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Brick School Community Mourns Loss of VMMS Counselor, 31

Melissa Mattia (Photo: Brick PAL)

Melissa Mattia (Photo: Brick PAL)

Funeral arrangements have been set for a Veterans Memorial Middle School counselor who died Thursday at her home in Toms River.

Melissa A. Byrne Mattia, 31, known to friends and family as “Missy B,” was born in Point Pleasant and resided in Brick for 10 years before moving to Toms River 21 years ago, according to an obituary posted by O’Brien Funeral Home.

Mattia “was a proud graduate of Toms River East High School and received her BA from Rider University.”

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In addition to her full time job as a Youth Development Counselor at Veterans Memorial Middle School , she was the owner and operator of Mattia Fitness in Brick. She was very passionate about teaching both children and adults, studying, and most importantly, dance, the obituary said.

Melissa was very involved with the youth of Brick Township through the Brick Police Athletic League, who in 2013 honored her by naming her the Brick P.A.L. Volunteer of the year.

“The Brick PAL is deeply saddened by the passing of our friend and colleague Melissa Mattia,” the PAL said in a social media post on Friday. “We ask that you please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers.”

She was predeceased by her parents William and Barbara Renna Byrne, her maternal grandparents Anthony and Gloria Bannon Renna, and her uncles Timothy and Kevin Byrne.

Melissa is survived by her husband Salvatore Mattia , her brother William Byrne and his wife Rosie of Toms River, her paternal grandmother Mary Byrne, her aunts and uncles; Patricia Chronic, James Renna, Lynda Cohen, Lawrence Renna, Mary Beth Rutledge, Susan Gallagher, Jayne Leddy, Kathleen Lennon, Sharon Cox, and Maureen Bauer, and many many cousins and close friends.

A visitation has been scheduled for Monday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the O’Brien Funeral Home, 505 Burnt Tavern Rd., Brick, NJ 08724 followed by a Mass of Christian Burial on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Catharine Church, 215 Essex Ave., Spring Lake, NJ 07762. Private committal will take place in St. Anne’s Cemetery, 1610 Allenwood Rd. Wall at a later date.

In lieu of flowers the family specifically requests donations to the Brick P.A.L., 60 Drum Point Rd., Brick, NJ 08723 in her memory.

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