Melissa Jo Bahnmiller, 28, of Warroad, Minn., passed away Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, after a courageous, hard-fought battle with cancer, surrounded by her loving family.
Melissa was born to Scott and Sonja Pelland on Jan. 22, 1991, in International Falls, Minn. She grew up in Littlefork, Minn., with her parents and older brother, Phillip.
Melissa was baptized as an infant at Bethany Lutheran Church in Loman, Minn., and was confirmed at Littlefork Lutheran Church on Oct. 30, 2005.
Growing up, Melissa was active in Girl Scouts, played Little League, enjoyed summer camp, and camping and fishing with family and friends. She played softball in high school and was a member of the Littlefork-Big Falls team that went to State in 2008. She participated in dance team in 2003-04. Melissa loved to sing as well. She participated in local talent competitions and sang at her high school graduation.
After graduating from high school in 2009, she moved to Bemidji, Minn., and attended Bemidji State University.
Melissa’s first job was hostess at the Chocolate Moose Restaurant in International Falls beginning the summer of her 16th year. She worked there through her junior and senior years of high school. While attending college she worked part time at JC Penney in Bemidji as a sales clerk and then as a hostess at the Ground Round. In January of 2014 she began working at TJ Maxx as a sales associate and worked her way up to a full time position as women’s clothing coordinator.
Melissa enjoyed all types of crafting and beading, painting, furniture refinishing, collecting rocks, fashion blogging, writing poetry, cooking and baking. She was an artistic soul with a passion for fashion, jewelry, makeup and high heels!
She loved animals and had numerous pets throughout her life including dogs, cats, fish, ducks, and current beloved cats, “Bud-bud” and “Miss Jane.”
Melissa met the love of her life, Jacob (Jake) Bahnmiller in 2010. Jake proposed to Melissa on Feb. 24, 2015, and they were married Aug. 22, 2015, at the Fireside Grill in Bagley, Minn. In true fairytale fashion, their plan A — outdoor wedding was moved to plan B — a tent wedding due to impending rain, then to plan C — moving 10 miles and indoors at the very last minute due to statewide tornado watch, all for the sake of true love!
Melissa and Jake’s daughter, Isabelle JoHannah (Izzy), was born Jan. 13, 2019, completing their family. Isabelle and Jake were Melissa’s motivation and inspiration for strength throughout her illness. Izzy has been the “little bucket of sunshine” for Melissa and her entire family during this difficult time.
Melissa was preceded in death by her grandparents, Ivan and Jessie Dahl, and her grandmother, Arlene Pelland.
Melissa is survived by her husband, Jacob Bahnmiller; daughter, Isabelle Bahnmiller; parents, Scott and Sonja Pelland; brother, Phillip (Tonie) Pelland of Bemidji; grandfather, Curtis Pelland of International Falls; mother and father-law, Michael and Sallie Bahnmiller of Warroad; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and sisters-in-law.
A Celebration of Life for Melissa will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, at Littlefork Lutheran Church.
Visitation will be one hour prior to service time.
Interment will be at Riverside Cemetery, Loman.
Condolences may be left at www.greenlarsen.com.
Arrangements are with Green-Larsen Mortuary Inc., International Falls.