Melissa New
1948 - 2020
Share Melissa's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Melissa New Melissa Joan New of Tacoma, WA passed away peacefully in her sleep on May 4th, 2020 after a difficult battle with Lewy Body Dementia. Melissa was born on June 27th, 1948 to the late Eleanor and Maurice Pettit. She is survived by her son Jonathan New, his wife Eva, sister Sindhuma Ishaya, granddaughters Katrina, Monica and Monique and a multitude of loving friends. She was predeceased by her life partner Richard Vance and many loved pets. Melissa grew up in Ellensburg, WA and later moved to Tacoma, WA. She taught 3rd grade at Mary Lyon Elementary School in Tacoma for many years and then worked as a support enforcement officer for the city of Tacoma. Melissa was a skilled piano player, made beautiful quilts and knitted blankets. She traveled extensively, made delectable cookies, doted on her pets, would do anything for her family, enjoyed many girls weekends with treasured friends and loved chocolate in any form (and soft serve vanilla ice cream!). She also donated to many charities to help animals and the environment. Melissa was a kind, amazing person who will be greatly missed by many. Due to current restrictions a celebration of her life will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers please donate a gift in her name to the ASPCA or the World Wildlife fund.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on May 11, 2020.
Celebration of Life
Not sure what to say?
9 entries
May 17, 2020
What a lovely woman Melissa was such a kind and gentle soul. I barely knew her in high school; but, I got to know her, gathering with the classmate/goddesses. We will all miss her.
Yvonne Winkle
May 16, 2020
Melissa and I went to school together in Ellensburg. Although we didn't become best friends until meeting up again some forty years later at our yearly girl's weekend. She was really funny and had a wicked sense of humor which she maintained during her illness. She was a wonderful friend and I'll miss her every day.
Diana Taylor
May 15, 2020
Mrs. New was my first grade teacher. In 2014 she was able to come see me in my own classroom. It was nice to see her and show her the impact she had in my own life. I was always a quiet student, very reserved but I had the support of a wonderful teacher, who never stopped teaching.
Donna Green
May 14, 2020
Mrs New was my first grade teacher. Then friend to my mother for many years. I was friends with Jay when we were in Jr High. I spoke to Mrs New a few years ago when she phoned me. It was nice to catch up. I think of her all of the time. When I saw that she passed away it struck me hard. She passed away on the same day as my sister. I will never forget her. I loved getting my school work back with Super Stars and stickers. Melissa will be remembered and missed. I loved her very much. See you on the other side.
May 14, 2020
Melissa taught several of my kids at Mary Lyon elementary school. One of the best people I have ever known. She was devoted to her family, pets and of course her students. She will be missed greatly.
Linda Walker
May 14, 2020
She was my teacher at Mary Lyon way back in late 70s i have so many fond memories i always remember her hugs she always hug me any time i saw her my condolences to the rest of her family
May 14, 2020
I'm so sad to hear of Mrs. News passing. I will forever remember her. I called her Minnie New. Rip heaven gained a saint.
Vonnie Stone
May 14, 2020
One of my favorite teachers. Sorry for your loss.
May 12, 2020
Group of 10 Memorial Trees
Plant Memorial Trees
Sympathy Gift courtesy of
Donald Jeske
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences