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Melanie was a beacon of light, illuminating every room she graced with her presence. Her unique ability to put people at ease quickly transformed acquaintances into lifelong friends. Known for her playful humor, she found joy in laughter, even when she was the only one laughing. Her infectious zest for life, or "joie de vivre," was truly captivating. While Melanie seldom took herself too seriously, her deep care and concern for others was undeniable.
When Melanie enlisted in the Army, her true purpose was revealed. She excelled as a Chief Warrant Officer and Legal Administrator, earning the respect and admiration of many senior attorneys who considered her among the best Legal Administrators they had ever worked with. What set Melanie apart was her authentic affection for people and her aspiration for their professional success and personal well-being. She served as a mentor to many and was a friend to everyone.
Melanie showcased her athletic prowess in high school, where she excelled in both basketball and soccer. Her talent on the court didn't go unnoticed, and she continued to play basketball at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina, her beloved alma mater, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management. Beyond being a gifted athlete, Melanie was a sports enthusiast who could spend hours engrossed in any game, regardless of the sport. Intriguingly, she had a special affinity for coaching young children in soccer and basketball. Under Coach Melanie's guidance, every child was given a chance to play, irrespective of their skill level.
Family was the cornerstone of Melanie's life. Her adoring parents, Janet and Bernard, and her cherished brother, Marcus, who was her life's pulse, were her primary motivators. Her expansive family, which included aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends, her sorority sisters from Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., her teammates from the Woodside High School Girls Basketball Team (1998- 2000), and her comrades from the Army, were all integral parts of her love-filled circle.
The Sellars Family Reunions were a wellspring of happiness and honor for Melanie and her kin. Her enterprising nature inspired her to establish a 50/50 raffle fundraiser, the proceeds of which went towards the Sellars "Learn and Earn" Scholarship. This scholarship was awarded to high school and college graduates at every Sellars Family Reunion held across the nation. Even though she recently handed over the reins of the "raffle" to the younger generation in her family, she remained an active supporter of the fundraising initiatives.
As a young child and a military brat, Melanie journeyed across the globe, but her heart always found solace in the summers spent with the West family in Washington, D.C. These were the times when she was pampered to her heart's content. It was during these summers that she attended sports camps and the seeds of athleticism were sown in her. Her fondness for travel only amplified over time, leading her to thrilling escapades such as snorkeling in the azure waters of Australia and indulging in retail therapy in the bustling city of Hong Kong.
Melanie recently discovered her artistic flair and embarked on a journey to learn photography. She was fully committed to developing her skills, so she completed the requirements for a second bachelor’s degree in Graphic and Digital Arts from Southern New Hampshire University. Melanie possessed a keen eye for aesthetics, often uncovering it in the most hidden corners and, at times, in the most unlikely individuals. She made it her mission to seek out the beauty in all things and all people.
What truly defined Melanie was her unwavering faith as a Child of God. She was on a constant quest to deepen her relationship with Him. She would want everyone here today to understand that it's never too late to dedicate your life to Him, just as she did.
Moreover, Melanie would urge you all to lead your lives with joy, purpose, and a commitment to serving others. This was a lesson she learned from her late grandmothers, Leola “Bunny” West and Bessie “Grand-Bessie” Sellars. They showered her with a unique kind of love, the kind that only grandmothers can bestow, and instilled in her the values she held dear.
Her radiance will forever illuminate our lives.
Our love for you, Melanie, transcends eternity.