Vision. Integrity. Leadership.

Dee Oliver is the daughter of U.S. Navy Capt. Deon (Ret.) and Jacqueline Branch. As a fourth generation resident of Virginia Beach, Dee graduated from Norfolk Catholic High School and Virginia Wesleyan College where she received an undergraduate’s degree in Education and Art.

In 1984, she married John P. Oliver, Sr., President of H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts., and the two worked together in the family funeral business while raising their three daughters. John died suddenly and unexpectedly in 2007. Despite the devastation of losing him, Dee continued to work at the funeral home while raising their three young children. She went back to school to earn her Mortuary Science and Embalming Degree. She also completed the required 3,000 hours of apprenticeship at Riddick Funeral Home in Norfolk.


Having more than 23 years’ experience in the funeral business, Dee found herself in a position she had witnessed many time: the widow. She had the stark realization that despite knowing exactly what to expect when a loved one passes away, she was completely unprepared for Johnnie’s untimely death. Inspired by this, she shares her experiences with others in her two books, Going Out in Style: How to Make a Graceful Exit and Survive the Loss of the One You Love and The Undertaker’s Wife. Packed with Dee’s personal experience and professional expertise and laced with her unique brand of tender humor, the books are invaluable resources for planning ahead for death and how to handle the loss of a loved one.


Dee has had numerous public speaking engagements and television appearances on death and dying and is considered an expert in the field.

Currently, Dee serves in the following capacities:

  • Virginia Beach Planning Commission: Vice Chair
  • The Virginia Beach Resource Home for the Homeless: Board Member
  • Hospice House of South Hampton Roads: Campaign Chairman
  • The Hampton Roads Chamber:- Virginia Beach Division: Executive Committee Member

She is a member of the Virginia Beach Garden Club and an active member of Galilee Episcopal Church.

In 2015, Dee married R. Boyd Melchor, attorney, and owner of Kelly’s Tavern(s) throughout Hampton Roads. They live in Virginia Beach with her three daughters.