Fellows in the News

It is with great sorrow that we report the passing of Melissa “Missy” Laser, at the young age of 40, April 27, 2010. Melissa was born in Ohio, grew up in central Maine – residing in Atkinson and Dexter – and most recently lived and worked in Augusta. She was an avid scholar, committed to life-long learning. She graduated from Dexter Regional High School in 1987, received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine in 1994 and her master’s degree from the University of Maine in 1997. Melissa earned her doctorate of philosophy from Antioch University New England in environmental studies in 2007. She was extremely devoted to her work with the Maine State Bureau of Sea Run Fisheries and Habitat. She was a steadfast advocate for the environment, working tirelessly to achieve and maintain healthy ecosystems for the watersheds of Maine. Melissa had a gift for bringing people with diverse opinions together and helping them find common ground and plan action on behalf of the environment and human well-being. She was also an adjunct university professor. Melissa was a strong, independent and vivacious person. She loved spending time in the outdoors, especially fishing, kayaking, hiking, biking and skiing. She was a voracious reader and enthusiastic music lover. She was beautiful inside and out, with an unforgettable smile. Melissa is survived by her father, Eric Laser and his wife, Lisa Laser; prior stepmother, Peggy Smith; brother, Mark Laser; sisters, April Laser Orlando and Gemma Laser; stepsisters, Sayward Carolin Salazar and Ariel Carolin; nephew, Jake Laser; nieces, Sophia Orlando and Alejandra Salazar; numerous loving aunts, uncles and friends. She was predeceased by her mother, Janice Laser; and her nephew, Kyle Orlando. She is greatly missed. Services to celebrate her life will be held 10 a.m. Saturday, May 8, at Sangerville Unitarian Universalist Church. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Melissa’s name to Greater Androscoggin Humane Society, 55 Strawberry Ave., Lewiston, ME 04240.

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