments by her three sisters and her parents, and we take comfort that she knew all of her family was with her in the end.  She had been diagnosed 14 years prior with Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2), a disease for which there is currently no cure.  In spite of her extensive physical struggles and many brain and spinal cord tumors, Melinda chose to live her life with purposeful intention.  She filled her days with faith, friends, and fun. 

Melinda was born on March 8, 1988 in Voorhees, New Jersey, to Cory and Bonnie McDaniel and two excited older sisters. Cory’s death preceded Melinda’s birth. Even as a child, Melinda was helpful and sweet and was always thinking of others. She could often be found in the kitchen helping her mom.  Melinda had a love of music which started at a young age.  Melinda played flute, piccolo, piano, and bass guitar.  Later, as she lost her hearing due to her tumors, she expressed her love of music through sign language or by quoting lyrics to encourage herself and others.

In high school, Melinda was very involved in her church youth group and loved attending summer camps and mission trips. Melinda always struggled physically, but this did not stop her from being on the high school cross-country team. During her freshman year of high school, Melinda was diagnosed with NF2. Amazingly, Melinda continued to keep up with all of her school work and friends in spite of repeated rounds of radiation and extended stays at the Children’s Hospital in Denver.

Upon graduating from Monte Vista Senior High School, Colorado, in 2006, Melinda attended Colorado Christian University, Lakewood, Colorado. She has always referenced her years spent in Denver as “the best years of her life.” She majored in Business Administration, graduating a semester early while simultaneously receiving chemotherapy. What got her through hard and sick days was her unshakable faith in God, an incredible support system of friends, and the kids at “The Third Story,” an inner city ministry of Westside Church for underprivileged youth.  One of Melinda’s dreams was to travel, but her constant treatments and health conditions made this difficult. She did fulfill a lifelong dream in 2010 when she was finally able to travel overseas and experience Greece.

Summer of 2011, Melinda moved with her parents from Colorado to Cedarville, Ohio. Melinda loved being closer geographically to a lot of her extended family. Melinda enjoyed many things about Ohio, however, she refused to assimilate to Ohio football culture, clinging determinedly to her ever-favorite team the Denver Broncos!  Melinda’s favorite store was Target, and she worked in Colorado and Ohio to support her love of fashion, coffee, and books. Shortly following the move, Melinda went fully deaf. As a way to cope especially with the loss of music, Melinda turned to painting as a creative outlet.  She participated in local art shows, and loved giving away her paintings to friends and family as gifts.  Also during this time, Melinda started a blog to share her journey and faith.  This can be found at www.mylifewithnf2.com. 

Eleven months prior to her death, Melinda’s health took an extreme turn which made it necessary for her to be moved to a nursing home.  She was no longer able to walk due to her tumors, and she also lost her vision shortly after moving into the home.  In spite of being wheelchair-bound, completely deaf, and fully blind, Melinda continued to paint, blog, and write letters.  She dictated all of her messages, and a unique communication system was devised to allow her to keep in touch.  Melinda loved entertaining visitors in her room and looked forward to daily visits from friends and family, especially her mom.  Although Melinda sat in constant silence and darkness, she used her time to pray for those she loved, meditate on God’s word, and compose new letters, blog posts, and artwork in her mind.  Many of her last art pieces were completed while totally blind.  With the help of her aides, friends, and family, she was able to continue doing these special hobbies that she loved.  She never lost her sense of humor.  Even in the hours prior to her death, Melinda continued to think about others and make those in the room smile and laugh.  Selflessly, Melinda donated her tumors to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to help further research to find a cure for others with NF2. 

Melinda was preceded in death by her biological father, Cory Ian McDaniel, who passed away in 1987 from the same disease.  She is survived by her loving mother Bonnie Sue Pinkerton, her devoted adoptive father Mark David Pinkerton, and her three sisters Melissa (David) Nickerson, Megan (Garrett) Slifer, and Marcia Pinkerton.  She was a proud and adoring aunt to her young nephew, Landon Nickerson.  She is also survived by all of her grandparents, Robert and Mildred McDaniel (paternal), Alton and Marilyn Flint (maternal), and Alfred and Lois Pinkerton (adoptive).  Melinda also has a large extended family, all of whom she loved very dearly. Finally, Melinda leaves behind her loyal black cat “Muffy” who she had and loved for 12 years.

A celebratory memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 23rd, at 3:00 p.m. at Grace Baptist Church in Cedarville, Ohio.  Visitation will be before the memorial from 1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.  A private burial service will be held at Massie Creek Cemetery on a date prior to the memorial. In lieu of flowers, Melinda requested that all donations be split evenly between “The Children’s Tumor Foundation” and “The Third Story.”  Donations will be handled by Powers-Kell Funeral Home in Jamestown, Ohio, at www.powerskell.com/notices/Melinda-Pinkerton.

As Melinda would say, “and that’s my story!”

 


Charitable donations may be made to:

The Children's Tumor Foundation
120 Wall Street, 16th Floor, New York NY 10005-3904
Tel: 1-212-344-6633
Email: info@ctf.org
Web: http://www.ctf.org/

The Third Story
PO Box 9575, Denver CO 80209
Web: http://www.thethirdstory.org/default.php



 Service Information

Visitation
Saturday
April 23, 2016

1:30 PM to 2:45 PM
Cedarville Grace Baptist Church
109 N Main,
Cedarville, OH 45314

Memorial Service
Saturday
April 23, 2016

3:00 PM
Cedarville Grace Baptist Church
109 N Main,
Cedarville, OH 45314


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