Melanie L. Arce
October 13, 1970 – October 5, 2021
Melanie L. Arce, daughter of the late Larry L. Ridley Sr. and Ruth T. Ridley, was born on October 13, 1970 in Portsmouth Virginia. She attended I.C. Norcom High School, where she played clarinet in the marching band and graduated in 1988.
After graduating, her family relocated to Washington, D.C. where Melanie began working for Howard Hughes Medical Institute. It is there where she met Isaias Arce who she later married and shared two children with, Ariel and Isaias. She would relocate several times, once to New York, where she would have another son, Misael Arce. During her travels, she became a member of New Mercies Christian Church of Lilburn, Georgia. Eventually she made her way back home to Virginia where she would have her final son, her snuggle bug, Tobias Carmichael.
Melanie discovered a passion for taking care of others early in her life. She graduated from Wilkes-Barre Area Career and Technical Center Practical Nursing Program in Wilkes-Barre, PA to become a proud Licensed Practical Nurse. Driven by her genuine ambition to help people, she later obtained her Associates Degree in Nursing from Fortis College and became an even prouder Registered Nurse. During her life, she worked in several hospitals and nursing homes. Finally, she found a career working on the insurance side with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. She loved every second of her profession and extended it to her personal life where she would care for many members of her family and strangers alike. She saved the lives of children and adults, sometimes in the presence of her own children. If a person needed help, she stopped whatever she was doing to aid them. Nursing was her calling and anyone who knew her was a witness to this.
Melanie was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in September 2020. For the next year, she spent every day fighting, believing, and pushing herself to get better. On October 5, 2021 in Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, the Lord decided she had fought enough and it was now time for her to finally rest alongside her beloved father and mother. Melanie was a funny, beautiful, selfless, compassionate, hard working, honest, and intelligent soul. Her favorite accomplishment: she was a loving mother.
Preceding her in death are her grandparents Joseph T. Boone, Louis Ridley, and Beulah Ridley.
Her life will forever be cherished by her children: Ariel A. Arce, Isaias Arce Jr., Misael A. Arce, Tobias L. Carmichael, Isaias Arce II, Delhia G. Arce; siblings, Larry L. Ridley Jr., Nichelle Ridley-Gardner (Justin), Travis Ridley (Rosalyn); grandmother, Ruth A. (Diggs) Boone; and a host of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
A visitation will be held from 6 - 8pm Thursday, October 14, 2021 at Woodlawn Funeral Home in Norfolk, VA. A funeral service will be conducted at 1pm Friday, October 15, 2021 in the Woodlawn Chapel. Immediately following the service, there will be a committal service in the mausoleum.
Thursday, October 14, 2021
A Celebration of Life
Friday, October 15, 2021
Melanie L. Arce
October 15, 2021
After my parents separated, Ms. Melanie and my father got together and as you could imagine, my mother and her didn’t get along but never once did she make that known to me and nor did she treat me any different. One of my fondest memories is spending the weekend at their house in Pennsylvania and Ms. Melanie’s parents bringing over two huge garbage bags filled with all types of seafood and dumping it out on the dinning room table for us to dig in. Lobster, crab, shrimp, crawfish, mussels, you name it! That was my first and so far last time having a seafood boil that grand. I also enjoyed times spent at their old apartment in Spanish Harlem where we would stay up playing American Idol on PlayStation dying from laughter at the horrible notes our players would sing. Ms. Melanie was fun & funny... she was kind & loving... but utmost, she was an extraordinary mother and is shows in her children. It saddens me deeply that your physical presence is no longer with us... it is devastating actually. I think about you every day now. And to think just a few days before your passing, your profile appeared on my Facebook under the “people you may know” section... You have only good memories left with me and I thank you for being a important adult figure in my early years. I assure you I will look after my brothers and sister. With love, rest in peace, Queen. #rip
October 14, 2021
Melanie, we will miss such a heaven sent, beautiful soul that we were lent and have now had to return. Thanks for all our smiles, laughs and jokes about you wanting my height and legs (smile) so that you could reach stuff. First, the loss of your precious mom and now the loss of you, my goodness. Rest, my Beautiful, Boss cousin....
We will truly miss you! Love, Pagan/Shamar/Michael & Naya