February 8, 1963 – November 2, 2023
In loving memory ~
It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Melanie Donohue on November 2, 2023, after a 4 ½ year fight with metastatic breast cancer. Born February 8, 1963, in Ontario, Melanie is survived by her husband and best friend, Rob Grey, her daughter Christina (Joel), granddaughter Riley, and step-children Emily (Ben) and Sam (Drew). Melanie is also survived by her brother Kerry (Nanci) and family; sisters Dawn (Jim); Alanna (late Chris); and Cara (Carl) and family.
Melanie reunites with her mom and dad, Mary and Alan Donohue.
Melanie grew up on a 200-acre farm, learning the values of family and hard work. She graduated from Canadore College and then worked at Chateau Lake Louise. She arrived in Vancouver in the mid-80s and began her family. Loving Vancouver life for over a decade and serving the movie industry as a catering contractor, Melanie and Christina then moved to Nanaimo to begin their next chapter in 1996.
Quickly making friends among parents at McGirr School, at the gym, and among her co-workers in the local real estate industry, Melanie was a caring, loving parent who dedicated her life to her daughter.
In 2005, Melanie and Rob met and later married. Family holidays, trips with close friends, and romantic getaways all became part of the things Melanie truly loved. Foremost to Melanie was her family and spending time together. She said often “I love us” to describe her family.
She also liked to say we were the “fun people” as this captured her love of life and laughter with family and friends.
Melanie had a smile which lit up a room. Her beautiful, bright green eyes reflected her zest for life. Melanie loved being outdoors with the sun shining, going for walks, long drives, or sitting on the deck playing cards and watching the sun set.
The center of Melanie’s world was her granddaughter, Riley. Riley added so much joy and love to Melanie’s life. Melanie retired in 2021 after working in the family real estate business with Rob for 16 years. This gave Melanie more time with Riley. Walks past the monkey tree on Dover Rd., picnics on the kitchen floor, and strolls with Riley and the dogs in Departure Bay all became Melanie’s coveted weekly routine. The joy Riley gave Melanie is transcendent.
Melanie battled her illness in a way she lived her life – with gusto. She always approached the illness as though she could beat it. Melanie embraced spirituality as part of her pathway to healing. In the end, Melanie’s indomitable spirit continued until her final breath. She chose to pass away at home surrounded by her family and Rob by her side.
On behalf of Melanie, the family wishes to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff at Nanaimo General Hospital in the cancer and imaging departments. In particular, Dr. Steve Kulla who showed kindness and compassion throughout Melanie’s illness. We also wish to thank Dr. Jonathon Bland for his care and thoughtfulness. Cody and staff from Central Drugs, Brickyard, and Dr. Fundytis and staff at the cancer clinic in Victoria all provided care and warmth to Melanie and our family during this long difficult period.
A private service will be held. You can donate to BC Cancer Foundation in Melanie’s honour.
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