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(Mitchell) ( Rodgers)
Victor: Passed away in her sleep at her home on the morning of Saturday, December 22, 2012, holding hands with her husband and son, just a month after her 66th birthday. Her final curtain call came after a graceful and valiant year-and-a-half battle with non-smoker's lung cancer. Predeceased by her parents, Robert George and Eleanor Leighton Mitchell. Melissa is survived by her loving husband, Charles H. Githler II, beloved son, Anthony Leighton (Dasha Khailova) Rodgers, well loved stepchildren, Charles (Jana Leyden) Githler III, Kirstie (Robert) Price, Frederick (Peter Nava) Githler, and grandchildren, Madeline, Isabel and Charley Githler, Addison Price, Jason (Joanna) Arizmendi, and great-granddaughters, Carolina, Anna and Melissa. She is also survived by her dear sisters and brother, Frederick (Betsey) Mitchell, Margaret Mitchell (Joseph) Stocchetti, Martha (Charles Degenkolb) Mitchell, Robin Mitchell (Tom), and many wonderful nieces and nephews.
After her early years on Grand Island and in Niagara Falls, Melissa grew up in the small town of Alden, New York, reading and dreaming of people and places far and away, performing for family, and beginning her lifetime on the stage. She graduated high school and joined the Air Force before her eighteenth birthday. Stationed in the South, she got married in 1966, left the service, had a baby, and continued acting in theatrical productions on base. In 1969, they moved north and settled in Rochester. In the seventies, as a single working mother, she began a twelve year career with the Monroe County Bar Association. She was very active in local theater, where she would grace countless stages over the next four decades. She has played numerous challenging roles and enjoyed working with many talented people. In the eighties, she joined her friend Liz Jackson's travel agency, continued in the business with Premier Travel, and went on to be the office manager for Buckingham Properties. In the nineties she took a job at Paychex, where she worked until retiring to spend more time with her second husband, the love of her life.
In 1985, she had married Charley, and together they experienced the world. Passionate lovers... of books, history and songs... of wine, conversation and travel... and of busting each other's balls. They visited exotic locales she had only dreamed of as a child, places she never dared imagine she would see in her life. They relished these journeys together, their trips with friends, and their times with new friends met along the way. Melissa considered herself incredibly fortunate in being able to traverse this planet far and wide, but her favorite place to be was at home, with her family, and their many dogs and cats.
Friends may call Saturday, December 29th, 2-5 PM at the funeral chapel (2305 Monroe Ave.). A celebration of Melissa's life will be held in Rochester on Saturday, January 26th. In lieu of flowers, if you wish, please make a contribution to Wilson Commencement Park, 251 Joseph Avenue, Rochester, NY 14605; the Sands Cancer Center in Canandaigua; Pet Pride of New York, in Mendon; or to the local theater group of your pleasure. To share a memory of Melissa or send a condolence to the family visit www.anthonychapels.com.
Anthony Funeral & Cremation Chapels
2305 Monroe Avenue Rochester, NY 14618
Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle from Dec. 28 to Dec. 29, 2012