Long serving Clay County elections worker dies of COVID complications

The Supervisor of Elections Office in Clay County has announced the death of a beloved elections worker, who died of complications from COVID-19.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Supervisor of Elections Office in Clay County has announced the death of a beloved elections worker, who died of complications from COVID-19.

For 20 years, Melissa Church helped people in Clay County cast their votes.

“She was much more than that,” said Chris Chambless, supervisor of elections. “Not only was she an accomplished election worker, rising through the ranks to clerk, but she was also the trainer and that’s where we take individuals who are highly skilled that will then pass along that knowledge and that history to new election workers.”

Chambless said he was heartbroken, learning that Church died from COVID-19 complications Thursday.

“Such a sweet spirit,” Chambless said. “She was always giving, always available. Really dedicated not only to this office, but to the community.”

A surge in COVID-19 cases has taken a toll on Northeast Florida.

Since the pandemic began, the health department said there have been more than 23,000 cases in Clay County, and 1,600 cases were reported last week.

According to data from the Florida Department of Health, 45% of people 12 and older in Clay County have had at least one dose of the vaccine.

“I just think that life is precious, and we should really embrace, just be kind to individuals. Make sure that you take the time to invest in them,” said Chambless.

Chambless said Church was an advocate for voting and her love for the community does not go unnoticed. He said he’s been in contact with Church’s family and his heart goes out to them during this time.