Melinda Alice Gregory Villena died on Wednesday March 25, 2015, leaving behind a void deeper and wider than the Grand Canyon. She is survived by her husband of 24 years, Gabriel, her two beloved sons, Brett and Cole, her mother, Sylvia Gregory, sister, Carla Gregory, all of Raleigh, her wonderful extended family, parents-in-law Zenaida and Oscar Villena, sisters-in-law Lea Magbuhat (Steven), Vivien Worley (Jeff), nieces and nephews Alexi, Austin, Isabella and Michael all of California, and many friends and loved ones. She was predeceased by her father, Charles Rogers Gregory, her Grandparents Alice and Russell Scarborough, Frank and Anne Porter, Melinda and Edward Gregory.
Melinda was a graduate of Appalachian State University, and received her Master’s Degree from Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL – a place she and Gabriel called home for many years. After receiving her masters in counseling, she worked at the Center for Addictive Problems (CAP) in downtown Chicago helping those struggling with heroin addiction, alcoholism and other substance abuse issues. After Gabriel finished dental school at Loyola, they moved to Carlsbad, CA, before returning again to Chicago for his dental residency with the VA Hospital there. Just before Brett was born, they relocated to Raleigh where they have lived since 1994. Melinda was extremely active in her church, Providence Baptist, where she worked with the young children and volunteered with missions outreach. She also worked with Celebrate Recovery and volunteered with the YMCA of the Triangle mentoring program. She was a gifted pianist from age 5, and passed along her talents and love of music to her boys, both of whom are accomplished musicians. Always available, she gave generously, warmly and selflessly of her time, her expertise, offering encouragement and support to her family, friends and even total strangers (though she never met many of those). She touched and changed so many lives, and her presence will live on in those she knew and loved.
Perhaps her greatest gift was her sense of humor. She was brilliant, quick-witted, silly; she could imitate anyone, and kept us laughing all the time. She was Rain-Man with numbers and a colorful and creative writer. She was extraordinary and beautiful through and through. We are all better because of her life.
In our profound grief and loss, we can yet rejoice knowing for certain Melinda is free, and safe in the arms of her Savior, Jesus Christ. He comforts us now, and will in the days ahead. We would like to express our overwhelming gratitude to our friends and family for your support, prayers, gifts, messages, visits, hugs and your love. There are no words to describe how much your presence around us helps fill the emptiness we feel without her.
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A Memorial Service celebrating her life will be held at 2:00pm on Friday, April 3rd at Providence Baptist Church, 6339 Glenwood Avenue, in Raleigh. The family will remain to visit with friends immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Melinda Gregory Villena Memorial Fund at NCF Raleigh which will be used to support some of her favorite charities. Please mail checks made to “The National Christian Foundation” to PO Box 98446, Raleigh, NC 27624 with “Melinda Villena Memorial” in the memo line. If you need assistance please call 919-438-0350 and NCF will be happy to help you.
RICHARD NEWTON, CTFA, Certified Trust and Financial Advisor, Senior Gift Advisor to the, National Christian Foundation 919-815-5423, firstname.lastname@example.org
email@example.com Mailing Address: 4804 Mimetree Court Raleigh, NC 27616.
“All progress comes from small acts that gather momentum. So no matter how small you start, start something that matters.” - Brendon Burchard
Arrangements are under the care of Brown-Wynne 300 Saint Mary's St. Raleigh, NC 27605