Michele Casandra – March 14

Michele Carla Casandra

Michele Carla Casandra of Hopewell Junction, New York, formerly of Pelham, New York, passed away suddenly on March 14 2021. She was 67 years old. Born in Rockville Center, New York, to Guido and Gudrun Vittori, she was the eldest of two children. Michele was raised with her brother Manny moving back and forth between New York and Italy but would always find herself at home in Pelham, where she would graduate from Pelham Memorial High School in 1971. She continued her education and love of languages at Fairfield University, studying German and graduating Cum Laude with a Bachelor in Arts.

Michele loved languages, traveling with her family, and the outdoors. She spoke German, French, and Italian fluently. All these attributes combined with her hospitable personality made her a perfect fit for her first job in Rome. As the secretary to the manager of the illustrious Holiday Inn in central Rome, she would meet and assist many tourists coming through on vacation. There she would meet her future husband Renato and they would marry on 1 December 1979 in a park in Ascoli Piceno, Italy. She would eventually work at Rome International airport before moving back to Pelham, New York where she raised her two children Steff and Debbie.

In Pelham she worked at Anne DeSantis Realty before becoming the secretary for the Town Assessor. In 1999, Michele would become the Assessor for the Town of Pelham. Unfortunately, during that same period, her husband Renato passed away suddenly. Michele was left raising her two children and becoming the sole provider for her home. In her spare time, she loved to go hiking, fishing, bird hunting, and gardening with her children and her friends. Michele loved nature and the outdoors and enjoyed capturing it on her camera. She was also an active participant in the Tax Assessors Union, Parks and Recreation and a former member of the Rotary Club of the Pelhams.

Michele will be remembered as an energetic, curious and focused person. She had a loving and caring nature and truly enjoyed helping everyone. Michele was an amazing, mother, grandmother, sister and friend. She will be missed by all who entered into her life.

Michele is survived by her children, Stefano (Tera) Casandra, Debora (Joseph) Livorsi, and her companion of twenty years, Harry Girdlestone. She is also survived by her brother, Manuel (Davida) Vittori, and her three grandchildren, Alessio, Aurelia and Matteo Casandra. She is predeceased by her husband Renato and her parents Gudrun and Guido Vittori.

A celebration of Michele’s life will be held at the Pelham Funeral Home located at 64 Lincoln Ave. in Pelham New York on Thursday, March 25 from 4 to 8pm. A funeral service will be live streamed from the Pelham Funeral Home on Friday, March 26 at 10:30am. To view the live streamed wake and funeral service please logon onto https://my.gather.app/remember/michele-casandra Internment will be private. For more information or to leave a condolence please visit www.pelhamfuneral.com.

Click this link to view additional details about Michele’s services, including any available live streams: https://my.gather.app/remember/michele-casandra

Editor’s note: This obituary was provided by the Pelham Funeral Home.