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Top Stories 2019: SWR community mourns Melissa Marchese

The Shoreham-Wading River community was dealt another devastating blow in June with the death of 18-year-old Melissa Marchese just two weeks before her high school graduation.
Ms. Marchese died from injuries sustained in a two-car crash in Shoreham June 13. She was a passenger in a car with two fellow Shoreham-Wading River High School seniors who were en route to a senior awards event when the crash occurred.
As the community mourned, Ms. Marchese was remembered as kind, strong, funny, generous and ambitious.
A standout softball player who made the varsity team as an eighth-grader, Ms. Marchese earned a scholarship to continue playing at the University of Hartford this year. She planned to study early childhood education in the school’s College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions. Faculty, staff and students at the University of Hartford also paid tribute to Ms. Marchese when classes resumed in September. “UHart Helpers,” who guide students around campus, wore welcome T-shirts with her initials on their sleeve.
On top of her athletic successes, she was an exceptional student, leader and role model for her peers.
Ms. Marchese will be memorialized permanently at the high school’s renovated softball field, which will also feature helmet cubbies and a bat rack dedicated to her as part of 15-year-old Lindsay Cahill’s Girl Scout Gold Award project.
During her funeral services, Ms. Marchese’s father, Charlie, described her “final victory” of donating organs to five different people in need. Ms. Marchese was laid to rest at Washington Memorial Park in Mount Sinai.
Photo caption: Melissa Marchese signing her letter of intent to play softball at the University of Hartford. (Courtesy photo)