Cover photo for Melody Joy Kelly's Obituary
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Melody Joy Kelly

August 16, 1955 — April 11, 2022

Melody Joy Kelly

Melody Joy (Zaffke) Kelly, 66, passed away of natural causes on April 11, 2022, in Albuquerque. She had a generous heart, a creative mind and an intelligent wit.

Melody was too young to leave us. For many years, she struggled with complicated health issues, and she tried to be strong and fight her way through them.

Melody was born to Karl J. and Joyce D. (Hurst) Zaffke on Aug. 16, 1955, in Minneapolis, Minn. Her early years were spent in Camp Douglas, Wisc., where her father was a Baptist pastor, and in Ree Heights, S.D., where he worked as a high school teacher.

Seeking a better climate and new opportunities, the family moved to Farmington in 1963. Melody was involved in the youth choirs and ministry at First Baptist Church of Farmington. She was an excellent student and a voracious reader. She graduated in 1973 from Farmington High School. She attended San Juan College for two years and then moved to Grand Canyon College in Phoenix, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in religious studies in 1978.

It was only a few months later that she welcomed her first child, Lillian. Her sons, Aaron and Joshua, followed in short order. Raising her family in Aztec, Melody loved being a mom and homemaker.

Melody worked several years for Aztec Public Schools in the school administration office. She also worked as the office manager for Sulzer Services before retiring and moving to Albuquerque to be near her daughter and son-in-law.

Melody was preceded in death by her father, Karl Zaffke. She is survived by her children: Lillian Kelly and husband, Steve St. John, of Albuquerque; Aaron Kelly and wife, Dannie, of Flagstaff, Ariz.; and, Joshua Kelly of Minneapolis, Minn. Survivors also include: mother, Joyce (Zaffke) and husband, J.B. Hunt, of Kirtland; sister, Rene (Zaffke) and husband, Steve Rodgers, of Hesperus, Colo.; and, sister, Candace (Zaffke) and husband, Bill Young, of Farmington. She also left behind several nephews and nieces: Curtis Young and wife, Shawna, of Farmington; Sam Rodgers and wife, Becca, of Parker, Colo.; Mari Rader and husband, Zane, of Madison, Miss.; and, Grace Rodgers of Nagoya, Japan.

Melody is also survived by her constant companion and emotional support dog, Izzie, who provided tremendous comfort in her later years.

We will miss her so much, but we have peace in knowing that she is now resting free of pain and anxiety in the loving arms of her dad and Jesus her savior in Heaven.

Cremation has taken place, and a family memorial service will be held at a later date, yet to be determined.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Melody Joy Kelly, please visit our flower store.

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