Cover photo for Melanie "Mel" Black's Obituary
Melanie "Mel" Black Profile Photo

Melanie "Mel" Black

October 16, 1944 — June 10, 2020

Melanie "Mel" Black

On Wednesday, June 10, 2020 our mom, Melanie Ann Black, passed away at the age of 75.  She grew up in Michigan, spending summers at the Lake with her cousins.  A Michigan State alumnus, who had a passion for working with kids as a teacher, a counselor and as “mom” to all of our friends.  She spent twenty years with our dad, Ken Phillips, which included salmon fishing in Alaska, road trips and fishing in Mammoth and raising the three of us on the beaches of Southern California.

A high school reunion reunited mom and Bob who had spent summers working together at a resort in Mt. Kineo, ME.  In Maine, they shared a love for music, for food and eventually for each other…she was his “sweetie”, and forever will be.  Mom and Bob moved to Post Falls in 2005 and opened Herbie’s Deli together.  They spent their summers camping with her sister, Crick…if you were lucky, you might have caught a live performance of the three of them belting out a Tina Turner classic, hairbrush microphones and all.  She loved planning their adventures, provided that the places they visited could have no chance of a snake encounter!

Mom’s love for cooking was appreciated by everyone!  She could make a gourmet feast out of any leftover…She was famous for her turkey cheese chowder, chili and rib recipes.  She also made the best chocolate chip cookies, with her top-secret ingredient.  Making a menu was her thing…and, yes, even a camping menu was a labor of love for mom.  Monte Cristos, a Bloody Mary and a game of Yahtzee was the only way to wake up at a campground.

Her card games started in Niguel Shores and continued up in the Northwest.  She made lifetime friends at these card games.  She also was involved in many book clubs, and donated her time in both California and in Idaho teaching reading to children and adults.

In 2001, she became a Grammy.  Nothing made her light up as much as her six grandkids.  She found joy in doing anything with Maddie, Max, Duncan, Ava, Ben and Ruby.  The kids had several fun nicknames for Grammy, Gramma Lama Ding-Dong, Graham Cracker, Mel B, which could result in spontaneous laughter at any time when they were all together.  Her visits down to Southern California always included a bagel and walks in her favorite place, the Harbor.   She loved her sunsets and could watch one every night.

Her dogs were her “babies”…and, she would want nothing more for you to give to a rescue organization in her name (she donated to the Kootenai Humane Society,

She also was very involved in the Cancer & Community Charities of Coeur d’Alene, Her dad was her hero. He had a saying in life about things that both he and mom absolutely loved…that life is “mighty salubrious”!

Cheers to you Mom!  You lived a mighty salubrious life!

You will be missed by many…Your husband, Robert Black, your sister, Cricket Pierce, your kids and their families, Tanya and Ruby Phillips, Todd, Stephanie, Ava and Ben Phillips and Heidi, Matt, Maddie, Max and Duncan Carvalho.  Her “babies”, Skeeter and Sophie.  Her cousin, Bryce Cornell.  And, her countless friends that helped create a lifetime of memories.

A very Special Thank You to Hospice of North Idaho and Karen Westmorland RN.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Melanie "Mel" Black, please visit our flower store.


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