Melissa Dawn Bailey was born on January 25, 1963, in Knoxville, Iowa. She was the youngest of two daughters born to Marion George Bailey and Arvilia Anna (Harvey) Bailey.
Melissa was educated in the Knoxville Community School district, attending East Elementary, and later graduated from Knoxville High School with the Class of 1982.
She then became a nurse’s aide at the Knoxville Hospital before enrolling at DMACC in Ankeny, Iowa. She attended DMACC for two years earning a degree in childhood development.
Melissa was united in marriage with Raymond F. Elko, Sr. at the New Covenant Church in Knoxville on September 22, 1990. She was employed at the Christian Opportunity Center in Pella. This career spanned over 38 years.
Melissa was a resident advisor and worked with clients on living skills and later worked in the ICF. She enjoyed crafting, attending craft shows, decorating for the holidays, and later painting on canvas.
Melissa was baptized at the First Baptist Church in Knoxville, and later became a long-time member of the New Covenant Church in Knoxville, and later the Fremont Methodist Church.
Melissa was described by her family and friends as a true light in the world. She later was diagnosed with cancer and fought her fight valiantly until her untimely death on January 31, 2023, at the age of 60 years. She passed away at her home surrounded by her loving family.
Melissa leaves her loving husband Raymond F. Elko of Fremont, Iowa, her mother, Arvilia Bailey, her sister, Lynnette and Richard Clark of Belmond, Iowa, and their two sons: Steven Clark and Dalton Clark.
Melissa was preceded in death by her father, Marion G. Bailey in 2020, her paternal grandparents, Charlie, and Millie Bailey; maternal grandparents, Lorin Samuel and Alta Marie (Smith) Harvey, and later Effie Harvey.
Melissa’s compassionate light will live on through her family and those whose lives she touched.