Cover photo for Melissa Ann Wilkinson DeHaven's Obituary
Melissa Ann Wilkinson DeHaven Profile Photo

Melissa Ann Wilkinson DeHaven

December 6, 1982 — September 28, 2023

Rural Hall Chapel

Melissa Ann Wilkinson DeHaven


Melissa Ann Wilkinson DeHaven was met by her beloved Grandmommy Helms at heaven’s door on September 28, 2023. She was born to Judy Helms & Gary Ralph Wilkinson on December 6, 1982, in Raleigh, NC. She is survived by her loving parents, Gary & Judy; her husband Michael Richard DeHaven II and the joy of their life, their daughter, Lily Abigail DeHaven, who are all in King, NC. She too soon leaves behind her sister Lauren Wilkinson Kiser and husband Jason and their son Ross Kiser of Raleigh, NC; her Aunt Sandy McDonald and late husband Jim of Mobile, AL and her Uncle Ret Col Richard Helms and wife Joyce of Anniston, AL; along with her cousins Jennifer McDonald Harrington and husband Norman and their son John Henry of Mobile, AL, and Andy McDonald & wife Janea and their daughter Emily and son Jack of Long Beach, MS, and Allison Helms & partner Ming Chen of Hyattsville, MD. Preceding her in death were her grandparents CP & Helen Helms of Raleigh, NC, Ralph & Ruby Wilkinson of Connelly Springs, NC, and her Aunt Nadine Wilkinson Sweet of Newton, NC.


The tragic car accident that took her from us so suddenly leaves us grieving in our own special ways for Melissa who was a loving mom, wife, daughter, sister, family member, friend, coworker, and fierce advocate for the providers and clients she served. Melissa was incredibly intelligent, witty, an avid reader, and she loved the sunshine, especially at the beach which was her “happy place”. She enjoyed traveling and was looking forward to seeing the world and sharing many future adventures with her daughter Lily. Melissa was compassionate, empathetic, served others selflessly, with her beautiful smile and giving spirit. She was a bright light to all who knew her.  Lily is the absolute center of Melissa and Michael’s life, and they show her endless love and cherish being parents to such a wonderful, smart, and caring daughter. 


Melissa lived in Raleigh growing up and graduated from Enloe High School in 2001, then from UNC Wilmington in 2005 with her bachelor’s degree and in 2007 with her master’s degree in social work. She was passionate about her current work as a Trainer & Consultant with the UNC Institute of Best Practices, UNC Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health. She was courageous with her outreach and was not afraid to ask the tough questions in her tireless pursuit to improve access and quality of services for those she served. For those Melissa worked with closely, both coworkers, providers and individuals receiving services, she was a constant, reliable source of strength, empathy, and compassion as she generously offered support both professionally and personally.


A memorial service to honor her life will be held on Saturday, October 28, 2023, at 1:00 PM at Trinity United Methodist Church in King, NC. The Reverend Duane Corle will officiate her service and the family will receive friends after the service in the church’s fellowship hall.


In lieu of flowers and in her loving memory, please consider supporting one of the following: Disability Rights of NC ( or Melissa Wilkinson DeHaven IPS/ACT Conference Scholarship Fund (

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Melissa Ann Wilkinson DeHaven, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Trinity United Methodist Church

725 W Dalton Rd, King, NC 27021

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