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Melanie Jean Mavrides

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Melanie Jean Mavrides Obituary
Melanie Jean Mavrides, journalist, editor, mother, wife and all around force of nature, died Wednesday, May 18, 2011, of complications from scleroderma with her loving family and friends nearby. She was 49 years old. She was born in Boston, on Oct. 14, 1961, to Joanne (Spaneas) and George Mavrides and grew up in the small town of Wrentham. She graduated from King Philip Regional High School where she was an outstanding varsity tennis player. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of New Hampshire in 1983 and became a journalist. In New England she wrote for the Boston Globe, Portsmouth Herald, the Rochester Courier, the Sun Chronicle and the Providence Journal. She received numerous awards for her reporting. It was in Durham, N.H. that she met John Stevens, her husband of 22 years. They moved to Seattle, Wash., in 1991, where Melanie worked for the New York Times. She was also a regular contributor to Money Magazine and other publications. In Seattle she later worked for Microsoft Corporation as an editor and producer for the early versions of MSN and Sidewalk, then Microsoft Money and other Microsoft business Web sites. She also started her own editorial consulting firm in 2003. An accomplished musician, she played by ear as a toddler and became a creative and skilled pianist who mastered classical and jazz pieces. She had a remarkable memory for numbers and was a formidable Scrabble player. She enjoyed preparing gourmet feasts for her many friends. And she loved spending time on Orcas Island, where she and her family had a home, and vacationing with her children on Cape Cod where she summered as a child. Melanie was an athlete; a fierce competitor on the tennis and basketball courts, a strong swimmer and was training for a triathlon when she was diagnosed with scleroderma in 2005. Over the years, Melanie fought the disease as it ravaged her body. She became a dedicated researcher and expert on the disease, often amazing her doctors with her accurate observations and treatment advice. One called her "an outstanding internist." She touched many lives with her courage and intelligence and the caring she showed others during her darkest times. She leaves two beloved children, Nathaniel, 13, and Olivia, 12; her husband John; her sisters Marcia J. Mavrides of Boston, Mary M. Bowker and her husband Roger of Cape Cod, her brother Michael of Wrentham, and dear family friend Auguste Maschke; her brother-in-law J.P. Rodgers; her brother-in-law Bill Stevens, his wife Julie Chen and her mother-in-law Corinne Stevens, as well as her nieces Olympia Bowker and Julia Rodgers, nephews Thorsten Bowker, Alexander Rodgers and Aaron Stevens; several aunts, uncles and cousins in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. She was predeceased by her parents and father-in-law John Stevens Sr. A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 18, 11 a.m., at the Original Congregational Church, 1 East St., Wrentham, MA 02093, burial to follow in the Wrentham Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Scleroderma Foundation online at www.scleroderma.org or by mail at Scleroderma Foundation, attn. Donations, 300 Rosewood Drive, Suite 105, Danvers, MA 01923.

Published in The Country Gazette from May 27 to June 3, 2011
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