PRINCETON, Ind. — Melody Elaine Prior (née Dike), 57, of Princeton passed away July 13, 2009, at Deaconess Hospice Care Center in Evansville, after gracefully fighting a nine year battle against three primary cancers of the pancreas and lungs.

Melody was born in Princeton, Indiana, on November 2, 1951, to Ermal Kenneth Dike and Pauline Lucille (née Robinson) Dike.

Melody was employed for many years by Crescent Plastics and Thrust Industries, the latter in sales, before starting Federal Assembly Inc. in Princeton in 1988, where she was Vice President of Operations. Upon selling Federal Assembly in 1999, she remained with the firm as Production Manager until her illness. While with Federal Assembly Melody received an award for her successful efforts to reduce Gibson County welfare rolls, giving a chance to many less fortunate individuals. In addition to her professional career, Melody also served on the board of the Gibson General Health Foundation and was a benefactor to many charities over the years. She was a member of the Princeton American Legion Auxiliary Post # 25.

Melody was not only exceptionally beautiful on the outside but also possessed an inner beauty surpassed by few. Supremely elegant and classy yet more down to earth than most Melody was instantly liked by all she met.

Melody is survived by her husband, Edward Prior; daughter and son-in-law, Katherine and Robert McNerney of Long Beach, California; son and daughter-in-law, John and Jen Prior of Cambridge, Massachusetts; and three grandchildren, Madison, Robert and Connor McNerney. Melody is also survived by her mother, Pauline Crawford; brother and sister-in-law, Randy and Barb Dike, and sister and brother-in-law, Jill and Charles Frederick, all of Owensville; nieces, Rebecca Dike and Whitney Wallace; nephews, Charles "Tyler" Wallace and Keith Dike; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins with whom she had a special relationship and close bond.

She was preceded in death by her father, Ermal Kenneth Dike.

The family expresses its gratitude to the many friends who have helped Melody over the years. The family also extends its thanks to the many doctors, nurses and others from IU Medical Center, Gibson General Hospital, St. Mary's Hospital, Deaconess Hospital, Deaconess Hospice Care Center, and Deaconess Pain Management and Oncology/Hematology Associates as well as Dr. Quentin Emerson, her primary care doctor, without whom Melody would not have survived for as long with as many periods of fantastic quality of life.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at Holders Funeral Home in Owensville. Burial will be in the Maumee Cemetery. Visitation will be held 3 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. Father Ted Temple will officiate.