11 entries
  • "Our hearts, love and prayers go out to your family. The..."
    - James Reding
  • "Condolences to Melanie's family on the loss of their loved..."
    - Ellen DUNN
  • "Melanie made a lasting impression on me, even though I only..."
    - Jennifer Mersereau
  • "Lynda and Lisa, I was deeply saddened to learn of Melanie's..."
    - Jennifer (Kittelson) Artley
  • "I only met Melanie once or twice but felt like I knew her..."
    - Gary Laelle
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MELANIE JAN LAPLANT DRESSEL September 2, 1952 February 19, 2017 On Sunday, February 19, 2017, Melanie Jan LaPlant Dressel passed away at her Key Peninsula home. In life, Melanie was a woman beyond compare. Melanie was born to Bob and Phyllis LaPlant on September 2, 1952 in Colville, Washington. In Colville, she learned the importance of family and community working around the family jewelry store with her two sisters, Lynda and Lisa. She graduated from Colville High School and went on to attend the University of Washington to study Political Science. Her plan was to go into politics until she met her new best friend and soon-to-be husband, Robert (Bob) Dressel Jr. Melanie wanted a job that allowed her time to spend with her husband and to have a family. That job ended up being in banking. She began at the Bank of California and went on to Puget Sound Bank. After the sale of Puget Sound she helped start Columbia Bank, which is where Melanie worked until her death. Melanie took great pride in her two boys, Robert III and Brent. Even with a busy work schedule she still attended all of her boy's extracurricular activities. They had a family dinner each night growing up. While her boys were at college she made every effort to go see them. Melanie and Bob enjoyed their time together attending Saturday Mass followed by dinner and traveling. Her favorite activity was making a gourmet family meal every Sunday for her husband, two boys, two daughters-in-law (Kara and Sophia) and two grandchildren (Robert IV and Violet). Those will be the moments missed the most. Along with taking care of family and running a bank, Melanie was also on the Boards of Puget Sound Energy, Executive Council for a Greater Tacoma, Washington Bankers Association, Washington Roundtable, and the Washington State Historical Society. She also served on the American Bankers Council, the ABA Grassroots Committee, the Bellarmine Benefactors' Trust, and was a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco's Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council. In the past, Melanie served as a Board member of The American Bankers Association. In Tacoma, the city that she loved, Melanie was the Chair of the Boards of Mary Bridge Children's Foundation, Bellarmine Preparatory School and Tacoma/Pierce County Chamber of Commerce. Other past volunteer activities include serving on the board and executive committees for various organizations, including the Tacoma Art Museum and United Way of Pierce County. She also had a special love for the Tacoma Children's Museum. Melanie was named Community Banker of the Year by American Banker Magazine in 2011 and was named seven times by the magazine as one of The 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking. She was also awarded CEO of the Year by Seattle Business Magazine's inaugural Executive Excellence Awards in 2013 and received the University of Washington Tacoma's Milgard School of Business Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. Melanie is survived by her husband, Bob; sisters, Lynda and Lisa; sons, Robert III and Brent; daughter-in-laws, Kara and Sophia; and grandchildren Robert IV and Violet. There will be a memorial service for Melanie at Bellarmine Preparatory High School in Tacoma on March 11, 2017. The service will start at 11:00 am with a reception to follow in Bellarmine's Connelly Hall. Private family interment at Vaughn Bay Cemetery. Melanie was very generous with her money, time and love. With that in mind, in lieu of flowers the family would like people to make a donation to the University of Washington Tacoma, benefitting student scholarships and campus improvement. University of Washington Tacoma address: 1900 Commerce Street, Tacoma WA 98402 in honor of Melanie. Please leave online condolences at www.gaffneycares. com. Arrangements by Gaffney Funeral Home, 253-572-6003.
Funeral Home
Gaffney Funeral Home
1002 S. Yakima Ave.
Tacoma, WA 98405
(253) 572-6003
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Published in Tri-City Herald on Feb. 26, 2017
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