Melissa Lamesch was keeping the name of her unborn son a secret.
The only clue she gave to family members was the nickname he’d be going by: Little Bear.
“We theorized it would be Barry or Barrington,” Melissa’s brother, Karl, said. “He would’ve been Little Bear to us.”
Lamesch, 27, and her unborn baby died Nov. 25 following a fire in their home in Mt. Morris. Her baby was due Nov. 28.
Karl said his sister was “absolutely ecstatic” about becoming a mother. She was always doing something for the baby. She and Karl did a lot of baby shopping and had installed her car seat and were getting her bag ready for the hospital. He helped her hang her ultrasound pictures.
Lamesch worked as an EMT since June 2016 and was working for Trace Ambulance in Tinley Park. She sometimes worked double and triple shifts, Karl said.
Melissa decided to become an EMT after an incident in her life during college. She became passionate about it after that.
“A lot of her was an EMT,” Karl said. “She was hard-working. She did everything she could. It was like a calling to her. That’s what she did.”
Lamesch’s parents, Gustave and Deanna are residents of the area in Mt. Morris and Malta. She has four siblings, Karl, Cassie Baal, Bryan Lamesch and Julialyn Shedd.
“We have such different personalities,” Karl said. “We can fight and argue but we always make up.”
Melissa and Karl had a “best friend” relationship. They took classes together at Northern Illinois University and would attend concerts and events in the Chicago area. Her favorite band was The Script. They once took a megabus from Chicago to Indianapolis to Cincinnati following them.
Melissa had a passion for art. She was also a perfectionist.
“With her handwriting, organization, everything was to a T,” Karl said. “I’ve been going through her storage and everything was organized.”
Melissa graduated from Oregon High School in 2011 and attended college at Roosevelt University in Chicago and NIU. She learned to be an EMT at Elgin Community College and Swedish American Hospital.
Karl has established a GoFundMe page to raise money for a memorial. Go to www.gofundme.com/f/Melissa-Lamesch to donate online and for updates. Donations can also be sent to Karl Lamesch,1025 Misty Landing Court, Malta, IL 60150.
As of Tuesday night, $8,725 had been raised. So far, that’s enough for a tree at Morton Arboretum in her honor. She loved that place, especially the light show every Christmas time. The tree will be planted in the spring, Karl said.
Karl also wants to donate to the shelter where she got her cat, Antonio. Antonio was lost in the fire as well. Other plans include buying toys for a children’s hospital in honor of her son.
Karl wants his sister to be remembered for how she was.
“Happy go lucky, never put herself first,” Karl said. “Her smile and the way she was in life. She’d find all the good things about a bad situation and how to make it better. Her jokes and all of her crazy shenanigans.”
“She was very much a people person and very bubbly. She could talk to anyone about anything.”