Loved ones remember Reichert’s free spirit

Melanie Reichert

Elizabeth Beilman

When she first met Melanie Reichert in meteorology class, Devan Hall said she couldn’t help but talk to her.

“She just has this spirit about her and this light,” Hall, a Lexington sophomore, said.

Reichert’s kind spirit, warm heart and shining smile are what friends and family of the Louisville sophomore will remember her by.

Reichert died Sunday night from a head injury sustained from falling down a flight of concrete stairs on Saturday, according to Ronnie Ward, public information officer for Bowling Green Police Department.

BGPD said the death is still under investigation and a toxicology report will not be available for at least two weeks.

Despite rumors surrounding the nature of the accident, Sean Reichert, Melanie’s brother, said none of the speculation about the cause of her death is true. He said it was just a freak accident.

“We loved her so much,” Sean said.

Sean runs a page on to raise money for hospital and funeral costs. The stated goal is $3,000, but family and friends have surpassed this goal by more than $1,000. The amount raised was $4,198.00 as of Wednesday afternoon. Minton Hall is also holding grief counseling sessions for residents who are coping with the accident.

Lexington junior Clarke James, Melanie’s fourth floor resident assistant, said it was evident how well-liked Melanie was.

“She was really relaxed, really cool, always smiling,” James said.

Melanie was a graduate of St. Patrick Catholic School and Sacred Heart Academy alongside Louisville sophomore Sarah Miller. Miller was also Melanie’s roommate in Minton Hall.

“Melanie was always just a very happy person,” Miller said. “She was always ready to go out and jump into any kind of adventure.”

Miller remembers a time in high school when students had to dress up for spirit day. Melanie came as a character from the TV show “Avatar,” donning her swim cap and painting an arrow on her forehead.

“She was always a free spirit, so she loved to share that with anyone she could,” Miller said. “She always had a huge smile on her face and an even bigger laugh to go with it.”

Hall is the creator of a Facebook page in Melanie’s honor called “Remembering Melanie Reichert. The page has more than 1,000 likes.

Louisville sophomore Emily Lepping has known Melanie for eight years. Lepping, who described her as “witty, fun-loving and outgoing,” said the large response is a testament to Melanie’s character.

“Through all this, it’s shown how many peoples’ lives she’s affected,” Lepping said. “People on campus and back in Louisville — so many people know her and have been talking about her.”

Lepping said that while academics were important to her, she held her loved ones closer to her heart.

“She would always get her stuff done, but … she realized relationships were the most important thing,” she said.

“The reason I wanted to make this page was so she could be remembered, weeks, months, years after her passing, and people could come to this safe haven and celebrate her life,” Hall said.

Lexington senior Kerr Beebe, Melanie’s boyfriend, met her last spring and began dating her on Nov. 1.

“Melanie was just one of those girls,” Beebe said. “She had such a great spirit about her…always loving life. I think that’s why I liked her so much. She was just a happy person and she made other people happy just with her presence.

“She was such a nice and caring person. It was just impossible not to like her.”

Melanie was a member of the Honors College and a student of the School of Journalism & Broadcasting.

Her artistic abilities were evident to those around her. Melanie had a YouTube account and posted videos she made. One of them is a cover of “I Would be Sad” by the Avett Brothers.

“It is such a great, great rendition of it,” Hall said. “I loved that about her.”

Miller said she would spend hours studying in Mass Media and Technology Hall at night and wake up at 6 a.m. to continue studying.

“She’s always trying to stay up on her academics,” Miller said.

Miller said that Melanie will leave behind a legacy of selfless caring and love.

“I think she’ll be remembered as the one person who could always make you feel better, whether it was through a laugh or if you needed someone to listen…she would always be there to help out and make sure you were okay.”

Beebe said there are “just not that many people left like that in the world.”

“She’s going to be missed,” he said.