RIGGIO Melissa Riggio Aspiring artist, daughter of CEO, of Bernardsville, 20 Melissa Ann Riggio, the 20-yearold beloved daughter of Steve, CEO of Barnes & Noble Inc., and wife, Laura, died peacefully on April 7, 2008, in University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell in Manhattan, N.Y., after a courageous battle with leukemia. She was surrounded by her parents; sisters, 22-year-old Laura and 16year-old Christina, both of Bernardsville, and other members of her loving family. Born on March 25, 1988, in Brooklyn, N.Y., Melissa lived in Bernardsville since 1999. Born with Down Syndrome, she lived a full and extraordinary life. She was a strong and optimistic young woman, and was an inspiration to everyone who had the opportunity to know her. In May 2003, Melissa received the Self Advocate Award from The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) at their annual spring luncheon in Manhattan, which also honored Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. A graduate of Bernards High School, Class of 2007, Melissa was crowned prom queen at her senior prom. She was employed by the Somerset Hills YMCA in Basking Ridge, where she was an office worker. Melissa had plans to enter a post-secondary program so that she could become a counselor at the YMCA. She loved to read, listen to music, and she loved to write. A poet and songwriter, Melissa was taking voice, drama and dance lessons, and aspired to become a singer one day. Some of Melissas songs were recorded by acclaimed singer/songwriter Rachel Fuller. Melissa is also survived by her paternal grandmother, Lena Riggio of Brooklyn, N.Y., and many aunts, uncles and cousins. Family and friends may visit at the Gallaway & Crane Funeral Home, 101 S. Finley Ave., Basking Ridge, on Thursday, April 10, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial, open to the public, will be offered on Friday, April 11, at 10 a.m. at the Church of St. James, 184 South Finley Ave., Basking Ridge. Services were provided by the Gallaway & Crane Funeral Home, www.gcfuneral home.com or (908) 766-0250. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to The Valerie Center at Morristown Memorial Hospital, Morristown Memorial Health Foundation, P.O. Box 1956, Morristown, N.J. 07962. When making a donation, please indicate that it is in memory of Melissa Riggio.
Published by The Star-Ledger from Apr. 9 to Apr. 10, 2008.