Our hearts grieve as we strive to accept the loss of Melanie Jean Lillian. She returned to her Father in Heaven July 19, 2019 at 6:37 pm, surrounded by loved ones at the Huntsman Cancer Hospital. She had been battling breast cancer, which later metastasized to her bones. Her tragic death was brought on by unexpected complications following hip surgery.
Melanie was born April 2, 1976 in Provo, Utah to Mike and Barbara (Wynn) Dunn. She grew up in South Jordan and graduated from Bingham High School. She continued her education at Utah State and then graduated from Wayne Community College in North Carolina with a degree in dental hygiene. She married Andy Lillian on August 12, 2011 in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. She had four beautiful children: L.E. (from a previous marriage to Rick Haynie), Henry, Jane and Max. They were her greatest joy.
Melanie had a deep appreciation for this beautiful world. She loved spending time in the national parks and had a soft spot for Glacier, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, Grand Teton, Zion, and Arches, along with Snow Canyon State Park. She treasured her memories of the times she spent with her family in these special places. She had a passion for living life fully. Among her favorite things were visiting Disneyland, going to the Parade of Homes, trying new recipes, reading to her children, and laughing with family and friends.
Melanie was wise, gentle, kind, steadfast, patient, and funny. She was a lifelong learner and a gifted teacher. Foremost, she was a disciple of Jesus Christ. She sought Him and was determined to remain close to Him, especially as she struggled with the debilitating effects of cancer. Her heart was soft, and as she became acquainted with others who were suffering, she felt her Savior’s love and tried to reach out and help those in need.
Through her writings, she lifted and inspired the hearts of many. She likened her journey with cancer to hiking. Though at times she was weary and the path was dark, her eyes adjusted and she gracefully continued her courageous climb. She was well acquainted with her Guide because she knew He had traveled the path. She noted, “No matter my circumstance, Jesus heals me, restores me, recognizes me, carries me, forgives me, lifts me, comforts me, and calls me to Him.” Her journey’s end was not what we expected, but we know she is now free of pain and in the arms of our loving Savior. Melanie, we love and miss you more than words can say, but we know we will see you again.
Melanie felt great love and gratitude for caring family and friends, including neighbors, ward members, and medical personnel. Her life was blessed by loving siblings: Jimmy and Carly Dunn, Annie and Matthew Wright, Tommy and Sara Dunn, and Drew and Krissy Dunn. She appreciated the sweet support of Grandma Marion Wynn, her nieces, nephews, cousins, and extended family. She was grateful for her mother-in-law, Virginia Lillian, and all of Andy’s family.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, July 26, 2019 at 11:00 am at the Highland Utah West Stake Center, 11605 North 6000 West, Highland, Utah. Friends and family may call Thursday evening from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the same location, and at 9:45 am prior to services at the church on Friday. Her body will be laid to rest in the Highland City Cemetery. Flowers can be sent to the above address an hour before the viewing or if you would like to contribute to an education fund for the children, please remit www.gofundme.com/f/miles-for-mel .