Melissa C. Zaja

August 5, 1969November 9, 2012

Melissa Colene Zaja, 43, Left this world 9 November 2012 to get her wings. She was born in Yuma, AZ though her primary years were spent in Bard, CA. She graduated Yuma High Criminal Class of 1987, earned her Associates from Arizona Western College, and received her Bachelors in Early Education from Northern Arizona University in 2012. Melissa was well known throughout the Yuma community, establishing Kelland's Kiddie College in 1996, she seemed to know everyone and have something to do with most child related goings on, whether it had been Toastmasters through the years, The Week of the Young Child. The 4H program, Yuma County AEYC, and even had a chance to help coach youth soccer with the YYSA, Band Mom, Cheer Mom, Rollie PTO President and numerous chairs through the years, adopted Mom and second Mom to too many to list. She was preceded in death by her Father Darrell R. Bennett, Brother Edward Lee, and Dennis Ray, Grandparents Elsie Moris, Herbert and Florence Bennett. She is survived by her mother, Karen C. Bennett, aunt Ella Sansom, brother Darrell K Bennett (wife Esperanza), husband Jeff Zaja, children Hope and Clay Kelland, Jackie (Royce) McKie, and Alexis Zaja, grandson (yet to hold) Ryen Anthony McKie, nieces and nephews: Alfredo Santamaria (Melissa), Burton Bennett, Vianney and Viri Fuentes-Perezalong, with numerous Aunt's, Uncle's, and Cousin's. To Our Beloved Wife, Mother, Sister, and Friend to all it seemed alike. She was always there to lend a hand. Though your life was shortened by way to many years, your memory, strength, and always happy smile will stay strong until we meet again. There is no friendship, no love, like that of the love between a parent and a child or a brother and a sister. A Celebration of Life in Melissa's honor will be held at the American Legion 2575 South Virginia Drive Yuma, AZ on Saturday 17 November 2012 from 4 to 9 pm. With it getting close to the holidays, her husband found it fitting to share a meal with friends one last time, as she loved to cook and bake. Johnson's Mortuary will be handling the Cremation.


Melissa C. Zaja

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Danielle Townsend

November 23, 2012

Melissa was a fabulous friend and Miltary sister. She will be very missed. My heart and prayers go out to Jeff and her family!

sara farmer

November 20, 2012

I worked for Melissa for a couple years and used to babysit for her. She touched many lives and will never be forgotten. Gone way too soon.


November 19, 2012

Our deepest condolences to teh entire family. Melissa you will be deeply missed. It was a pleasure to know you on both a personal and professional level. Yuma has lost a true treasure, but heaven has gained one. You are a true angel. Rest In Peace my friend...God Bless!

Montana Family

November 19, 2012

My three children went Kellands kiddie college... It was a great place for kids.. Melissa was a beautiful woman inside and out.. My prayers go out to the family.. God bless you all.. Mandy Grant,Kaitlyn,Diego,Dominic

November 19, 2012

melissa im so sad you are gone! you were my savior when i had to go to work and you helped me with austin!! i will never forget you for that!! i know now life is way too short!!! i love you so much!!!!

Rose Fernandez

November 19, 2012

My deepest condolences to Melissa's family especially Karen Bennett. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless your family. May God comfort your family during this most difficult time.

Darrell Felsburg

November 19, 2012


Stefanie (Hartley) Vogt

November 18, 2012

R.I.P. Lisa, my friend from high school. I will remember our fun times and your smile. Gone way too soon. So sad.

November 18, 2012

This is so sad. She was so young. I will remember our happy times in high school. R.I.P. Lisa!! xoxo

Penny Cramer

November 18, 2012

I was shocked to hear about your loss. I remember Melissa from high school, and last time I saw her, she was still so happy and always remember her smiling. God bless and comfort you during this time.