Melody Vera Stephens (64), resident of St. Maries, passed away at her home on May 5, 2022. She was born to Marvin “Lucky” and Reda Harper on December 25, 1957 in Modesto, Calif. Being born on Christmas, she used to dress up on Christmas and remind her family she was the best Christmas birthday gift ever given to them. Melody grew up in Modesto and graduated from Beyer High School with the class of 1975.
Following high school, Melody married Jimmy Bryant, and the couple had their son Travis. The marriage ended in divorce, and she later married Craig Stephens. Although their marriage ended in divorce, they still remained good friends, and he supported her when she moved to St. Maries. At one time in her younger years, Melody sold and modeled lingerie as well as sold tupperware. She worked at the Plant Nursery in Modesto for over 10 years. Melody was talented with a green thumb, and often brought plants home the nursery was going to toss, and she would lovingly nurse them back to health.
Around 20 years ago, Melody moved to St. Maries for a fresh new start. She stayed with her best friend and sister in-law Robin Jones also known as Little Robin to Mel. Melody went to work at Bud’s Drive Inn, a job she thorougly enjoyed. A social butterfly, she loved serving and hanging with the customers she met at Bud’s, as many of them turned into good friends. She left Bud’s Drive Inn when they closed the restaurant. A strong woman, she built herself up in St. Maries and was so proud when she was able to purchase her own home. Melody also spent a short time at the Golf Course and Gem State Grill before health issues forced her into retirement.
Mel enjoyed dancing and gardening. She had many friends that she looked forward to hanging out with at Resors. She also enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren. At one time she played a second mom to her nieces, watching them while their mother Robin worked. She was crazy about the little dogs she had over the years, and she also enjoyed watching humming birds. Mel enjoyed sweets from time to time, and ended up in the ER with an anaphalactic reaction to TJ’s famous homemade almond rocha because she was allergic to nuts but still wanted to taste test it. She was always smiling and laughing; that is what most will remember her for.
Melody is survived by her son and daughter in-law Travis and Katherine Bryant of St. Maries; siblings Cindy Harrist and Robin Harper, four grandchildren Isaiah, Archer, Gunner and Daniel, two nieces and two nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents and her sister in-law Robin Jones.
Memorial Donations may be sent to the Lighted Cross Fund, c/o Ginny Oakes, 1117 Main Ave., St. Maries, ID 83861. Please visit Mel’s online tribute at hodgefuneralhome.com.