November 10, 2004: Headlines: COS - Morocco: Obituaries: Fallen: Pioneer Press: Peace Corps Volunteer Melissa Mosvick dies in crash

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Morocco: Peace Corps Morocco : The Peace Corps in Morocco: November 10, 2004: Headlines: COS - Morocco: Obituaries: Fallen: Pioneer Press: Peace Corps Volunteer Melissa Mosvick dies in crash

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Monday, November 29, 2004 - 4:26 am: Edit Post

Peace Corps Volunteer Melissa Mosvick dies in crash

Peace Corps Volunteer Melissa Mosvick dies in crash

Peace Corps Volunteer Melissa Mosvick dies in crash

Corps worker dies in crash

Melissa Mosvick, 24, was St. Thomas grad from Apple Valley


Pioneer Press

Just as she hungered for the Indian dishes concocted in her childhood friend's kitchen, Melissa Leigh Mosvick was enthralled by the traditions and cultures of the world.

Now, the world is showing her that admiration was mutual.

On Saturday, the Peace Corps volunteer from Apple Valley was killed aboard a public bus in southern Morocco when a truck crashed into it and flipped it into a ravine, her family said. The recent St. Thomas University graduate had been more than a year into her service, teaching villagers a breadth of skills, from computers to glass-painting.

Mosvick's parents, Mark and Barbara, have since received word from their daughter's friends in Dubai, Beirut and other distance places, attesting to the 24-year-old's Christian faith and convictions for helping others. Her friends have vouched that she was a quick learner of Serbian folk dances and a jokester on her college crew team.

"We knew she was religious, but we never knew how much so, and how she could really touch people's lives," said Mark Mosvick. "She was my hero."

That Melissa Mosvick was killed in a traffic accident has stunned some family members who had worried about terrorism or other risks while she was abroad.

"You know they're going to experience discomfort, but you never, ever think of this," said her grandfather, Roger Mosvick.

As of last September, nearly 5,300 of the roughly 170,000 people who had volunteered in the Peace Corps during its 43-year history were Minnesotans. About 125 total volunteers currently are serving in Morocco. The Peace Corps participates only in countries that welcome the volunteers and are deemed safe, said spokeswoman Jennifer Borgen. Assessment teams monitor the nations for political or civic unrest, crime and other factors, she said.

But by all indications, Mosvick's death resulted from "an unfortunate and very tragic accident," Borgen said.

Melissa Mosvick had gone beyond the duty of her original project of teaching English and computer skills. In her city of Ouarzazate, she instructed artisans how to paint glass so they could sell the goods for profit.

Unlike some expatriates who cocoon themselves in Western culture, Mosvick immersed herself in the Arabic world and helped disabled women in outlying villages. Mosvick would send her family pictures of Ouarzazate, known as the gateway to the Sahara, with a note: "Isn't my city beautiful?"

Noelle Bushey, 24, of Apple Valley recalled her friend's slapstick humor.

"She would always imitate Fat Bastard from 'Austin Powers,' " recalled Bushey, who traveled with Mosvick to crew meets. "My stomach would be hurting from laughing so hard from Minneapolis to the Quad Cities."

Gov. Tim Pawlenty and U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman have given the family their condolences.

Mosvick graduated from Apple Valley High School. She double majored in international business and marketing and was fluent in French, a love that took her to Provence, France, for a year's study. Her father suspects her intrigue with living abroad started after she got hooked on Indian cooking by a friend's mom.

While living in Morocco, Mosvick received care packages from her mother containing the likes of shampoo, peanut butter and Rice Krispies treats. She would share or consume just about everything, except her bed sheets, which, her father said, "smelled like home."

Mosvick is also survived by a younger sister, Kristin. Services are pending, but they are expected to be at St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in St. Paul. Her family has started a memorial in her name at Bremer Bank.
Laura Yuen can be reached at or 651-228-5498.

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Story Source: Pioneer Press

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Morocco; Obituaries; Fallen



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