Melissa Beth Anderson
1986 - 2020
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On October 13, 2020, Melissa unexpectedly passed away. She was born on March 25, 1986, the second of four children to Marijo and Jim. As a kid, Melissa was light-hearted, silly, and always eating. She loved cleverly terrorizing her little brothers. She was a leader at Holy Cross and Deerfield High School, wielding a fierce, competitive spirit on and off the basketball court. She brought her vibrant energy to the University of Colorado, never backing down from her uncles, alums of rival CSU, and making lifelong friends. At Chicago-Kent College of Law, her love of trial took root. She was the older sister we all need – telling us the truth even when hard to hear – but also bringing humor, wisdom, and protection. She was our mama Bear. Melissa fought so hard to bring justice to those who don't have a voice. As an assistant public defender in West Palm Beach, FL, for nearly 10 years, she helped countless people and their families have more time together. She worked tirelessly, using her unique combination of stubbornness, intellect, and compassion, to give them a fair trial. The people in the Palm Beach County Office of the Public Defender and 15th Judicial Circuit quickly became her Florida family. Always prepared and relentless, she racked up wins in the courtroom and was an office record-holder for first appearances. Her Florida family was complete when she met Jo, and he succeeded in something no one thought possible – he made her a dog-person. Sweet Melissa, what we wouldn't give to see your big grin and hear your infectious laugh again. The family extends special thanks to her ICU nurse, Danielle, at Good Samaritan Medical Center and to the Palm Beach County Office of the Public Defender for their unwavering support. Survivors include Melissa's mother, Marijo; brothers Nicholas (Madison) and Lucas; life partner, Jo'Nathan Huggins, and her aunts, uncles, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her father, Jim. A private celebration to honor Melissa's life will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made through gofundme.com in honor of Melissa B. Anderson, https://gf.me/u/y45akk, and will be donated to programs for at risk youths, such as Innercity Innovators, an organization she supported.


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Published in Chicago Tribune on Oct. 18, 2020.
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October 18, 2020
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
Kathy Rucci
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