KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Melissa was full of life. Family said it. Friends agreed. Over 200 of Melissa Fevig Hughes' loved ones gathered Tuesday at Centerpoint Church to celebrate the life she lived.
“My cousin was killed in the bicycle accident in Kalamazoo,” said Kathy Fevig reading a tribute written by one of Melissa’s cousins. “She was one of the nicest, sweetest, strongest women I know. This world will definitely be lost without her.”
Melissa was out on an evening ride with the Chain Gang last Tuesday but didn’t make it home that night. Around 6:30pm she and eight other cyclists were hit by pickup truck, killing five of them and injuring the others. Melissa, a mother of two daughters, was one of the few who died.
“You always hear about sad stories and feel horrible for those involved,” said Fevig reading the same tribute. “Last night that all changed for my family.”
Fevig, an aunt of Melissa’s, read tribute after tribute from close relatives who remember the night she was killed. Family and friends spoke of her kindness, generosity and constant passion for life. She loved being outdoors: walking, running and canoeing. It was her inner strength and perseverance, family said, that helped her climb mountains both physically and emotionally.
"Melissa went forward when obstacles presented themselves," said Pastor Justin Kuhl. "The challenges of being a mother. She took these all head-on because she knew she had friends and family built on a foundation of love."
Friends said the 42-year-old Western Michigan alum completed the Chicago marathon and spent the last two years as a drummer with Kalamazoo College’s Taiko team. Her most cherished activity though was being a mother to her two daughters Carly and Sydney Hughes. She loved to snuggle up with them and watch movies.
“She was one of the happiest, kindest and most heartwarming people I have ever met,” Fevig said. “She passed doing something she loved and I pray there are lots of bikes up there in heaven for her.”