Melanie Stoutamire Welte
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Melanie Stoutamire Welte, a journalist at The Associated Press who for more than two decades wrote, edited and often directed the cooperative's breaking news reports in Iowa, died Thursday from complications after being stricken by a rare disease.She was 53.
Melanie was born March 26, 1959, in Columbus, Ohio. The daughter of Col (Ret.) David F. and Sarah H. Stoutamire, she traveled widely before graduating from high school in Enterprise, Ala., and from the University of Florida in 1981 with a BS degree in Advertising.She married David Welte on July 28, 1990.
Melanie joined the AP as the Iowa broadcast editor in June 1991, a job that allowed her to touch and influence almost every story published in the state by the news agency.
Before joining the AP, Welte was an award-winning broadcaster who worked as news director at KSEZ-FM/KMNS-AM in Sioux City, was a news director at WOWW-FM in Pensacola, Fla., and was an assistant news director at WKMX-FM in Enterprise, Ala.
Melanie's roots in Florida and Alabama were always just under the surface. When Melanie took a call from south of the Mason-Dixon Line, a distinctive Southern drawl would emerge and remain for a few minutes before she returned to speaking like a Midwestern.
With her husband, she shared a love of Harley-Davidson motorcycles and made annual trips to Sturgis, S.D. She named her Cocker Spaniel after the city, but generally arrived a week before the city's famous motorcycle rally in order to celebrate their wedding anniversary.
Melanie is survived by her beloved husband, David Welte, by her three brothers David, Mark and Scott Stoutamire and their families including three nephews and two nieces, and three brothers-in-law Skip, Frank, and Bob and their families including three nephews, six nieces and many grand-nieces and nephews.
Melanie was cremated and her remains will be interred at her family cemetery in Blue Creek, Fla., and a celebration of her life will be held in Des Moines at a later date.
She will be dearly missed.
Published in Tallahassee Democrat on Feb. 3, 2013