Melinda was preceded in death by her parents Hazelbel (Hutchins-Carmody) and Clarence Wilson Via, her brothers David and Lawrence Michael Via, and stepfather New Mexico Chief Justice David W. Carmody. She is survived by her sons Wade (Launa) Boynton of Enterprise, Ala.; Jerrett Boynton of Santa Fe, N.M.; her Auntie Jewell Clark of Garden Grove, Calif.; stepsons Joseph (Laura) Montoya and Nathaniel (Louise) Montoya; grandchildren, twins, Kyndall and Taylor Boynton, Ashley, Joshua, Natalia and Angel Marie Montoya; and her beloved partner and husband of over 22 years, Arturo Jose Montoya.
Melinda was educated in Santa Fe and graduated from the University of New Mexico with a double major in studio art and art history. She was a member of Alpha Gamma chapter and Alpha Chi Omega. After graduation she worked for a Santa Fe publisher and a bank. Melinda met Art in the late 80’s while he was a national forest service engineer stationed in New Mexico. In the 1990’s, Melinda was a purchasing agent for the state of New Mexico. Through her diligent research, tireless education efforts, and dogged persistence, she became a special projects manager.
Some of Melinda’s numerous accomplishments include: setting up a multi-state cooperation to purchase pharmaceuticals for state run institutions; being a key player in the modernization of solid waste management in the State of New Mexico; gaining attention through the National Association of State Purchasing Agents, where she promoted “buy recycled” efforts across America; service on every state recycling committee and the first board of the New Mexico Recycling Coalition; implementing the New Mexico Solid Waste Act, the Solid Waste Task force, designing its unique recycling logo still in use; and a primary driver of the “You are the Source, Be the Solution” campaign to encourage New Mexicans to practice “source reduction” by generating less waste.
The legacy of Melinda’s work is apparent today in a vigorous community of recyclers in New Mexico who continue the work that she helped start with her fellow recycling committee members. Her passion, spirit, and personal commitment to improving the environment were an inspiration for all she came in contact with.
Melinda was the founding President of New Mexico Public Purchasing Association, a chapter of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, where she received a Distinguished Service Award in 2000. As a certified public purchasing official Melinda taught classes nationwide, in Russia, Estonia and Nova Scotia.
The couple moved to Thompson Falls where Arturo accepted a position with the United States Forest Service in Trout Creek. Arturo jokes that they continued to “recycle” each other in Montana. In their comfortable home Melinda pursued her passion for art and original quilt design. She was a regular volunteer at Community Harvest Food Bank, Sanders County Historical Society, Thompson Falls Library, and was a vendor at the local farmers’ market. The Relay for Life and Thompson Falls Thursday bridge group had her as an active participant.
Depicting life in the 1800’s, her series of paintings of Thompson Falls are among the popular local art selections. Some of these have been used as book covers. She is also the author and illustrator of a recently published, delightful and witty children’s book entitled “Nobody”.
Memorial services will be held at the Elks Lodge in Thompson Falls, Montana on July 20th, 2013.