Melisa Ann Clay

April 21, 1977 - September 17, 2023
Melisa Ann Clay

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Melisa Ann Clay, beloved wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt and grandmother, passed away peacefully on September 17, 2023 in Leland, North Carolina.  She was born on April 21, 1977, in Livingston, New Jersey.  Melisa was lovingly known as Lis and (Aunt) Sissa.

Melisa’s compassionate nature led her to a fulfilling career as a Behavioral Associate at Wilmington Treatment Center. Her dedication to helping others and her unwavering support made a lasting impact on the lives she touched.

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Melisa was an active member of Port City Community Church. Her faith became an integral part of her life, providing her with strength and guidance.  She cherished the moments spent learning and worshipping alongside her church family.

Melisa’s loving presence will be deeply missed by those who survive her.  She is survived by her devoted husband, Nicholaus B. Clay, Sr., who was her partner and best friend throughout their journey in life.  Her mother, Karen Ann Jacobson, will forever hold her memory close to her heart, cherishing their fascinating relationship. Melisa’s son, Nicholaus B. Clay, Jr., and his wife, Cami, were blessed to have her as a loving mother, and she filled their lives with love and support.  Her sister and BFF, Alison L. Rivenbark, and her husband, Melisa’s Brother Bear, Michael, will forever remember the special moments they shared as siblings and the tenacious bond of sisterhood. Melisa’s nephew, Jack Campbell, brought her such pride and joy. The extended Clay family, the Miller family, and countless friends who loved her dearly.

Melisa’s legacy will be carried on by her granddaughter, Ella Camille Clay, bringing joy and love to the next generation.  She adored her role as grandmother and cherished the precious time spent with her Grand Princess.

Melisa has been reunited with her loyal pet, Dexter, who was not only a furry companion, but also a source of comfort and unwavering love.

A service to celebrate Melisa’s life will be held on October 7, 2023 at Port City Community Church from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

In honor of her compassionate spirit and love for turtles, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, located at 302 Tortuga Lane, Surf City, North Carolina 28445.

During this time of mourning, let us remember Melisa for her kindness, compassion, and unwavering dedication and genuine deep love of her family, friends and community. Her spirit will forever live in the hearts of those she touched, leaving behind a legacy of devotion and selflessness.  May she rest in eternal peace, knowing her impact on this world will never be forgotten.

Please share any comments or stories for her family at

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 South 41st St., Wilmington, NC 28403

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  • October 10, 2023
    Kiha Eppley lit a candle:
    Lit since October 10, 2023 at 10:25:35 AM

  • October 07, 2023
    Randy Johnson lit a candle:
    Lit since October 7, 2023 at 10:29:33 AM

  • October 07, 2023
    Sandy Eschert says:
    Melissa, you have always been such an amazing, strong and beautiful woman. We had some good laughs and made some funny ass memories, that I will never forget. Give Jessica and my brother a hug for me. I will see you guys again one day. Until then, I will love and miss you terribly. I am praying for your family.

  • October 07, 2023
    Sandy Eschert lit a candle:
    Lit since October 7, 2023 at 10:57:03 AM

  • September 25, 2023
    Lynette Petrie says:
    I’m so sorry to hear about Melisa’s passing. My heart goes out to her family as they go through such a difficult time.