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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Marlene Melillo Adkins

Marlene Melillo Adkins
Marlene Melillo Adkins

Marlene Melillo Adkins
June 21, 1938 – March 21, 2024

Marlene Melillo Adkins passed away on March 21, 2024, in Holly Hill, Florida. She was born Marlene Joan Melillo on June 21, 1938, in Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania, to Mary (McLoota) and Angelo Melillo.

She graduated from East Conemaugh High School (PA) and started working. She became a stewardess for United Airlines, and it was at an airline party that she met a funny, handsome former college basketball player named Paul Adkins. They were married on September 17, 1966, in Crafton, Pennsylvania. They liked to tell the story that in their first six years of marriage they celebrated Christmas in six different cities as his job moved them throughout the south. They landed in Ocala, Florida in 1971 and lived there for the next 47 years, raising a family, working and volunteering in that growing community.

Her faith in the Lord was central to her life. She was always active in Blessed Trinity Catholic Church in Ocala, and later Our Lady of the Springs, and Blessed Trinity school where her children attended. She was a devoted wife and mother, and followed her son Michael and daughter Amy in all of their activities. As if that didn’t keep her busy enough, she looked for opportunities to work, selling Tupperware for a number of years and, at times, doing community relations for Hardee’s and Mid-State Federal bank.

After her kids graduated from high school she took a job as the secretary at Fort King Middle School, and she served the staff, students and families of that school for 15 years. She retired, and she and Paul began another set of adventures, eventually visiting all 50 states and 25 countries. As much as she enjoyed traveling (and she did), she always said it was good to get back home.

She especially doted on her 5 grandchildren who called her Tita, a Lebanese term for grandmother. A care package from Tita was a greatly anticipated event! It always included cookies, chex mix, other baked goods and the occasional bag of rice or wax paper (for the parents) that she picked up on sale somewhere. Each item usually had a hand-written note from her attached to it.

She loved reading, ceramics, music, and musicals. She was a social butterfly before that was a popular term, easily making new friends while cherishing the old ones and staying in close touch with them. She will be missed greatly by all who knew her.

She is preceded in death by her parents, and older sister Amber Bitsko. She is survived by her husband Paul Adkins, son Michael (wife Sharman), daughter Amy (husband Jay); grandchildren Audrey Strutton (husband John and great-grandson Benjamin), Amanda Owen (husband Daniel), Charles Williams, Madison Williams, and Jackson Williams; younger sister Denise Benko, brother-in-law Bill Benko, and several nieces and nephews.

Marlene’s family would like to thank the staff at Bishops Glenn for the love and care they provided to her over the past three years.

A visitation and viewing will be held on Wednesday, March 27, at 9:00 a.m., immediately followed by a Mass to celebrate her memory at 10:00 a.m. at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Ormond Beach, Florida. Arrangements are entrusted to Volusia Memorial Funeral Home.