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Melissa Anne Jahnke-Beresford

March 12, 1966 ~ November 5, 2021 (age 55)


Melissa passed away in Sacramento at the age of 55. She was preceded in death by her father, Richard Jahnke, and her uncles, Roy, Ronnie, and Roger Jahnke. She is survived by her husband of 12 years, Robert Beresford, her mother, Jeanne Jahnke, her sister, Krissy Jahnke, her aunt, Eileen Jahnke, and her cousins, Kristyna Gibson and Tanya Wigham. Melissa also leaves behind Pete, her 4 yr old Lab mix, and Jackson-kiddee, her 7 yr old cat.

Melissa was born in San Francisco. She and her family later moved to Santa Cruz where Melissa was a competitive swimmer, winning many medals, and graduated from high school. She traveled to Jamaica, twice traveled to Europe, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Chico State University.

After leaving school, she worked as a counselor for the nation’s largest donor and volunteer-supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. From there, she worked as a relocation specialist in the HR department at Cisco Systems in Santa Clara. There, she helped fellow employees with job-related transfers to all parts of the world. She then moved to Discovery Bay and tried her hand at real estate. However, the real estate crash in 2008 ended that pursuit. She then secured employment in the Human Resources Department at Goodwill Industries in the San Joaquin Valley.

Melissa was active. In addition to winning many swimming medals, she completed two or three 100-mile bike rides known as Century Rides. She also completed at least one 50-mile bike ride from Ensenada to Rosarito, Mexico. She enjoyed mountain biking, kayaking, and hiking. She spent her weekends in the garden planting flowers and had a passion for stray dogs. It wasn’t unusual for her to bring them home and find good homes for them.

In mid-October 2021, Melissa suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage and fell into a coma. She was hospitalized in an ICU and remained there until she passed away on 5 November 2021. Her hospitalization and passing were very sudden and tragic.

On December 3, 2021, Melissa’s many friends and family attended a memorial service and celebrated her life. Melissa maintained close friendships with alumni from Chico State; many of whom were present.

She will be sorely missed by her family, life-long friends, and work colleagues.

Melissa was an ardent supporter of animal rescue organizations. She would certainly offer heartfelt thanks to anyone that donated to any of those life-saving charities.

To plant a tree in memory of Melissa Anne Jahnke-Beresford, please click here.



Union Cemetery
11545 Brentwood Boulevard
Brentwood, CA 94514

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