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Melissa Reich '00 August 12, 2021 2:30 PM updated: August 30, 2021 12:14 PM

Melissa Michelle Blakeney Reich
March 16, 1978 - August 08, 2021

Melissa has a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Texas A&M University and a Masters degree in Criminology, Law and Society from the University of California-Irvine. She was a law enforcement officer for 17 years including 8 1/2 years with the FBI assigned to the profiling/serial killer/sexual predator/child abduction/cold case unit and the counter intelligence and counter terrorism unit, 3 years as a district attorney investigator with major felony violent crimes and 3 years as Sgt. With the Texas Attorney General investigating and prosecuting fraudulent Medicaid providers.

Melissa has also been an advocate and spokesperson for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and human trafficking for 19 years.

Due to her deteriorating health conditions, Melissa made the decision to end her career and medically resign in December 2017. Since then, she has shifted her focus toward her role as an active board member of the Shane Detwiller Foundation, an NPO (Non Profit Organization) founded in honor of her friend killed in the line of duty on July 13, 2009, and toward launching her own NPO design to give hope and how to find joy, even in despair and darkness, for those diagnosed with chronic and terminal illnesses like Melissa. She has aptly named it The Texas Butterfly Strong.

Melissa lived in Spring, Texas with her 2 fur babies, Bella and Chip and 1 active piglet , the Notorius P.I.G., aka Piggie Smalls, but mostly called Wally around the house.

Melissa has been a dedicated Christian since her early teen years. Her dedication to teach others was a special opportunity for her. Be it teaching classes at church, being a Camp Counselor, having prayer vigils at work with co-workers or just helping someone she just met. It was always exciting for her to talk, teach and express her love of the Lord.

She was very emotional as she toured the Holy Lands - where she visited Jerusalem, dunked herself in the River Jordan and proclaimed herself re-baptized, swam in the Dead Sea, walked the path of Christ, visited the Garden of Gethsemane, the Mount of Olives and Bethlehem.

Melissa brought a light to a lot of people of different lives. Always making a friend anywhere she went. Even on her last detail as she lay in the hospital 2 weeks ago. She could see a young girl across the hall in another room. They had their phones and asked the nurse to take their numbers to each other. They talked and comforted each other for days before Melissa became too weak and could not hold her phone well. Always, always reaching out to someone.

One other thing Melissa is known for besides her love of shoes, is her voice. Her beautiful voice. It has been used at weddings, funerals, her grandparents bedsides to comfort them in last days, to friends in hospice care, to children who were blessed to hear a special lullaby or song. She was honored to be asked to travel to Europe with her A&M Elite choir to perform in several European countries.

Melissa will be missed by her family, parents, cousins, fur babies, piglet and many, many friends. Our "Sunshine" tried to make the world a better place by smiles, teaching, laughter, faith positive attitude and her voice.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to be made in Melissa's name in Montgomery County Woman's Center.

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