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Melanie Zentgraf '80 May 11, 2020 3:49 PM updated: May 11, 2020 4:07 PM

After a battle with cancer Captain Zentgraf passed away on May 5, 2020.

The following was written by her Veterinarian and friend.

Melanie Zentgraf was a dear friend and client with a love for all animals and she was a crusader for doing what was right. Whether it was championing womens' rights at Texas A&M in the fight to allow women in its elite Corps of Cadets or fighting to save an animal or standing up for a friend, she believed in always standing up for what she believed in.

Melanie was honest and completely without artifice and you always knew where you stood with her. She loved her animals and friends with her whole heart. She was in the Air Force and flew 32+ years for FedEx moving up the ranks to Airbus Captain. She was happiest flying in the air whether it was flying a jet or going over a jump on one of her beloved horses.

Melanie once rescued some chickens on one of her flights and flew them back with her. She rescued a dog from the side of the road on her way to meet me for her horse's vet appointment. When I commented that he was adorable and she would have no problem finding him a home, she looked me square in the eye and asked if I thought he could find a better home than hers. I quickly said absolutely not, knowing it was true. She loved costume jewelry though she could afford the real stuff.

As my veterinary client she was a dream because she loved her horses unconditionally and would do whatever they needed and gave them the best of care. Melanie was one of a kind and her larger-than-life personality will be sorely missed. It will be hard to go to horse shows for a while and not look for the tall rider in one of her many straw hats marching her horse down to the warm-up ring. There is a lot to be said for living your life on your own terms and Melanie did that all the way to the end, passing away at home surrounded by her beloved pets which was right where she wanted to be.

Melanie requested that she be cremated and that there be no obituary, memorial or service for her. She was a very private person and though this would have been a way to celebrate her life. We are respecting her wishes.


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