Malec & Sons Funeral Home

6000 North Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL


Melissa Catherine Beck-Boratyn

May 25, 1988June 21, 2020
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After nearly a decade of battling breast cancer, Melissa Catherine Beck-Boratyn passed away on June 21, 2020, surrounded by family. Melissa is survived by her husband Jimmy Boratyn, mother Catherine Beck, sister Shannon (Dan) Warnicki, as well as numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, family members, and friends.

Melissa was first diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 23 and became a relentless advocate for the breast cancer community. She accomplished many things in her brief 32 years of life, including earning a Bachelor’s Degree in International Film & Media Production from Loyola University Chicago and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Cinema Directing from DePaul University. An accomplished filmmaker, Melissa co-owned Shot Time Productions, a multimedia production company she ran with her husband. She collaborated on several feature films before directing, writing, and editing Ginger, gingerthemovie.com, a film based on Melissa’s cancer diagnosis. Ginger was created to support all people impacted by breast cancer, providing a message of hope and highlighting all of the pain, suffering, humor, and love that comes along with this disease. The film won numerous awards and continues raising money to support various organizations dedicated to fighting cancer.

Melissa had a fire inside her and a determination to help bridge access to lifesaving treatments and clinical trials. Amidst her own challenges with cancer, she always strived to help others. Melissa was an active member of many breast cancer organizations, including The Breasties and Stupid Cancer, where she made many memories and lifelong friends. In February 2019, she walked the runway for AnaOno in New York Fashion Week to bring awareness to metastatic breast cancer, helping raise $100,000 for research.

During the last four years, Melissa balanced her metastatic diagnosis with living a truly extraordinary life—making incredible art and enjoying wonderful times with her family and friends. Melissa lived life to the fullest, believing that “There is nothing more valuable than the ability to find gratitude in the beautiful things in life. And while illness might make life harder, it does not limit or invalidate the meaning of each and every waking day.” Melissa was and is what every person aspires to be—loving, kind, hopeful, strong, and incredibly fierce. She will live on forever, not only through her film legacy and her work within the breast cancer community, but in the hearts and minds of everyone who was blessed to know and love her.

Funeral services private. Donations to support the family are appreciated via this GoFundMe page, gf.me/u/x872q6. A portion of funds raised will support the operations of the Melissa & Jimmy Boratyn Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting and empowering those impacted by breast cancer through the art of cinema.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Melissa Catherine Beck-Boratyn

have a memory or condolence to add?

Pauline Michno

July 5, 2020

Heaven has surely received a precious soul. May the memories of Melissa consol her loving family.
May Our God bless you all .
Pauline Michno, Ronald. wife

Robert Caselli

July 5, 2020

Christmas was always our favorite time to get together.
Love you always.

Mary Caselli

July 5, 2020

Our beautiful, loving niece. We will not say good-bye. Only farewell until we meet again in heaven. Wishing you peace and joy on your new journey. Please know we will be thinking and praying for you everyday. Take our love with you. We will miss you. Uncle Bob and Aunt Mary

demetra soter

June 30, 2020

Having met you only once, but knowing about your long battle with cancer with such a positive attitude.... has made me realize what an amazing person you were.
Seeing Ginger confirmed my initial impression of the wonderful person you were. You will be so missed!

Demetra K. Soter MD

Cyndi DeBock

June 30, 2020

I’m Mel’s step mom Cyndi. When she was about 5 years old I remember clearly Melissa, sitting in a big stuffed chair in my living room. You could almost see the lightbulb turn on over her head like in a cartoon. She announced, “I know what a step-mom is!” I was all set for a definition involving Evil or Wicked. She continued, “It’s kinda like a part-time mom.” I was delighted!
In November of 2019, Melissa’s Grandma Sue and her husband Joe came in to Chicago to see Ginger at the Logan theater. We all had lunch together before the show. I wish there were words for how sad I feel and how much I will miss seeing her. I feel very blessed to have been able to have dinner with Melissa several times in the last year. I will carry all my memories of Melissa forever in my heart, until we all see her again.

Becky Cippola

June 29, 2020

I remember first meeting Melissa when her Step Mother, Cyndi DeBock brought her to my home for Thanksgiving. She was so young, had the biggest smile and was very much into ice skating. Great memories! She is missed.

Sherry Lloyd

June 29, 2020

Dearest Melissa,

I am blessed to have known you since you entered this world, via my close friendship with your very loving Mother. Your mother got up very early many days to drive you to ice skating lessons. I was grateful my kids played soccer!!

I was blessed to be your seventh grade math teacher and to follow your creative and beautiful life. Job well down on earth. Your Soul will always be a shining Star.
With Love, always.

kaitlyn keely

June 28, 2020

I met Melissa in the fall of 2015, after I was diagnosed with breast cancer myself at 25 years old. I reached out to a facebook page called (Stupid Cancer) that I we where both part of. I wanted to talk to another young adult with cancer, not online but in person. Melissa, responded to my post and we ended up meeting at a Starbucks in my neighborhood talking for about an hour or so. We both ended up find our tribe with the Breasties. I feel so honored to know Melissa, she was an inspiration to me. Not only because of the her breast cancer journey. Also for her love/passion for the arts, film and writing. My heart, feel so light right now. Knowing that your body is no longer here on earth. But you are now free from endless scans, tests, doctor appointments and medication. test, scans, doctor appointments

Brittany Smith

June 23, 2020

I met Mel in college. Of course it was Sam Bruno Mejia who introduced us. Mel and I lived together throughout most of college. She was the most Brilliant and kind person I’ve known. I am truly heartbroken that I’ve lost my best friend. Mel is irreplaceable. A true one of a kind. We have so many great memories and I will cherish those always.
I keep thinking I need to text you and tell you someone passed away. It still feels unreal that I can’t text you something stupid we would both laugh at or confide in you my secrets. I love you so much and I know that you’ve made such an impact on so many. This was entirely unfair and part of me will be angry for awhile.
I love you Mel, my bestie, my lady friend. You are an amazing person so many will miss. Until we meet again. Ermaghaaddd, I look forward to you saying this to me once again.

Kim Harmon

June 22, 2020

I never met you but feel like I know you through Shannon. You were the world to her. The extrovert you’re her introvert. I’m broke. Hearted for her losing her other half and know she’ll never be whole again. Through her I know you lived hard, fought hard and we’re fierce. I hope you Rest In Peace that was a long time coming and well deserved. ❤️


This is the main photo for the prayer cards, website, and next to the urn. Additional photos will follow for the slideshow.

Thank you,
Jimmy Boratyn