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Melody Fern Gower, 48

September 14, 2009

FEB. 8, 1961-SEPT. 12, 2009

Melody Fern Gower, born Feb. 8, 1961, in Hagerstown, Md., passed away to be with her savior on Sept. 12, 2009, after a sudden and brief illness.

The beloved and special daughter of Kathleen and Fred Horst, and the late Harry William Gower.

Melody was a special child of God born with Down syndrome. She would maintain the innocence and love of a child throughout her lifetime.

She was a member of Salem Reformed Church and a past member of Paramount Church, where during her youth, she was a founding member of the God's Angels Sunday School Class for children with special needs.

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Melody attended North Street School, and was one of the first students at the Kemp Horn Vocational School in Smithsburg, Md., and the Washington County Job Development Center, the first schools for handicapped students in the county.

Melody competed in the Special Olympics, earning ribbons in three sports.

Melody never met a person that she did not like, and always greeted you with a hug and a smile.

She was especially close to her grandmother, Charlotte McKinnon, who preceded her in death.

She is survived by her mother and father, Kathleen and Fred Horst of Maugansville, Md.; her godparents, Robert and Jessie Spangler of Waynesboro, Pa.; her sister, Kelly Murray and husband, Fran, and family of Hagerstown; brother, William Charles Gower of Hagerstown; sister, Kelli Mooers and husband, Steve, and family of Clear Spring, Md.; brother, Scott Horst and wife, Cora, and family of Gaithersburg, Md.; and several nieces and nephews that were very special in her heart.

We are all far better off having known and loved her.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Salem Reformed Church, Salem Church Road, Hagerstown, with the Rev. Steve Wagoner officiating. Burial will be in Salem Reformed Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends Tuesday, 6 to 8 p.m., at the church and also one half-hour prior to the service at the church.

The family requests the omission of flowers. Memorial donations may be made to Salem Reformed Church Youth Group.

Arrangements by Minnich Funeral Home, 415 E. Wilson Blvd.

Online condolences are accepted at www.minnichfh.com.

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