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NJ Mom Who Lost Battle With Ovarian Cancer Had Unique Request For Funeral Service

Melissa Anne Nancy Rhodes died May 16 after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2018, according to a GoFundMe that documented her difficult journey.
Melissa Anne Nancy Rhodes died May 16 after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2018, according to a GoFundMe that documented her difficult journey. Photo Credit: GoFundMe Screengrab

A New Jersey mom of two who lost her battle with ovarian cancer at the age of 42 had a quirky request for guests attending her funeral.

Melissa Anne Nancy Rhodes died May 16 after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2018, according to a GoFundMe that documented her difficult journey.

Born in Hoboken, Rhodes was a lifelong resident of Roselle Park, her obituary says.

Rhodes earned an Associate’s degree in Liberal Arts Secondary Education from Union County College and a Bachelor’s in history from the College of NJ.

Rhodes later worked in Human Resources at Target in Clark and Linden — and she paid homage to her “Target family” by asking coworkers to attend her funeral in the store’s traditional attire of red and khaki.

Meanwhile, she asked her “wrestling friends” to wear WWF/WWE shirts.

However, Rhodes — a Red Sox fan — strictly forbade any NY Yankees attire.

“Melissa wants everyone to celebrate her life in the same crazy way she lived it,” her obituary says.

Rhodes is survived by her partner, Jonathan Deredita; her children, Christopher and Heidi as well as countless extended family members and close friends.

Rhodes’ funeral was held May 18 at the Mastapeter Funeral Home in Roselle Park.

Click here for the full obituary.

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