Please click on image to ENLARGE photo of Marsha Melnichak (right) and friends visiting the Fayetteville Farmer's Market on October 25, 2008.
Marsha Melnichak died in her sleep Thursday night November 20, 2008, or early this morning, at Washington Regional Hospital in Fayetteville, Arkansas, I was told.
Having visited her Wednesday night at the hospital, I knew her time was short. During the meeting of the Telecommunication Board on Tuesday night, several people spoke off camera of their sadness that she would likely never again attend such meetings and report on them with her clear sense of reality and highly developed ability to sort through the chaff and find the significant points of such city meetings. She earned universal respect from city workers, public officials and area residents who read her news stories.
Few people reach Marsha's high level of competence and integrity in reporting the news.
She covered the beginning of the mayoral campaign well, and it was clear in brief conversations in the weeks since she found herself unable to work that one of her concerns was not being able to continue her work and be on hand next Tuesday to report on the final chapter.
Maybe she realized that she would not be with us by this time. Most of us did not.
Her absence should be a reminder that, whatever goals we set, pursuing them with honesty, good humor and grace is as important as the result.