August 20, 1960 - October 7, 2017
Melody McFatridge Sanders, 57, went to heaven on Saturday, October 7. She is preceded in death by her father, Harvey McFatridge; and is survived by her mother, Kathy McFatridge; her husband, Clark Sanders; and their three children, Kristopher, Brandon, and Kaylee Sanders.
Born on August 20, 1960, to Harvey and Kathy McFatridge, Melody was a beloved only child, who brought sunshine and smiles to her parents. They encouraged and supported her multiple interests, including her participation in competitive horsemanship. She was a bright student, and in high school participated in marching band as a Raiderette. In her senior year, she was accepted to NC State University, where she went on to earn her degree in Economics and Business Management.
Anyone who knew Melody would remember her broad smile because she had a ready smile for everyone, and she loved people. In 1990, she became a flight attendant for US Air, which helped her follow two of her passions, travel and working with people. She spent 13 years working for the airline, traveling the U.S. and Europe.
Melody was a mother first and foremost. When she became a parent, she took her role as mother most seriously, dedicating her time to supporting son Kristopher's interest in basketball and Scouts and son Brandon's interest in rugby and band, while encouraging them both to excel academically. As a graduate of NC State and a firm believer in the importance of a quality education, she nurtured her children to value education as much as she did. She was proud that both of them are now attending UNC Charlotte. She was, also, proud of the fact that Kristopher earned his Eagle Scout and that Brandon is on track to earn his.
She advocated tirelessly for daughter, Kaylee, who was born with physical challenges, making sure Kaylee attended school and got the care she needed. In 2013, when local radio personalities, Ace and TJ, chose the family to travel to Walt Disney World for a week of fun, Melody spoke of their charity, Ace and TJ's Grin Kids, and how the vacation had been so wonderful for everyone. Their charity became her favorite because she loved how it brings joy to families and children with terminal illnesses and physical challenges.
Throughout her life, Melody was an animal lover. She owned and rode horses competitively in her teen years. In later years she learned to train dogs as a hobby, working with her dog, Rocky, and then helping friends and neighbors instill good habits in their pets. A cat lover as well, she is survived by her beloved Nemo, a Maine Coone mix.
Creativity was a hallmark of Melody's personality. She trained to be a professional photographer and eventually became a sought after wedding photographer. Her desire to be creative spilled over into her sewing, where she created unique outfits for Kaylee, hats, and party decorations. She loved crafting and coming up with new ideas. Her insatiable desire to be creative was known by friends, family, and coworkers alike because she was always creating something new and sharing it with others.
In the words of her lifelong friend, Sue, "Melody was a loving and faithful friend to both her lifelong friends and to many others she met along the way. She always made time to let others know she cared. She will be best remembered for the fearless way she lived her life as well as her unforgettable sense of humor. Melody was a rainbow in the lives of all who knew her."
A song her mother, Kathy, says illustrates the kind of person Melody was is Keep on the Sunny Side of Life. Whenever her family, friends, and neighbors remember Melody, it will be her sunny disposition and her beautiful smile that will keep her alive in their hearts.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, October 21 beginning at 2PM at Carmel Presbyterian Church, 2048 Carmel Road, Charlotte, NC 28226. A reception will follow.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to Melody's favorite charity, Ace and TJ's Grin Kids, in her memory.
"We were BSA Mom's for Troop 79 at Carmel Presbyterian Church. You always had a smile for everyone around you!" ~ Nancy Gardner
"I remember Melody from our years together at Northeast Junior and Andrews Senior High. She was a beautiful young lady who was a loyal friend to those who knew her. May the Lord give grace to her family during this time." ~ Terry Duncan
"With love, Kathy, Kaylee, Clark, Christopher, and Brandon." ~ Janet Lampe
"Dear Clark, Kristopher, Brandon and Kaylee:
I am so sorry for your loss. Melody was much loved by all of us that cared and taught Kaylee at Pinewood. She was a very special mother to and advocate for Kaylee and never forgot those of us that cared for her precious daughter.
The memory of her smile and sunny personality and loving devotion to Kaylee will bring a smile of joy each time I think of her. She was always so kind to us and so generous with gifts.
May your memories bring you peace and comfort in this time of loss. May the grace of the Lord lead your journey to a place of healing.
Blessings to all." ~ Nancy