HITCH, Melanie A.S., (RN, MS, ONC, CNS), age 75, of Kettering, a decedent of Priscilla Alden (née Mullins), of the Massachusetts’s Plymouth Colony of Pilgrims, passed away December 2, 2022, at Magruder Hospital in Port Clinton, OH.
Melanie was born September 19, 1947, in Chicago, Illinois; the daughter of the late, Alden Edwards and Frances Kathrine Snell and was raised in the Bailey’s Crossroads area of Northern Virginia. She attended J.E.B. Stuart High School and the University of Virginia where she received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and became a Registered Nurse. She worked at University of Virginia Hospital where she met her husband Dr. David Charles Hitch. They were married on September 2, 1972, at Grace Episcopal Church in Cismont, Virginia.
After their wedding, their careers took them across North America. In Toronto, Ontario, Canada she founded the Ontario Chapter of the Orthopedic Nursing Association. Subsequently, they moved to Denver, Colorado and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In Oklahoma she continued her education, receiving her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Oklahoma. While in Oklahoma, she gave birth to their eldest child, Charles Joseph Hitch. David’s career then took their family to Syracuse, New York where their daughter Kathryn Elizabeth Frances (Hitch) Rentz was born. In 1989 the family settled in Kettering, Ohio where Melanie had a distinguished career with the Montgomery County Health District. Melanie had a passion for advancing the specialty of orthopedic nursing through teaching and education, having received the Otto Aufranc Award in 1982. She was actively involved in the National Association of Orthopedic Nurses (NAON) and the Dayton Association of Orthopedic Nurses (DAON).
In her childhood she spent much of her time caving and horseback riding. After meeting David, she became an avid downhill skier, enjoying many trips to Killington, Vermont to ski with her family and spending her weekends at her children’s races across Ohio. She and David also loved spending their summers sailing initially at Rocky Fork Lake and more recently on Lake Erie. She became a Commodore at the Rocky Fork Sailing Club and at the Harbor Bay Yacht Club. She and David enjoyed taking their Island Packet sailboat from port to port in the Northern Channel of Ontario, Canada. Melanie became a passionate quilter, participating in various quilting guilds in the Dayton area. She would spend hours at her sewing machine. Melanie especially loved “sew-cations” with her sister Dee (Aldene).
Melanie was known to her friends as a gentle soul, a social creature, and source of strong counsel. To her grandchildren she was the giver of hugs and kisses, the maker of blankets, and the ultimate spoiler. To her children she was a loving mother, a constant guiding force, and a parent who took pride in embarrassing them with the annual singing of “The Turkey Song”. To her husband she was a loving wife, partner, and confidant.
Melanie is survived by her beloved husband of 50 years, David Hitch; son, Charles (Jaclyn) Hitch; daughter, Kathryn (Nathan) Rentz; grandchildren, Andrew and Reagan Rentz, and Audrey Hitch. She is survived by her brother-in-law, Eddy Whichard; nieces, Amanda Swisher and family, Emily Partlow and family; brother-in-law John Hitch; sister-in-law Mary Sue Hitch; niece Jennifer Preston and family; and nephews, J. David Hitch and family, and William Hitch.
Melanie is preceded in death by her father, Alden E. Snell; mother, Frances K. Snell; step-father, The Reverend O. V. T. Chamberlain; father-in-law, Dr. Joseph M. Hitch; mother-in-law, Helen F. Hitch; and sister, Aldene S. Whichard.
A visitation for family and friends will be held from 11:00 AM to 12:00PM on Friday, December 16, 2022, at St. George’s Episcopal Church, 5520 Far Hills Avenue, Dayton, OH 45429. A funeral service will follow at 12:00PM. Melanie will be laid to rest at David’s Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, her family would like to honor Melanie with contributions to GiGi’s Playhouse at www.gigisplayhouse.org, Towards Independence at www.ti-inc.org, or your local quilting society.