Official Obituary of

Melissa Candlish

March 11, 1969 ~ February 19, 2024 (age 54) 54 Years Old

Melissa Candlish Obituary

It is with heavy hearts we announce that our sweet Melissa Candlish, 54, departed to walk with Jesus on February 19th, 2024. Melissa was born to Patsy “Jean” Baucom Daves and Harold Wilbert Rearden on March 11th, 1969, in Augusta, Georgia. A devoted mother and grandmother, she raised two children of her own, Kaela and Trevor O’Dell, and she was known as “Mimi” to Haleigh Rymar. She was an example of channeling Love to fearlessly overcome personal struggles with real perseverance. Melissa dedicated her life to serving humanity through her career in occupational therapy and more recently in her volunteer work for the homeless and impoverished. She served faithfully in her church, City Hills, with Angelic Ministries of Knoxville, Tennessee. Melissa’s door stayed open to those in need of shelter from the storm, as she selflessly put others first by living an example of Jesus’s will to change the world with unconditional love for one another. God worked thru her to bring peace and joy to many.

                Melissa loved all creatures tamed and wild, especially her feline companion, Callie. She embraced her childlike wonder and curiosity for life. Her soft, southern charm and unwavering faith will be remembered along with her radiant personality, true grit, and infectious laughter. She loved to birdwatch in the mornings and had a knack for growing plants. Melissa always started each day with a vibrant smile on her face to share with others. She took pride in her family and friendships she made along her journey. Let us remember her warm, nurturing embrace, humble supportive nature, and her unbridled enthusiasm for each day.

                Melissa is preceded in death by her mother, Patsy “Jean” Baucom Daves and father, Harold Wilbert Rearden; and her nephew, Austin Bradley. She is survived by her daughter, Kaela O’Dell; son, Trevor O’Dell; granddaughter, Haleigh Rymar; sister and brother-in-law, Sidney Cook and Buzz Cook; sister, Sandi Machleit; sister and brother-in-law, Ginger Bradley and Scott Bradley; brother, Keith Rearden; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

                A memorial service will be held at City Hills Church on Friday, March 8, 2024 at 1:00 pm officiated by Pastor Chris Brewer. Donations should be made to her charity-of-choice Angelic Ministries, a non-profit caring for displaced individuals in their time of need in Knoxville, TN. Flowers for preparation of her upcoming memorial service can be sent to City Hills Church, 1501 Kirby Road, Knoxville, TN 37909. Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel and Cremations is honored to serve the Candlish Family. Condolences may be left for the family at

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Memorial Service
March 8, 2024

1:00 PM to 7:00 PM
City Hills Church (Kirby Road, Knoxville)


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