Melanie Anne Vercauteren
February 14, 1958 – October 30, 2020
Melanie Anne Alley Vercauteren passed away on Friday, October 30, 2020, after a long illness. Melanie was born on February 14, 1958, in Muncie, IN to George and Juanita Alley. The second of five children and the only daughter, Melanie was her brothers’ fiercest protector, while also surviving their shenanigans. From an early age, Melanie loved music, theatre, art and books. She was extremely intelligent and beyond her years. With a nearly photographic memory, her recall of everything she saw, read, observed and experienced was impeccable. George’s job as a forester took the family to Nebraska and then Wisconsin in her younger years, eventually settling in the small farming community of Mount Horeb. After high school, Melanie went on to work for Avco Financial Services, where, on a blind date set up by their boss, she met Michael Miller. They were married, and in the few years following, Melanie gave birth to their two daughters, Chelsea and Callie. Mel’s girls were the light of her life. Her love of art, music and food carried into her adult life and she shared those passions with both of them every chance she could. She spent hours at night reading them books and some of their most favorite excursions were to the library or Canterbury Booksellers. She played records and danced and twirled them around the wooden floors of their Upham Street living room. She sewed dresses for their dolls and barbies and made them eccentric homemade Halloween costumes. She played “make-believe” longer than most parents would, taking them on countless fun adventures with their favorite armless mannequin friend, Phoebe. She brought them to work with her at The Ovens of Brittany, giving them a taste for the finest pot de crème while pointing out the inadequacies of the restaurant’s dessert spoons. She indulged their love for all things living, allowing them to acquire far too many insects and rodents as pets over the years, and convincing Chelsea to save her allowance for a six-foot iguana. She took them to concerts, plays and museums from a young age and taught them to appreciate art in any form. She taught them to see the beauty in the world around them, and to dream the biggest dreams. She loved them with everything she had. In 1997, Melanie married Jay Vercauteren and they relocated to Sherrills Ford, NC to open and operate a new location for Builders’ Insulation. Melanie and Jay shared a love for nature and the water, and spent much time of their free time boating and visiting the ocean. She sent her girls many photos telling them stories of their excursions and their beloved kitty, Cotton. Outside the grips of addiction, Melanie was an extremely loving, caring and thoughtful daughter, sister, mother, aunt, wife and friend. She was a hardworking, gentle soul, with an entertainingly irreverent sense of humor – a free spirit, untamed by the world around her. She is, has been, and will continue to be greatly missed. Melanie is survived by her daughters: Chelsea (Dan) Nicholson, Green Bay; Callie (Brent) Hill, Madison; step-sons Luke (Jodi) Vercauteren, Minneapolis; Eric (Andra) Vercauteren, Tampa; her mother: Juanita Alley, Madison; three brothers: Dave (Deborah Webber) Alley, Sister Bay; Chris Alley, Sister Bay; John (Rhonda) Alley, Madison; her nieces and nephews: Amber (Keegan) Waldo; Josh Alley; Keenan Alley; and Katie Alley, all of Madison; and her seven grandchildren: Haley Nicholson; Alice, Beatrice and Frederick Hill; Jayden and Jacob Vercauteren; Grant Vercauteren. She was preceded in death by her father: George Alley; her brother: Frederick Alley; and in April of this year, her husband and love of her life: Jay Vercauteren. A service will be held for family and close friends at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Melanie’s honor to NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness or Northern Sky Theater. The family would like to extend special thanks to the teams at The Citadel of Mooresville and Hospice of Iredell County for their loving care of Melanie.