Melissa Ann Taylor, 50, died on Monday, Jan. 27, of metastatic breast cancer with friends and family by her side. Missy was born on Oct. 30, 1969, in Canton, Ohio, to parents George and Martha Taylor. As a child, she was an early walker but a late talker — which is surprising, considering how much phone time she logged as a teenager. (George used to joke that he handed her a phone as a little girl and she never hung it up.)
As a teenager, Missy was always on-the-go, up for an adventure and the life of the party, planning get-togethers that were always crazy fun. During her school years, she developed deep and lasting friendships that remained throughout her life.
One of Missy’s proudest achievements was gaining sobriety on Nov. 6, 2002. Alcoholics Anonymous was a lifeline for her, showing her a different way to live. She took the knowledge that she gained and helped and encouraged many others to find their own paths to sobriety. She also became a volunteer for Project PANDA (Prevent And Neutralize Drug Abuse), a program for kids.
In 2006, Missy met her husband, Ed Waters, and their son, Aiden, was born in 2007, the year she also became an LPN. Aiden was her joy, her cute little “Bug,” who made his mom proud each and every day. Missy also became a second mom to stepchildren Ashley and Eddy, who she loved dearly, and relished her role as a grandma to their children.
Whether in school, at work, in AA or even shopping at the mall, Missy never met a stranger. Her outgoing and generous nature and often-thoughtful advice drew people in and they were comforted to stay by her side.
It was at her mom Martha’s side that Missy learned to cook, and she spent the rest of her life feeding others. A visit to Missy’s involved the best dinners, and she was never so happy as when she was surrounded by friends and family at her dining room table.
Throughout her life, she made us laugh hysterically and cry occasionally. And she always did it in style. (No matter how many clothes she had to take out of the closet to do it!)
Mere words cannot capture Missy’s spirit or do justice to the fullness and richness of her life. She is missed.
Missy was predeceased by her parents, her sister Kathleen Newman and her Aunt Peggy Ballos. She is survived by her husband, Edward P. Waters, Jr.; son, Aiden Joseph Waters; stepchildren Ashley Pejnovic (John), Eddy Waters (Krista Jones); grandchildren Ellie, Alivia and baby Eddy; father-in-law Edward P. Waters, Sr.; and cousins Mark Ballos and Thea Domino, Natalia Domino Ranalli and Frank Domino.
Calling hours will be 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Kucko – Anthony – Kertesz Funeral Home, 1990 South Main Street, Akron, Ohio, 44301, where a funeral service will be celebrated at 1:00 p.m. Louie Pejnovic officiating. Private interment will be held at Standing Rock Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Aiden Waters in care of the funeral home.