Melanie Renee Hickey, age 58, of Lake Saint Louis, Missouri, passed away on Friday, October 1, 2021 in St. Louis, Missouri. She was born at the Naval Air Station Hospital in Pensacola, Florida on August 9, 1963, to Charles and Barbara Travers (nee Lackey).
She married the late Thomas Hickey (aka. Batman) on May 7, 1994. They settled down in their first home in O’Fallon and in 2006 they moved to Lake Saint Louis.
Mel was a fun and outgoing teenager, always practicing cheers at the dinner table for all to see. Flinging her arms and reciting the letters F.I.G.H.T, never hitting her little sister, who looked at her like she was crazy. The practicing paid off when she became a cheerleader for the Oak Ridge High School basketball team in 1976.
She graduated from Oak Ridge High School in 1981.
She was a proud member of the Alpha Phi Sorority at Murray State University, where she received an Associates Degree in General Studies. When Melanie dedicated herself to something, she always did it with her whole heart. Her room soon became full of Alpha Phi memorabilia during her Freshmen year in college. She continued her education and received a second Associate’s Degree from Three Rivers Community College, and later a Bachelors Degree from Southeast Missouri State University.
Melanie worked as a customer service representative for AT&T from 1989 to 1998, and then started her own pet-sitting business, Tucker’s Friends from 1998 to 2002. Finally, she worked at Equifax for almost 19 years, where she was an Account Manager and a Client Analyst.
Melanie was an animal lover that always carried a lint roller in her car and dog treats in her pockets. As much as she loved all animals-especially dogs, nothing came close to her love for her dogs, McGrew, Angel, Tucker, Sadie, Holly, Stormy, and Winter.
She was adventurous and loved to travel, going to Britain when she was just 19 years old, staying with many host families, and making lasting friends. She always kept her passport up to date, hoping to travel to Europe again someday. Her love of all things British fed the yearning to explore everything this world offered. If you caught her daydreaming while drinking her cup of tea, you could see a sparkling glint in her eye and know that she was walking the Scottish moors in her mind. A bonnie lass, she was often curled up with her wool blanket, reading the latest book in the Outlander series, and mindlessly petting her golden retriever.
Melanie was not an avid sports fan until her husband, Tom, introduced her to the world of hockey. Their honeymoon trip was the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto and within a few years, her Christmas tree was loaded with St. Louis Blues ornaments. One of the happiest moments in her life was the day the Stanley Cup appeared at the Equifax offices after the Blues won in 2019.
Melanie had an extensive collection of frogs that accumulated over the years. Friends would hear her advice of, “You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your toad” and would often shower her with froggy memorabilia. The frog collection eventually surpassed the Alpha Phi collection.
Melanie became a member of the Greater St. Louis Artists in 2019 and was learning the art of working with glass. She found a certain calm while fusing glass at the Third Degree Glass Factory in St. Louis. She was constantly trying to perfect the making of plaid in her glass designs.
Her father’s career as a Naval Aviator had her living in different parts of the country in her young, formative years. By the time she was 11 years old, she had lived in Florida, Hawaii, California, New Jersey, and Missouri. She grew up hearing the roar of the ocean waves crashing upon the shore, and she always missed that once she moved to Missouri. Missouri may have had beautiful waves of grain and raging rivers, but fried catfish were never the same as fresh shrimp or crab cakes. Her experiences from different regions developed an understanding, respect, and knowledge of the importance and benefits of the power of diversity.
She was known as having a sweet personality, possessing an inquiring, intelligent mind, and displaying an indomitable strength of character willing to defend herself and others from wrongful words and actions. She developed deep and long-lasting friendships based on caring, trusting and understanding.
When Melanie was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2021, she began practicing the F.I.G.H.T cheer, 40 years after hanging up her pom-poms. She never wavered in her cheering and always remained positive; determined to use her passport to travel to Prague to visit her nephew, Laine Whitaker.
Melanie is survived by her Mother, Barbara Travers, Sister, Melissa (Travers) Whitaker (Mark), her nieces and nephews, Erin, Laine, Amy, Marie, Bryan (Abby), Brendan (Myka), Matthew (Sadie), and David. Also left to celebrate Melanie’s life are her mother-in-law Helen Hutchinson, many aunts, uncles, cousins, and her ex-spouse, Jeffrey Schwab. Her beloved Golden Retriever, Winter, sits by the door waiting for her to come home.
She was preceded in death by her Father, Charles W. Travers; Husband, Thomas E. Hickey; maternal grandparents, Doyle and Mildred Lackey; paternal grandparents, Henry and Alma Travers; and her fur-babies McGrew, Tucker, Sadie, Holly, Angel, and Stormy.
Memorial service date has yet to be determined.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Melanie’s honor to the Humane Society, Mid America Transplant, and/or National Cancer Society.
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