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Melinda Sutherland
1962 - 2023

It is with a heavy heart and profound sadness that I announce the passing of my beloved sister, Melinda Sutherland, on Saturday, July 29, 2023.

Born in 1962, Melinda was a fearless individual and a free spirit. Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 7, Melinda was determined to live life on her own terms and did not allow her diagnosis to define her life. 

When told she would only live to be 25 years old, she outlived the doctor who gave her the diagnosis and went on to become the longest living Kaiser patient in Stanislaus County with Type 1 diabetes to survive without losing a limb. 

When diagnosed with gastroparesis in 2007 she was told she could live 5 years, but Melinda went on to live 16 more years and outlived the doctor who gave her the diagnosis.

Melinda exhibited natural musical talent as a child starting with playing the piano, singing in various choirs, and joined the Turlock High School band playing the flute and piccolo. Melinda also joined the

Turlock High School choir on a tour of Europe singing in various cathedrals one summer. Melinda later sang in her church choir. Melinda studied music at California State University, Stanislaus and graduated with a liberal arts degree.

Melinda had a daughter named Sarah Folks, who sadly died in infancy. Melinda served as a mother to Michael Casale and Erlinda Goel and anyone else who would let her. She had a nurturing soul; a big

heart and she loved people.

Melinda would walk into a room and command your attention. Melinda enjoyed celebrating the holidays by inviting friends and family over to her home for a meal and good conversations.

For Melinda, the symphony of life meant everyone had to play their part. Melinda understood that God is the conductor, and some of us play string instruments, some play keyboard, woodwind, brass, and percussion. Played together the symphony of instruments sounds majestic.

Melinda became a paralegal and worked for several document preparation services before founding Proven Paralegal Services, helping people prepare wills, trust, guardianships, conservatorships, and evictions. In her later years as she lost her eyesight, Melinda did not allow the disability to stop her from helping people as the telephone became her vehicle by which she could help people, becoming friends

to those going through rough times and someone whose you could cry on.

Melinda believed God kept her alive to serve a purpose. Melinda, like each of us, was here for a reason that was greater than she could ever imagine. Helping people and being of service to others was her calling.

She is predeceased by her parents, Lester and Bobbie Sutherland and daughter Sarah Folks. She is survived by her sister Julie Sutherland (David Turpo) of Turlock, son Michael Casale (Christina) of Turlock and daughter Erlinda Goel of San Antonio, Texas; and two grandchildren –Andres & Emily Casale and numerous nephews and nieces.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 2 pm on Sunday, August 27, 2023, at the Turlock Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 2400 N Olive Avenue, Turlock, CA 95380. Burial services will be private.