FREDERICKTOWN - Local artist Melissa Staib Lucas passed away Tuesday evening at her home in Fredericktown, surrounded by family and friends who have faithfully supported her throughout her courageous battle with Triple Negative Breast Cancer since her diagnosis in September of 2012. She was 44.
Born in East Liverpool on October 8, 1968, she was a daughter of Mary Compa Earl of East Liverpool and Paul W. Staib of Lisbon. A member of the Beaver Local High School Class of 1987, she continued her education at the Pittsburgh Art Institute, where she received degrees in Graphic Design and Photography. She later earned a degree in Web Design while working as a graphic artist and designer.
For most of her career, Melissa had been associated with Sterling China and East Palestine China, and had been commissioned to design dinnerware for various companies and other major events, such as Presidential Inaugural dinner parties in the nation's capital, as well as Royal Wedding celebrations held in Great Britain and Canada. She had also designed a commemorative plate which was given to former President George Bush by the U.S. Navy Seal Association. In addition, Melissa had designed the ceramic pieces for Longaberger Basket Company, and also dinnerware for various cruise lines. On a local level, she had illustrated Gary Winterburn's books about the village of Fredericktown, copies of which are currently held in the Library of Congress, and for many years, she created pen and ink drawings to be used in plates and other memorabilia for the Pottery Festival.
Humble by nature, Melissa never discussed her successes, but rather focused on the needs of others. Whatever she did, and wherever she went in life, Melissa made friends and left an impression as indelible as the artwork she has left behind.
Her faith sustained her throughout her life, beginning at a young age as she followed her late grandfather, Rev. Ralph Compa at his various churches, and continued until her passing, as a member of Trinity Presbyterian Church, where she served as a Deacon.
In addition to her parents, she is survived by her loving husband, Jeff Lucas, whom she married February 19, 2011. She will be fondly remembered by her five children, Rachel Lamp, Brandon Lucas, Matthew Lucas, and Hayley Lucas, all of East Liverpool, as well as Christopher Lucas of Akron.
Other survivors include a step-brother, Edward Stanley and his wife, Kim, and their daughter, Olivia, of Sebring, as well as her step-mother, Deb Staib, of Lisbon. Melissa also leaves behind many loving family members who will miss her sweet spirit and creative flair for life.
She was preceded in death by her step-father David R. Earl.
Friends may visit Friday afternoon at the Dawson Funeral Home, where the family will be present from 1 to 4 p.m. Visitation will also be held from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday evening at Trinity Presbyterian Church, where Rev. Dr. Stephen Cramer will conduct a funeral service at 7:00 p.m.
Following the service, family and friends will gather at the church for a time of continued remembrance and fellowship.
Burial will take place at Riverview Cemetery.
Those wishing to do so may make a donation in Melissa's name to the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation , P.O. Box 204, Norwood, New Jersey 07648 or to Trinity Presbyterian Church Memorial Fund, 110 Maine Blvd., East Liverpool, OH 43920.
View Melissa's memorial webpage and send condolences online at www.dawsonfuneralhome.com