Melissa Ann Hinz


Melissa Hinz, 78, formerly of Benton Harbor, passed away Thursday, October 15, 2020, exactly 3 months after her husband of 59 years.

 A Celebration of Life Service will be held 2:00 P.M. Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph, with Rev. Adam Bohland officiating.  Burial will follow at North Shore Memory Gardens, Coloma.  Friends may visit with the family from 12:30 until 2:00 P.M. at the funeral home.  Memorial donations in Melissa’s name may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital or Berrien County Cancer Service.  Those wishing to sign Melissa’s Memory Book online may do so at

 Melissa was born January 25, 1942 in Escanaba, Michigan to Howard & Myrle (Pryor) Sundblad.  The family moved to Benton Harbor in 1957 and she graduated from Benton Harbor High School, Class of 1960.  While at Benton Harbor High, she was a member of the Tiger’s Marching Band.  Music was her life. Melissa loved playing music and had a beautiful singing voice, something she learned from her mother who was a private music instructor.  She played piano, organ, string base, clarinet and accordion and was a member of the Symphony Orchestra.  In high school, Melissa appeared in a Life Magazine article when she attended the National Music Camp at Interlochen, MI, at the time, the most famous summer music workshop in the U.S.

 On July 8, 1961, Melissa married Robert Hinz in St. Joseph and worked for a number of years at the St. Joseph Credit Bureau.  She most importantly was a homemaker and was always there for her children.  Family meant EVERYTHING to Melissa.  Melissa was a strong supporter of the March of Dimes and enjoyed volunteering as a Candy Striper at Memorial (Lakeland) Hospital’s Gift Shop.  Throughout the years, Melissa worked part-time jobs at Subway and Farmer Friday’s in Coloma, and was considered a “mom” to all that worked with her.  Melissa was also known for taking neighborhood children under her wing.

 Melissa was a sweet, kind soul with a great sense of humor and special innocence to her, always smiling and positive. She loved to play and sing gospel music and taught Sunday school at Zion Evangelical in St. Joseph. Melissa continued to play piano for the other residents at the nursing homes she resided in (most recently Bronson Commons) until her many illnesses prevented her from playing.

 Melissa’s hobbies over the years included embroidery and ceramics.  She also had a huge sweet tooth and enjoyed anything to do with Elvis.

 Melissa is  survived by her loving children-Julie (Mark) Frazee of St. Joseph, Cheryl Hinz & Robin Hinz, both of Watervliet, Michael Hinz of Battle Creek; three grandchildren-Dr. Joseph “Joey” (Kasia) Frazee of Indianapolis, Kelly Frazee of Grand Rapids, Levi (Brandi) Hinz of Watervliet; four great-grandchildren-Warren, Kenzie, Kayden & Cody; her sister Marie Hirn of Gladstone, MI; her brother Larry (Sharon) Sundblad of Milford, MI; her sister-in-law Mary Sundblad of Stevensville; and numerous nieces & nephews.  She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Bob on July 15, 2020, her brother David Sundblad and a brother-in-law Donald “Doc” Hirn.

Posted On: Tuesday, October 20, 2020 1:37 PM