Nora Leigh Michelli, 51, of St. Petersburg, FL, passed away on 2/11/13, after a 6 year battle with breast cancer. The celebration of Nora's God-serving life will be held at 11am Saturday, February 16th at Northeast Presbyterian Church, 4400 Shore Acres Blvd NE, St. Petersburg, FL. Dr. Leanne Hadley of First United Methodist Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Dr. Tommy Nance of Northeast Presbyterian Church of St Petersburg will be officiating. Nora was born in Toledo, Ohio to Duane and Elaine Smith on September 7, 1961. During her childhood and adolescence, she lived in Novi, Michigan and graduated from Novi High School in 1979. Nora received a Bachelor's Degree in Music Therapy from Eastern Michigan University and a Master's Degree in Special Education from the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs. Nora was married to Joseph Anthony Michelli on May 13, 1989. Over most of their 24-year marriage they resided in Colorado Springs, Colorado, moving to St. Petersburg, Florida in August of 2011. Nora worked as a Music Therapist at Atascadero State Hospital in Atascadero, California and as a Special Education teacher in the Harrison School District in Colorado Springs. Her deepest passion was reflected in her roles as Children's Pastor, Sunday School Coordinator, Children's Grief Counselor, Praise Band Bassist, and Creative Worship Director at Colorado Springs area churches including First Christian, First United Methodist, Tri Lakes Methodist, and Sunrise Methodist as well as Northeast Presbyterian in St. Petersburg. Nora also worked with Dr. Leanne Hadley in the growth and development of the non-profit First Steps Spirituality Center in Colorado Springs. She later launched a satellite for First Steps called the Brick Lighthouse in St. Petersburg. Nora delighted in her family, caring for the spiritual growth and grief of children, serving as a missionary in places like Haiti, and enjoying times of bible reading and worship. Nora is survived in St. Petersburg by her husband Joseph and their two children, Fiona Katherine, age 17, and Joseph Andrew, age 21. She is also survived by her parents Duane and Elaine Smith from Gaylord Michigan/Spring Hill, Florida, her sister and brother-in-law Regie and Terry Stringham (Sanford, Florida), her brother and sister-in-law Terry and Kelly Smith (Falcon, Colorado) as well as many nieces and nephews and a wide-circle of friends who have been blessed by her time with them. Nora leaves a legacy of service, joy, and unyielding faith. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given in Nora's name to www.1ststeps.net or First Steps Spirituality Center, C/O FUMC, 420 N. Nevada Ave., Colorado Springs, CO 80903. Online memorial & guestbook @ www.brettfuneralhome.net
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Published in The Gazette on Feb. 12, 2013