Lake Township Family Establishes Memorial Scholarship Fund in Wake of Murder-Suicide

Hartville, Ohio – In August of 2023, the Hartville and Lake Township communities were devastated by a tragic event. Melissa Murphy Dunham and her three children, Renee, Amber, and Evan, lost their lives in a murder-suicide.

The surviving family members have been working to cope with the difficult aftermath. One of their goals has been to establish a scholarship in memory of Melissa, Renee, Amber, and Evan.

Melissa’s sister, Valerie Murphy-Daugherty, expressed the family’s hope to honor their loved ones and the impact they had on the community through the scholarship. They aim for the scholarship to carry on the positive influence Melissa and her children had on those around them.

The Lake Community Hope Scholarship in Memory of Melissa, Renee, Amber, and Evan is being managed through The Stark Community Foundation. This fund is dedicated to supporting the Lake Local Schools, the district the family was deeply connected to. The scholarship will assist graduating seniors from Lake High School. It will be awarded to students who have displayed exceptional engagement in extracurricular activities and community service, reflecting the values Melissa instilled in her children.

The first scholarship will be available to seniors graduating in 2025, with the application process beginning in December 2024.

The family is seeking support to honor their loved ones by encouraging donations to the scholarship fund. Those interested in contributing can visit the Stark Community Foundation website to make a donation.

The scholarship stands as a meaningful way to commemorate the lives and impact of Melissa, Renee, Amber, and Evan, providing educational opportunities for future students while keeping their memory alive in the community.