Melissa Marie Cassella, 42, of Norwich passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, December 3, 2017. She was born on January 22, 1975 in Hackensack, NJ and moved to McDonough, NY in 1989. Melissa graduated from Oxford Academy and Central School in 1993. During high school Melissa also completed the Cosmetology program at BOCES. She attended SUNY Morrisville and graduated from Morris County Community College in NJ. Melissa is survived by her parents, Robert and Marion Cassella of McDonough, her sisters and their spouses, Elizabeth and Salvatore Penna Sr. of Carlstadt, NJ and Amy and Mark Hill of New Berlin. She was an aunt to Joseph, Lorenzo, Gianna Marie and Salvatore Penna Jr. and Owen and Phalen Hill. She also leaves behind her beloved dog, Silas. Melissa is also survived by her half siblings and their spouses, Robert Cassella Jr. and Francine, Carl Cassella and Barbara, Mary Ann Fuardo and Carl and Deanna Picone and Tom, as well as their children and grandchildren. In addition, Melissa is survived by her aunt and uncle Edward and Arlene Cheselka and her aunt Rosemary Cassella. She leaves behind her cousins Kathleen and Richard Shanahan and their children, Patrick, Alicia and Nolan and Jennifer and Dylan Gadino and their children Jude and Maxwell. She is also survived by her godparents, Louis and Lucine Kovacs of West Yarmouth, MA, as well many cousins and friends.
Melissa was predeceased by her grandparents, Dante and Anna Cassella, Joseph and Marie Moskowitz, and her uncles, Norman Cassella and Robert Moskowitz.
In her younger years, Melissa worked as a nanny in Maryland and NJ, as an assistant manager at the Avenue, in customer relations at Frontier and for Macy's. She was currently employed by ACHIEVE, as a residential aide, working at their group homes in Oxford and Norwich and also worked part-time at Fred's Inn.
Melissa had a bubbly personality and an infectious laugh. She enjoyed drawing, reading and spending time at the Jersey Shore. Her cooking and baking at the group homes were appreciated by her clients. Even though Melissa did not see her nieces and nephews every day, her love for them was unconditional. Although Melissa was taken from us at a young age and we will miss her dearly, we take comfort in knowing that she is with her grandmothers and safe in the arms of The Blessed Mother.
Calling hours for Melissa will be on Friday, December 8th at the Behe Funeral Home 21 Main St. in Oxford from 4:00 to 8:00 pm. Funeral services will be on Saturday, December 9th at 12:00 at the funeral home followed by a mass of Christian Burial at St. Joseph's Church, Scott St. in Oxford at 1:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Joseph's Church, P.O. Box 352, Oxford, NY 13830. Friends and family may share their memories and condolences by visiting www.behefuneralhome.com