“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen.”
Being brought up Baptist, I recited religiously the same prayer for many years every night before I went to sleep.
This prayer scared me that I might not make it through the night. Saying it would make the Lord keep my soul. I feel that fear was the motivation of this prayer. I wish someone would have comforted me instead of scaring me. I ask you, with all the religions out there—who is right? How did the Universe get created? What happens when we die? These are questions I see that no one can answer. Whether you believe in prayer or not, I believe in a higher power of love rather than a world of fear and hate.
Some people say that it is morbid to write my own obituary, but I see it as a way to say what I want said about me. I’ve been very lucky as an individual that I have a loving family and friends, very successful career, a home, car and material things. Most people like me aren’t as lucky and struggle in life. My father once said that I am the only person that can make me happy. It’s true, I have lived every day to its fullest and have no regrets. I want everyone to know that I loved being alive. Now that I am gone, I want to invite everyone to meet my family and friends at a gathering at the Westside Businessman’s Club. Come meet my family and friends and help celebrate my life. And now I will say goodbye, my friends.
Love, Felicia Melton-Smyth
Birth Name Witheld
February 28, 1967 – December 31, 1999
I was born in Dodgeville, WI and raised by a loving, caring and supportive father, Gerald Lee Frame. I was raised with a sister, Tammy, who has two children, Benjamin and Kyla Ashbacher. I graduated from Wisconsin Heights High School, Mazomanie, in 1985. I attended college at Capri Cosmetology College and MATC-Madison for computer programming, accounting and fashion design. After college I moved to Phoenix, AZ, for two years but missed the four seasons, family and friends. I started working at the Shamrock Bar, Madison, in 1987 and at the UW Health Medical Foundation in 1994. One other noteworthy employment was at the Café Palms in the historic Hotel Washington. During this time I became a very well-known female impersonator and won many city and state beauty/talent pageants. In the early 80s I assisted with the care of several people living with HIV/AIDS and became an advocate for HIV/AIDS through the Madison AIDS Network.
January 1, 2000 – May 26, 2008
With the support of my father, family and friends, I became who I was always meant to be. I continued to work at the Shamrock and the UW Health Medical Foundation. My volunteer work continued with the AIDS Network as well as for GLSEN and Action/Fair Wisconsin. I started working for an online travel agency, JustTerry.com in 2005 and traveled frequently to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I served on two different gay athletic boards, the Madison Gay Hockey Association, and the Madison GLBT Softball League. In 2002 I started a holiday gift-giving project for families that have at least one person infected with HIV/AIDS and granted holiday wishes to those families, both the adults and children. I was also recognized by Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin and former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, for the work I had been doing with families with HIV/AIDS in 2005.