The Reverend Melissa L. Kean, age 30, of Rome, GA, gained her angel wings Saturday, September 12, 2020.
Melissa was born on June 23, 1990, in Colorado Springs, CO. She was raised in the Episcopal Church growing up in Colorado Springs, and went to the University of Colorado in Boulder. She majored in two different fields: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Studio Art. After her graduation, Melissa worked in South Korea teaching English for a year and then became the Minister of Formation at the Church of Saint Michael the Archangel in Colorado Springs.
Melissa attended the School of Theology at the University of the South for her Master of Divinity and graduated in May 2019. She was awarded the School of Theology’s prize of excellence in community service for the work she did in creating the Annual Women’s Lecture, which works to raise up more ordained women’s voices. Mother Melissa was ordained to the Diaconate in 2018 and the Priesthood in 2019.
Melissa was an absolute masterpiece. She was intelligent, witty, creative, adventurous, passionate, kind. Melissa could talk your ear off and she could debate you until you were blue in the face, or ideally, Anglo-catholic. She had an eye for beauty that blessed every person who encountered her.
Melissa despised limits, both on speed and on people. She had no tolerance for narrow-mindedness or a small view of God. She had no patience for scarcity. Melissa embodied abundance. Abundant good food and good drink. Abundant charity and abundant hospitality. Abundant generosity and abundant creativity. Abundant options and abundant opportunities to entertain guests. Abundant forgiveness and abundant affection for her friends.
Melissa’s home was rarely clean but when it was, she threw the most beautiful parties. Her fridge was always full, and she was always giving most of it away. She spoke tenderly to children and pulled 100-pound dogs onto her lap with no regard for the hair coating her immaculate outfits. Melissa never missed an opportunity to be right, and she never missed an opportunity to sing. She was equally comfortable covered in mud and in 6-inch stilettos, and occasionally she was both.
Melissa appreciated liturgy for how it gives us glimpses into the vastness of God’s heart, and how it gives structure to the chaos and vulnerability of prayer. She prided herself on being a tough nut to crack, but she was easily moved by a thoughtful sermon delivered by a friend, and she often wept while she sang. When she needed to cry, she sang There Is A Balm In Gilead and talked about Jesus.
Melissa is the daughter of a retired police commander, Bob, and a retired social worker, Linda. She has an older brother and sister-in-law, Chris and Meggie Kean. Also surviving is her pet cat, Sakari.
A memorial celebration of her life will be held in Colorado Springs, CO at a later date.
Salmon Funeral Home.
Tuesday: What started as with a bundle of flowers on the steps to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in downtown Rome has grown to a memorial to Mother Melissa Kean as friends continue to mourn her passing. On Facebook, the church has shared a simple message: “Peace” and, since then, added a Facebook Live video of a candle burning in front of the words, “With God, all things are possible.”