SALT LAKE COUNTY – A Utah Highway Patrol dispatcher will be laid to rest Friday and the motorcycle community is honoring her with an escort to her final resting place.
Melonie Williams of Stansbury Park loved to go on motorcycle rides in the mountains with her husband Ron. But on this Pioneer Day, he finds himself riding solo up Millcreek Canyon.
On Sunday, he lost the love of his life, his wife and best friend of 16 years, Melonie, or as he called her “Little Mel.”
“It was a shock we weren’t expecting it for sure,” said Williams.
Melonie was diagnosed with Primordial Dwarfism, a rare condition causing underdevelopment of limbs.
“She’s only four foot tall. But she has the personality and the smile of a giant,” said Williams.
After having major spine surgery in December, Melonie lost the use of her legs and her riding days were over.
“I’m still debating to keep this bike or not. We’ve made some amazing memories on this bike and I’m not sure if I want to make any more without her,” said Williams.
Melonie had another passion. She worked as a dispatcher for Utah Highway Patrol, but medical issues forced her to retire after nearly ten years.
“She was the voice that could just break through and keep everybody calm,” said Williams. “She hated having to leave that job.”
Chris Rueckert, the manager of UHP’s dispatch command center, was Melonie’s supervisor. He said although she was dealt a bad card, she was always smiling and never down. Melonie was in a lot of physical pain while working as a dispatcher, but Rueckert says she always lit up the room with her upbeat and fun personality.
To honor Melonie one last time, Ron has requested a UHP escort for her funeral procession on Friday, July 27th. But he says because Melonie was a dispatcher and did not die in the line of duty, that won’t be possible.
“I did get a phone call from one the Sgt.’s last night with highway and they are going to do honor guard.”
Ron is with the Immortal Knights, a public safety motorcycle group that honors first responders. Fellow riders have offered to help escort Melonie to her final resting place in Smithfield.
“It shows the commitment the motorcycle community has to each other as a family.”
Ron didn’t expect to ride through life without Melonie so soon. He’ll miss her smile, jokes, and ability to lift others even while she was in so much pain.
“She was an amazing light in a little body. The world’s gonna be a little dimmer without her.”
If you ride and would like to be part of Melonie’s funeral procession on Friday, July 27, click here: https://www.facebook.com/IKPSMC/