Vera Kellogg Hunt-Melton, 86, passed peacefully to go dancing with her beloved Jim, on April 21, 2020 with her daughter by her side at Cedar Hill Continuing Care Community in Windsor, VT. She fought a long battle with dementia and cancer, but was still cracking jokes and making people smile till the very end.
She was born Jan. 15, 1934 in Roanoke, Virginia, the daughter of Rev. Daniel Robert Hunt and Vera (Forbes) Hunt, AKA "Honey." She grew up in Roanoke but moved to Clifton Forge, VA as a junior in high school. She graduated from Clifton Forge High school in 1952 and sang with a group called the Star Dust Trio at colleges and community dances. She married the love of her life, Jim Melton, on May 2, 1959 and their only child, Melissa was born in 1964.
In 1953 she began training at the Chesapeake & Ohio Hospital in Clifton Forge as an X-Ray Technologist and shortly after returned to Roanoke to continue her career with several physician practices. She switched career paths in the late '60s to pursue her true passion, animals. As President & Executive Director of the Roanoke Valley SPCA Shelter, she was a regular guest on WDBJ-TV from 1967 through 1973. When Jim's career brought them to Elon, NC, she became an Avon Lady, ran for the NC House of Representatives in 1980, served as President of the Alamance County Humane Society, and in the mid 1980's established "NC Pet Finder", a lost & found registry. From its start as an Alamance county-wide registry on index cards in her home office, it quickly expanded to neighboring states.
After Vera retired in 1989 she began collecting anything and everything and soon turned her passion into a business with a booth at a local antique mall.
Vera never stopped expanding her repertoire, she painted, sketched, designed pet sympathy cards, wrote, made jewelry, restored antique furniture, was passionate about family history, was a devout Christian, a lifelong Hokie Fan, and was a flamboyant member of the Red Hat Society. She loved music, dancing, playing the piano, and TV.
Known to her grandchildren as "Grandma Doll," she loved her grandkids dearly and took great pleasure in watching tv and shopping with them.
At age 76, Vera was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer and fought it like a true warrior, with her sparkliest Christmas sweaters at the Cancer Center to cheer up the other patients. She was a true medical miracle surviving 10 YEARS. When she moved to the Village at Cedar Hill, she and her 'fuzzy 4-legged children", Darlin' and Sonshine brought joy and good humor with them. She was proud to be the founder of the Village at Cedar Hill Red Hat Society.
She was well-known for all her "Vera-isms": "Bless your little heart" Vera, How are you? "I was better, but I got over it." "If I had a brain I'd take it out and play with it" "I may be dumb, but I ain't stupid" "As my sainted Daddy used to say, "Ain't it the beautiful truth!"
Vera is survived by her daughter Melissa Melton Snyder & husband Steve Snyder, grandchildren Ian & Virginia Snyder all of Weathersfield, VT; sister Meriam Carpenter of Covington, VA; nieces & nephews - Beth Cross, Joseph Carpenter IV, William & Ricky Shupe, Tina Burford, Carrie Wright, Randy Melton; cousins Burks Hunt, Dr. Kellogg Hunt, Robert Hufford Hunt, & Waller Hunt III; and her beloved fur-daughter Darlin'.
She was predeceased by her loving and eternally patient husband of 46 years, James Edwin Melton; her parents, Bob and Honey Hunt; brother Daniel Robert Hunt, Jr.; and many fuzzy 4-legged children including several generations of Cubbies, Buff, Pamper, Miss-Tee, Mischiefs 1 & 2, Prissy, Christie, black cats Jet and Sonshine 1 & 2 (the "sons" she never had), Calico the guinea pig, and Chancy the devil dog.
Her daughter Melissa wishes to thank all her healthcare providers and caregivers who have cared for her and loved her over the years. You are our heroes, saints, and angels, and we love you all.
She was always homesick for Roanoke, and now she's home. Vera and Jim are interred in the Hunt family plot at Evergreen cemetery in Roanoke, VA. A celebration of life will be held when Covid has passed and it is once again safe to have family gatherings. In the meantime, say a little prayer, and hug your loved ones if you can. Sparkle on, Vera!
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the animal welfare organization, Alzheimer's Association
, or Hospice of your choice.
The Knight Funeral Home in Windsor, VT has been entrusted with arrangements. Her complete obituary can be found at www.knightfuneralhomes.com