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Billings Funeral Home
812 Baldwin Street
| Elkhart, IN 46514
Tel: 1-574-264-2425
| Fax: 1-574-264-3336
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Melissa N. Axsom

July 28, 2018
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ELKHART — Late in the evening on Friday, July 27, 2018, Melissa Nicole Axsom lost her nearly lifelong battle with opioid addiction. 

Melissa was 36 years old. 

Every day, 115 Americans lose their lives to opioid addiction and that number is doubling every year. 

That’s 230 mothers and fathers who survive their own children and countless sisters and brothers who struggle to make sense of such a sudden tragedy.

Melissa was so much more than her addiction to so many people. 

She deserved better than to become another opioid statistic. 

She is survived by her mother, Carlene Smith, and her father, Peter Axsom, who brought her into this world and never stopped showering her with love up until the moment she left. 

Her beautiful daughter, Olivia, who will carry on her gorgeous smile and kind heart. 

She left behind her grandmother, Patricia Smith, who finds comfort in the fact that she has been reunited with her beloved grandfather, Charles W. Smith, and grandmother, Jewel Axsom, in heaven. 

A stepfather, Dennis Klapp, who loved her and her daughter as his own and will continue to look over her daughter in her passing. 

Her three sisters, Sarah Howland, Jennifer Knowles and Julia Axsom, will miss her sense of humor and her fierce loyalty to them. 

Her two brothers by marriage, Todd Howland and Jameson Knowles, are broken-hearted to lose such an important part of their family, but they are remaining strong for their wives and family just as Melissa would have wanted. 

Her aunt, Linda Smith, two uncles, Charles and Kevin Smith, and cousin Robbie Goodman loved her through thick and thin during her short time on this Earth. 

Her niece and nephew, Lizzie and Frankie, were the light of her eyes and they will never forget their precious memories with Aunt Missy.

Melissa’s family will never understand why she is gone. 

Although one day they may accept it, they will never understand the depths of her addiction and why their love couldn’t save her. 

During this tragic time in their lives they offer their hearts and prayers to anyone in the community who has lost a loved one to opioid addiction. 

“You are not alone. You are loved. You will get through this,” the family said.

As a family, they want to thank any physicians or health care officials who are non-opioid prescribers. “Do not give up. Your work and voice speak everlasting love and life into this community,” the family said.

Melissa will always be a mother, sister, daughter, granddaughter, niece and cousin. 

Her memory will be treasured by those who loved her without limit.

A memorial visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2, with a funeral service following at Billings Funeral Home in Elkhart.

Arrangements are in the care of Billings Funeral Home of Elkhart.


ELKHART — A graveside service for Melissa Nicole Axsom will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, in Salem Cemetery in Granger.

Late in the evening on July 27, 2018, Melissa lost her nearly life-long battle with opioid addiction. 

Melissa was 36 years old. 

Arrangements are in the care of Billings Funeral Home of Elkhart.


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