521 East Main Street | Niles, MI | 49120
Obituary of Maelene Alma Salmons
Maelene Alma Salmons, 81 died on September 6, 2018, of natural causes. She had suffered from cancer and died peacefully in her sleep surrounded by family.
Born in Russell, Arkansas to Homer Stell Long & Alma Jane (Cook) Long, Maelene was the third child and first daughter for Mr. & Mrs. Homer Long July 21, 1937.
In 1956 she moved to Michigan with friends, where she met and married William L. Salmons (aka Bill) later that same year.
She is survived by her wonderful husband of 62 years, Bill Salmons; loving sister, Dorothy (Riley) Goodenough of Marcellus, Mi; sweet sisters-in-law, JoAnn Long, Tina Price-Hendershot; best friend, Betty Kirksey of St. Joseph, Mi. She loved them all with all her heart. Three children, Cynthia Salmons-Lang, William F (Debbie) Salmons and Patricia (Joe) Fecho all of Dowagiac; a foster daughter for life, Renee Biggs of Cassopolis; nine grandchildren, Christopher (Laura) Lang, Samantha (Bruce) Wheeler, Ryan Reckers, Katie Fecho (Thomas Lane), Matthew Fecho, Shanna Higgs (Rich Graff) Anthony (April) Higgs, Jennifer Williams (Jason Cooley) Blair Higgs (Alana Linn); eighteen great-grandkids, Elijah, Devin, Aubry, Paris, Joey, Annabelle, Madisyn, Molly, Noah, Kadance, Noah, Alivia, Jullien, Taylor, Austin, Bentley, Nathan and Elizabeth; many, many wonderful nieces & nephews that she loved very much.
Maelene had worked at Lee Memorial Hospital as a CNA for several years and decided to become a nurse. In 1984 she graduated from SMC nursing program and continued to work as a RN for several more years. Later she worked at Dowagiac Nursing Home as a Director of Nursing, then at Cass County Medical Facility as a CNA trainer.
Around 1971 she and her husband Bill, became foster parents. They took several children into their home while raising their own. Later, while working at Lee as an RN, she took in adults and had an adult foster home for many years. In 2015 she became involved with the VA taking in veterans in need of a home. Her father and all her brothers were service men and she was very proud of them. She later decided should do her part to help veterans as a thank you to those in her family that had served. Her motto was, “They served for us, now we serve them”
Maelene was a warm, loving person whose home and heart always welcomed everyone. Many people, young & old have enjoyed everyday dinners and holiday celebrations at her table, along with many bonfires.
She loved to bake, sew, knit, garden, can and she was crazy about flower gardens. She had made her daughter Cynthia promise to make sure her flower garden out front looked it’s very best when she passed… She said “It has to look good when people come to visit”… yep, she loved her flowers!
For several years she provided the zucchini bread that was given to visitors that came to her church. Her church family had her heart. Maelene had been a member of the Church of Christ in Dowagiac for several decades.
Her children, grandchildren & great-grandchildren are so happy & blessed to have had her in their lives.
A celebration of her life will be Sunday, September 16, 2018 with a time of visitation beginning at 3:00 p.m. and the service at 4:00 p.m. Brown Funeral Home, Niles, Michigan.
Memorial contributions may be made in Maelene’s memory to the Dowagiac Church of Christ, 58273 M 51 S · Dowagiac, Michigan 49047 or to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, 28 West 44th Street, Suite 609, New York, NY 10036.
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