Melissa Anne (Wiseman) Shaffer
August 29, 1980 – March 31, 2022
VISITATION: Saturday, April 9, 2022 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at West Center Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, memorials will be directed by the family.
Surrounded by those she loved, Melissa “Lissa” Anne (Wiseman) Shaffer passed away on Thursday, March 31, 2022, at Methodist Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska at the age of 41. She was born in Moberly, Missouri on August 29, 1980, to Margaret (Richeson) King and Mark C. Wiseman.
As a child, her family relocated, first to Dayton, Ohio for six years, then Bakersfield, California for two years, and then to Des Moines, Iowa, where she grew up. Lissa moved to Omaha and briefly lived in Oregon, returning to Omaha, which remained her home. She worked side-jobs and for the post office, delivering mail, while earning her massage-therapist diploma from the Universal College of Healing Arts. Lissa married Chapin on October 8, 2016, and became a “bonus mom” to his son, Jack. Held at the House of Loom, their wedding day overflowed with guests, music, and food. A pop-up photo booth helped capture the rapture, magic, and play of the celebration.
As a girl, Lissa cultivated a love of the outdoors, movement, and art. She cartwheeled, tumbled, and danced. She caught butterflies with her hands, climbed plum trees, and braided friendship bracelets and bear scares at Leech Lake. Whenever her little sister asked for a hug, she always gave one in the right way. For her first Halloween, she trick-or-treated in a DIY costume as a honeybee, the meaning of her first name.
As a youth, Lissa nurtured style in music, dress, and school. She excelled at language (French), art (drawings), and English. She loved to read the unsolved, mysterious, historical, and otherworldly, as well as women’s literature and poetry. She adored grunge, ska, and punk and worked part-time to buy tapes and CDs. Her wages also paid for pom-pom skirts for the dance squad, schoolbook fees, and lunch. From her grandma and aunts, she learned to paint, quilt, bead, and sew. She shopped thrift, collecting big band dresses, vintage spoon rings, and lace stockings of beauty, the meaning of her middle name.
As an adult, Lissa created a community of pets, pals, and loved-ones. She cared for shar-peis, persians, and long-haired cats. Together with her husband, she bred a litter of alapaha blue blood bulldogs and trained them to kennel, jump through hula-hoops, and follow treats. Though they weighed 80 pounds, they responded to her tugs of the collar. In the local music scene of alternative, post-punk and indie pop, Lissa welcomed new, old, and constant friends. Her steady gaze and warm hugs made it easy to love her and be loved by her. Into her circle of friends and family, so many were guided, the meaning of her married name.
Lissa gardened and talked to her plants. She grew hot peppers, tomatoes, and sunflowers. She made soaps scented by herbs that thrived in her baskets, pots, and beds. From her produce, she canned and made salsa. She knitted—scarfs, blankets, and throws. She decorated, painted, and repurposed furniture, giving what others had discarded a second chance. During the pandemic, she helped homeschool her bonus son and encouraged his music lessons in guitar. They started a book club, reading classics like War and Peace, as she continued her own love of words, especially books on the body, wellness, and the soul. A routine outing ventured to the Wildlife Safari Park to visit the bison, wolves, and elk. Other trips included feeding stingrays at the Henry Doorly Zoo and pumpkin and apple-picking at Vala’s and Arbor Day Farm. As a massage-therapist, her work was in demand to support those in need of body-care, muscle-tension relief, and stress-reduction. This intelligence, wisdom, and intuition were in her hands, the meaning of her maiden name.
Honeybee. Beauty. Wise-one. Guide. Well-loved. Lissa.
Lissa was preceded in death by grandparents, Rosemary and William Richeson, and Frances Wiseman. She is survived by her grandpa, Calvin Wiseman; her parents, Mark C. Wiseman and Margaret King; stepdad, Joe King; sisters, Laura Madeline Wiseman and Rachel Elizabeth Abraham; loving husband, Chapin Edwin Shaffer; and bonus son, Jack Andrew Shaffer; parents-in-law, Deborah (Zaraya) and Edward Baciak; sisters-in-law, Corinna and Allie Baciak; grandparents-in-law, Nancy and Raymond Zaraya; and many relatives and friends.