City of Oaks Funeral Home & Cremation

Melody Ivins

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Age 67.
Died 03/07/2023.

Melody Ivins
Melody (Mel) Lynn Ivins, beloved friend, daughter,
partner, and sister, passed away at the age of 67 in the
early morning hours of March 7, 2023. She left the world
from her own bed in her Chapel Hill home, surrounded
by her feline familiars, her books and her big sister.

Mel was born June 24, 1955, at Elmendorf Air Force Base
in Anchorage, Alaska, before Alaska was a state. A
military brat, she moved around a lot before she
graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a BA in English. She
excelled in the written word as poet, writer, bookseller,
activist, professional researcher, and archivist. She is
known for standing up for social justice, women’s rights,
the poor and the marginalized. With Eva Metzger, her
employer at Carolina Library Services, she founded the
Women’s Book Exchange as a volunteer supported effort
in 1983 “in order to make books by and about women
more readily available to all who need them.” A few
months later, Spring Brooks joined Melody as co-
director. The Duke University Women’s Center, in
accepting the donation of the 1500 volume collection in
1993 from Melody and Spring, stated “the importance of

this gift cannot be overestimated.” Works included
scarce and out of print books from the early Women in
Print Movement.

Concurrently with her volunteer work for the WBE,
Melody managed The Southern Sisters bookstore and
worked at the Readery and then the Regulator
bookstores also in Durham, and later at the Bookshop in
Chapel Hill. She was a researcher and editor for the
historian Tim Tyson, contributing to Blood Done Sign My
Name and The Blood of Emmet Till, and for other
researchers of southern and family history. She was
employed by several other organizations, including the
UNC Law Library and the Piedmont Sundial, an electronic

In later years, Melody resumed writing poetry,
maintaining an active presence on social media and
enjoying a glass of Makers Mark with her friends. Her
true genius was for friendships, for which she invested
love and thoughtful attention for years and even
decades. This can be seen at the very end when her
friends, including Spring Brooks and Phil Catlett, helped
care for Melody’s elderly mother so that she could seek
her own medical treatment. It is evident in her numerous
friends and most of all in her dear companion, Steve

Darden, who was by her side throughout her diagnosis
and treatment for cancer.

Family members:
Predeceased by her father Reynolds Albert Ivins (1988).
Mother Wanda Bess DePriest Ivins of Chapel Hill, NC.

Sister October Ivins lives in Abruzzo, Italy with British
husband William. October is a stepmother to William’s
children, Simon (Deborah) who have Emily and Jack
(NSW, Australia), and Kate (Sholto) with sons Hamish and
Gabriel (Oxford, England).

Brother Ren Ivins, (Sally) of Carrboro, NC. Niece Amber
(Tim), Nephew Reynolds (Keri), great-niece Violet.

Brother Jeffrey Ivins with his wife Jo Ann (Jody) of
O’Fallon, IL.
Brother Jonathan (Jon) Ivins, (Belinda) and niece
Alexandra (Alex) of Morrison, TN, and niece Lela (Andy)
and grandnephew Teddy of Clarksville, TN.

Melody had requested that she should have a cremation,
which will be handled by City of Oaks Funeral Home, and
her ashes interred in the Cooper DePriest Memorial

Cemetery between her father and the space designated
for her mother on Deer Creek, Perry County, TN. It is on
land formerly part of Foxfire, the home her parents built
together with their own hands, and where Melody
enjoyed recharging with gardening, stargazing, exploring
the woodland, and finding arrowheads. The Celebration
of Life is planned for April 15.

Friends and family in the Chapel Hill area will celebrate
Melody’s life and many friendships on Sunday March 19,
3- 5 pm, at Linda’s Bar & Grill.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to UNC
Hospice or the charity of your choice.

For additional information or for service details, please reach out to the family directly.

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City of Oaks Cremation and Funeral Home is a full-service funeral home in Raleigh, serving all of North Carolina and beyond. We provide an alternative to costly funeral homes and every day we help families in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and all over North Carolina make simple, affordable funeral arrangements.

Simply having to reach out to a funeral home can feel overwhelming. Our goal is to simplify the entire funeral home experience and make the process as easy as possible. We hope to eliminate any unnecessary surprises by publishing our total cost and the services we provide directly on our website. All of our obituaries are provided free of charge as a way to help families celebrate and commemorate the lives of their loved ones.

Our Promise

Apples to Apples

Just like all other licensed funeral homes in North Carolina, City of Oaks Cremation, LLC is regulated by the NC Board of Funeral Service.

The same laws that apply to the big corporate funeral homes also apply to the modest independently owned firms like ours. All crematories in North Carolina, regardless of who owns them, are inspected annually by the state and must adhere to the same rules and laws.

Genuine Care

We're committed to providing families within our community unsurpassed service before, during and after the time of loss.

Our staff will provide clear communication to your family through each step as we move forward from the original phone call notifying us of a death to the time we deliver the urn back to your family. We will treat your family with the utmost respect, as we honor the wishes of your loved one.

We promise to make this process affordable and as endurable as possible.

State Wide

Our Funeral Home is located in Wake County NC; however, we provide our services to families throughout the entire State.

Unlike other funeral homes, we don't charge an additional mileage fee. Regardless of what county you live in, we can help your family with making simple, affordable funeral arrangements. From Asheville to Wilmington, we're proud to help families statewide.

Our Services

Direct Cremation


Nobody likes surprise costs added in at the last minute. We guarantee you will not find any hidden charges here. We include everything you need for a simple or direct cremation. Simple, affordable and reliable. We have not changed the cost of our direct cremation service since we opened City of Oaks in 2012.

Cremation with Solidified Remains


We offer the option of choosing how you receive your loved ones remains. Selecting our Direct Cremation with Solidified Remains option is a beautiful way to transform cremated remains into 40-60 “stones” that you can hold.

Cremation with Visitation


City of Oaks Funeral Home and Cremation provides an affordable cremation option with onsite visitation. Nobody likes surprise costs added in at the last minute. We guarantee you will not find any hidden charges here. Simple, affordable and reliable.

Immediate Burial


An immediate burial has the same end result as a traditional burial; however, we have eliminated the extra (sometimes unnecessary) services prior to getting to the cemetery. Not everyone wants an open casket for viewing or a limousine for the family. Despite the term immediate, we can move as fast as you need or as slow as you like. This option simply allows you to save money by eliminating some of the fancy extras at the funeral home.

Traditional Funeral


We offer the same traditional funeral services as the big corporately owned funeral homes in the area; however, we cost about half the amount. You might consider a traditional funeral service if your family is looking for an open casket visitation, a traditional church service or a funeral service in the funeral home's chapel. A traditional funeral service can be altered to fit the needs of your family.

Green Burial


This establishment is one of a select number of funeral homes who meet the criteria for providing green funeral service by the Green Burial Council; a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization working to encourage environmentally sustainability in the field of funeral service. Our Green options allow for a funeral to take place without the use of toxic and non-biodegradable materials/chemicals.



As an alternative to traditional cremation, City of Oaks Funeral Home also offers Aquamation. The Aquamation process, often referred to as alkaline hydrolysis, uses a solution of water and potassium hydroxide to facilitate natural decomposition.

City of Oaks Funeral Home & Cremations