Melissa Thomas

Obituary of Melissa Thomas

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Melissa Thomas—“Meli,” as she was affectionately called by her loved ones—lived fully, sharing her warmth and kindness with all who knew her. Her joy was contagious, as was her deep caring for the people around her. She made a point of making every person she encountered feel important. Melissa was a fashionista at heart, and never missed the opportunity to put on a pair of heels. She was extraordinarily dedicated to family, especially her beloved daughter Taylor. One of Melissa’s driving forces was ensuring that Taylor had the skills, resources, and opportunities she needed to succeed in life.

Melissa was born on December 4, 1979, in Plainfield, New Jersey, a happy and loved baby girl who was doted on by her three elder siblings. She attended Clinton Elementary School and Hubbard Middle School. As a student at Plainfield High School (class of 1997), she played softball and was Captain of the cheerleading squad. Following her high school graduation, Melissa enrolled at Rutgers University – New Brunswick, graduating in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. She continued her studies and earned a Master of Science in Human Resources from The New School in New York City in 2005.  In 2003, Melissa gave birth to the light of her life, Miss Taylor Gabrielle Winslow. She loved Taylor and she was an excellent mother and role model. They did everything together – travel, dance recitals, cheerleading, concerts, and more. Melissa cherished every moment and holiday they had together, no matter how big or small. Creating their own traditions always included shopping for seasonal décor. She took tremendous pleasure in bringing joy to her home and office space.

When Melissa landed her dream job at Rutgers, she was very proud to return to her alma mater as a Benefits Representative in Rutgers Newark’s Biomedical Health Sciences Benefits office. She advanced her career further when she took the position of Human Resources Manager at Rutgers Graduate School of Education (GSE) at Rutgers University - New Brunswick. She was immensely devoted to her colleagues and to fostering true community in the post-pandemic work environment. Her leadership in advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion was recognized in May 2024 when she was the recipient of the GSE Staff Excellence in advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion award.

Melissa was a person of great faith and a strong believer in God. In 1982, she was christened at St. Mary Church in her hometown of Plainfield. She loved God and spent time with Him daily, writing bible verses, reading devotionals, praying, and listening to worship music. Melissa found solace in her conversations with God and journaling during that time.  Her circle of love was wide and touched many. The innermost ring of that love was for Taylor, her mami, her dad, her siblings, and nieces and nephews. She expanded her family with her two cats Luna and Bruno, and embraced her tight-knit circle of friends who were like family. Melissa loved to travel, and loved music, attending concerts (Beyonce’s Renaissance Tour in 2023 was a hit!) and musicals. She also loved the beach, journaling, shopping, and her Colombian heritage, which she took great pride in. She took the time to make people feel special, seen, and heard. She showed her loved and appreciation by writing cards, personalized notes, emails and giving gifts.

She liked to have fun and smile, and always had a twinkle in her eye. She loved holidays, decorating, and celebrating every occasion. She loved a good laugh. She enjoyed funny shows, movies, and best of all, quoting them. Melissa engaged in a variety of activities, including walks with her mother and sister, bootcamp, barbell and cycling classes and sessions with her personal trainer. Melissa also focused on eating healthy and an overall healthy lifestyle. She instilled these values in those closest to her.  Melissa departed this life and went to her heavenly home on June 17, 2024, surrounded by her loved ones. She is preceded in death by her father, Amaury Thomas. She is survived by her mother, Ms. Alba Thomas, her precious only daughter Taylor Gabrielle Winslow, sister Yvette, brothers Edwin and Niño, a host of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, many beloved friends and colleagues, and her cats Luna and Bruno.  Melissa was walking sunshine and will be missed tremendously. We will remember her with love and gratitude and uphold her legacy of warmth, welcome, faith, and a table set for all



5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Wednesday, June 26, 2024
South Plainfield Funeral Home
2456 Plainfield Avenue
South Plainfield , New Jersey, United States

Funeral Service

10:00 am - 11:00 am
Thursday, June 27, 2024
Rose of Sharon Community Church
825 West 7th Street
Plainfield, New Jersey, United States


11:30 am
Thursday, June 27, 2024
Hillside Cemetery
1401 Woodland Avenue
Scotch Plains, New Jersey, United States
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Melissa Thomas

In Loving Memory

Melissa Thomas

1979 - 2024

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