Whimsical 02


Melissa Marie Santiago Martin

May 2, 1981 ~ September 8, 2018 (age 37)

Wife and mother whose ‘bright smile will be missed by all’

Melissa Marie Santiago Martin passed away on Saturday, September 8, 2018, after valiantly and fiercely fighting breast cancer since last December.  She was 37 years old.

Melissa grew up in Rahway, New Jersey, and graduated from Rahway High School in 1999.  She earned her bachelor’s degree at Drew University and went on to complete her graduate degree at Columbia University, beginning a career as a pediatric nurse practitioner.

Melissa always put others before herself.  A listening ear for anyone who needed her, she was always there to lend advice, or simply share her contagious laugh.  She enjoyed LARP, reading, singing, comics, musical theatre, traveling (especially to Disney World), and spending time with her extensive family and friends.

Her husband, Matthew, was the love of her life.  She loved children, but none more than her two-year-old daughter, Serafina, who was the light of her life.  She could never get over how cute Serafina was and reveled in being the best mom she could to her little “Nugget.”

Melissa lived her life on her own terms.  She was a model of grace, dignity, unabashed childlike joy, and represented the best that humanity can be.  Always honest, forgiving, and caring, and always ready to be silly and have fun.

In addition to her husband, Matt, and daughter, Serafina, Melissa is survived by her mother, Cindy; stepfather, Tom; brother, Christopher; sister, Athena; father-in-law, John; mother-in-law, Margaret; brother in law, Andrew; sisters in law, Jennifer and Caroline; as well as numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and other relatives and friends. She was also a loving and caring aunt to Manuel "Manny" Santiago from Illinois.

Melissa’s bright smile and laughter will be missed by all, but the impact she made on each of the lives she touched will carry on.  We are all better people for having known her.  She was our Ohana.  Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.

In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made toward her daughter’s college fund at gofundme.com/for-serafina..

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