Melissa Amy Rice Ausland, age 45 of Hendersonville, TN passed away on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. She was born October 5, 1972 in Oroville, CA.
She was a member of the Paradise High School graduating class of 1990, in Paradise CA. Melissa was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at PHS for cross country, basketball, and track in May 2009. Following high school, she attended California State University Fresno, graduating with honors in 1998 with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Exercise Science and Physical Therapy. She worked as an inpatient and outpatient Physical Therapist for over 18 years, later receiving her Real Estate License. She worked for Crye-Leike Realtors in Hendersonville for the last year and a half, after her chemotherapy treatments made it too difficult for her to continue as a full-time Physical Therapist. Melissa remained an avid runner and triathlete throughout her life, successfully finishing The Chattanooga Ironman Triathlon in 2014 after being diagnosed with cancer in 2011. She was a member of First Baptist Church Hendersonville and volunteered in the prayer room regularly.
She is survived by her husband of more than 25 years, Loran Ausland; two wonderful sons, David Ausland and Dylan Ausland, all of Hendersonville, TN; parents, Ray Rice and Virginia Rice of Paradise, CA; sister, Leilani Carr of CA; brothers, Jeff Damron, Chris Damron, and Rick Rice of CA, and Gary Rice of AZ.
A celebration of Melissa’s life will be held at 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at First Baptist Church Hendersonville. The family will receive friends from 4:00 p.m. until the time of service.
Melissa was a huge animal lover and in lieu of flowers, the family would love for people to consider making a donation to a charity very close to Melissa’s heart. The charity is called Lucky Farms Animal Rescue, and is operated by family friends in Gallatin, TN. Information about the charity and donations can be made at their website www.luckyfarmsanimalrescue.org or to any other local no-kill animal shelter.Print Obituary & Condolences