Cover photo for Melanie Bays's Obituary
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1944 Melanie 2023

Melanie Bays

March 28, 1944 — December 9, 2023

Melanie E. Bays, 79, of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, passed away Saturday morning, December 9, 2023, at York Hospital, surrounded by her family. Melanie was born on March 28, 1944 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to the late C.L. Masters and Emily Masters.

Melanie was a traditional homemaker in every sense of the word. She enjoyed cooking, baking, sewing, gardening and maintaining an organized household. She enjoyed spending time with her family and many friends and loved inviting people over for dinner so she could showcase her cooking and baking talents. She was involved with many activities in the local community, including the Mercersburg Community Chorus and the local chapter of the AAUW. She was an active member of St. Luke Lutheran Church, including serving as a Stephen Minister.

Melanie graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1965 with a degree in Library Science. She moved to Hong Kong in 1966 following her marriage to her late (former) husband, Nathan Mao. They lived in Hong Kong for three years while Nathan taught English at New Asia College. After moving back to the United States, Melanie and Nathan settled in York, Pennsylvania and then ultimately moved to Chambersburg in 1970, where she raised her family. In 2003, Melanie married James Bays, her second husband. Melanie and Jim enjoyed doing many things together including traveling and gardening, but most importantly, Melanie had found someone who fully appreciated her culinary talents.

Family was always very important to Melanie and she loved her family very much. Melanie is survived by her children, Emily McCarty of Pinehurst, North Carolina, Ann Jonas of Dallas, Texas, Jon Mao of Chambersburg and two grandsons, Matthew and Timothy Jonas. Melanie was preceded in death by her youngest daughter, Jennie Mao and her husband, James Bays. Melanie will also be missed by Irene Mao, Rendy Mao and Renee Arricale.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, December 16, 2023 at 10:00 am at St. Luke Lutheran Church, 2695 Luther Drive, Chambersburg, PA 17202. Pastor Christopher Frye will officiate. The burial will be private immediately following the service. The family will receive friends 30 minutes prior to the service in the nave of St. Luke Lutheran Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in honor of Melanie Bays to Occupational Services, 17 Redwood Street, Chambersburg, PA 17201 or The ARC of Franklin and Fulton Counties, 2314 Philadelphia Avenue, Chambersburg, PA. 17202.

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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, December 16, 2023

9:30 - 10:00 am (Eastern time)

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Saturday, December 16, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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