January 22, 2022 ~ 20 Shevat 5782
Melissa Rachel Klein, 57, died peacefully after a long illness on January 22, 2022, with one of her brothers, Mark, by her side. On January 21, 1965, Melissa was born in Louisville, Kentucky, to Rita and Norman Klein. She attended school in Louisville, and after years as a constant companion to her mother, Rita, she relocated to Sacramento, California, where she lived out the rest of her life.
Melissa was a larger-than-life personality who charmed those around her with her good nature, persistence, and joy in everyday pleasures. She was a keen sportswoman, a Special Olympian of many years, and an accomplished and serious artist. Some of her work was regularly displayed and sold through her connection at the ALTA Short Center program in Sacramento, where she was employed as an aide. Besides being a student for many years, Melissa loved to travel and had an adventurous spirit. She visited Australia and New Zealand with her mother, Rita, and later in life traveled back to New Zealand, on her own, to visit her brother and his family. In addition, she was passionate about animals and a long-time supporter of both the Louisville and Sacramento Zoos.
Melissa was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by brothers Howard and Mark, sister-in-law Wendy, nieces Lilly and Sage, and nephews Norman and Shilo.
A graveside service will begin at 3 p.m., Monday, January 31, 2022 at Adath Jeshurun Cemetery. Donations in Melissa’s memory may be made to Northern California Special Olympics online at https://support.specialolympics.org/a/northern-california