I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one. I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done. I’d like to leave an echo…whispering softly down the ways of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days. I’d like the tears of those who grieve to dry before the sun of happy memories that I leave behind when life is done
Melodie A. Lohr, age 74, passed away after a battle with cancer and developing complications on September 21, 2016, in the comfort of her home. Her loving husband was by her side. A private memorial, celebrating her life, will be held in a peaceful beachside setting for family and close friends.
Mrs. Lohr was born on August 7, 1942 in Lake Forest, Illinois, the daughter of late Thomas and Jeanne Pack.
Mrs. Lohr is survived by her husband James Lohr, MD, her son, Steve McManmon, daughter, Willa McManmon-Feaver, grandchildren, Alyssa, Johnam, Blake, and sister, Jill Adams.
Before Mrs. Lohr started her 40+-year professional work career in nursing, she was part of the folk singing group, Three Johns with A Melodie. She also performed studio backup vocals for Rotary Connection, Janis Joplin’s Big Brother and the Holding Company, Josh White, Joan Baez, Emmylou Harris and various other artists.
She later received a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree from UCLA and spent some years as a sculptress. She began her nursing career at the University of Pennsylvania where she received a Bachelor of Nursing degree. During this time she served as head nurse in the Trauma/Shock Center and helped develop the program and train medical personal for the Life Flight Team. She then went into Psychiatric Nursing and obtained a Master’s in Nursing degree, at the University of Pittsburgh. She then spent three years at the National Institute for Health in Bethesda Maryland as Educator for medical staff and ran the largest Mental Health Clinic in the country at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington DC. During her last year at NIH, she was awarded Nurse of the Year, and also received a Public Health Service Meritorious Research Award.
Mrs. Lohr came to San Diego 30 years ago and opened Behavioral Medicine at Scripps Hospital. After serving as Director of Behavioral Medicine for several years she developed a six-bed med-psych unit for critically ill patients who had co-morbid psychiatric illnesses. While at Scripps she also opened outpatient and day treatment programs at the McDonald Center in behavioral medicine, dual diagnosis, eating disorders, and a women’s program. She then became Manager of Clinical Services at Vista Health Plan in San Diego. For several years she served as a research coordinator and patient evaluator on a variety of research projects, both at NIH, and UCSD.
Following her career in hospital administration and program development she went back to school to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. She worked as a Nurse Practitioner until she developed Guillain-Barre syndrome, which caused her career as a Nurse Practitioner to come to an abrupt end. After partially recovering she spent the next two years working for Anthem Blue Cross as a Medical Liaison and she began co-authoring a book Volcano Woman, about her experiences recovering from total paralysis. Over the past few years, Mrs. Lohr expressed a desire to include her recovery and rehabilitation from cancer into the existing book in progress. She wanted to help other cancer patients in any way she could, from resources to basic support, understanding their plight.
Mrs. Lohr is affectionately called, “Mel,” “Melodie,” and “Miracle Mel.” For those fortunate enough to know her, several things stand out; her unmatched zeal for life, her boundless love for family and friends, and her uncanny ability to spring back with a smile from life and rehabilitation challenges.
A year ago, she made the decision to fight cancer, and asked her oncologist, “If I decide to fight this what am I signing up for and if I do is there any hope?” His answer was blunt and truthful. “Living Hell but with the right attitude you just might survive.” Since then she went through 12 rounds of chemotherapy followed by 6 weeks of daily radiation therapy and 5 major surgeries.
On Monday, August 1, 2016 she was declared in remission. Her oncology team named her “Miracle Mel.” Her family, friends, hospital team of doctors, nurses and auxiliary staff would all agree, Miracle Mel was a Warrior Woman to her last day.
She will be deeply missed
Let us pray for the departed soul to rest in everlasting peace
Melodie’s Family & Favorites