The birth of Melissa Young Lindsay was celebrated on April 8, 1955 in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania to Robert and Nancy Young. She was the oldest of what would be seven children, including her Irish twin, Dianne, born just 11 months later.
Missy came of age in the late 1960s and early 1970s and was the flower child of the family. Missy embraced the culture of the times, but not so much so that she did not enter the Miss Watervliet pageant in 1973. She was such a raven-haired beauty like her mother that she earned the title of Miss Watervliet even though her talent was starting a campfire with only a flint rock, leaves, and sticks in order to burn all her bras on stage. This is not actually the talent Missy performed, simply the one she wanted to perform.
Missy lived life as this complicated mix of a free spirit and a family-bound matriarch to her children and siblings. These forces tugged at her for her entire life resulting in a person not perfect but perfectly flawed who lived her way -- but her way was not selfish or arrogant. Instead, it was giving and in service to others.
No one was your bigger fan than Missy. If you were playing in a game with thousands of fans in attendance, you could hear her voice piercing the air either rooting you on or denigrating your opponent through a colorful choice of words. Missy believed her children, her brothers, her sisters, her nephews, and her nieces to be uniquely talented people and would accept no one who didn’t hold the same opinion. She even believed her four brothers to be endowed with movie star good looks while the unbiased observer would more appropriately call them homely.
Missy was the first sibling to graduate college. This is not surprising for anyone who interacted with her because she had near perfect recall and an encyclopedic knowledge of movies and books. There was no prominent author she had not read. After high school, it was not college but motherhood that came first. However, Missy had a calling even beyond being a mother. Maybe it was her mother’s fight with cancer or her father’s heart disease that woke her to that calling but at the age of 31, Missy went to school to be a registered nurse. Completing her education and certification at the age 35, Missy worked continuously as a nurse for 30 years. She had many specialties as a nurse but her primary area of work was geriatrics, taking care of our most vulnerable and most lonely population. She not only cared for their health, but for their spirit. She knew how to put people at ease and allowed them, even encouraged them, to tell their stories. Missy loved that connection and knew innately her older patients needed that as much as any medication she could possibly deliver. She was a light to them as she was to us. She made people’s life better and longer – may we all be so fortunate to leave such a legacy.
Missy died on June 10, 2020 from complications of COVID-19 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Although her body was alone when she passed due to quarantine, she was not alone – because her family was with her in thought and in spirit and she will be with them forever.
Missy was preceded in death by her Mother and Father in 1994 who are joyous in reuniting with their first born. She is survived by her husband David; her daughters Erin Canada, Jennifer Schultz, and Cassie Netto; her son Nick (Kaci) Netto; her step-daughter Danielle Lindsay; her grandchildren Ethan, Maxton, Willow, and Atticus; her sisters Dianne (Ron) Vawter and Sandra (Bill) Spaulding; and her brothers Robert (Kim) Young, Richard (Barbara) Young, Andrew (Maria) Young, and David (Rhonda) Young.
Missy will forever be our free spirit, our flower child, and our beauty queen. And our world is lesser without her.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers or gifts, please donate to the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital at http://giftfunds.stjude.org/Missy. Missy was a light in the darkness to those in need while she was alive and we want her to remain so even though she has passed.
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St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital