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Obituary - Melissa Francesca Cossette Meza

Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, April 13, 2024, at 11 a.m. at Smith Family Funeral Home’s chapel
Obituary - Melissa Francesca Cossette Meza

Sunrise, December 24, 1995 - Sunset, March 30, 2024

Melissa was born on December 24, 1995, in Fallon to Walter and Donna Cossette. She was preceded in death by her great-grandparents on both sides, her grandfather Lawrence R. Cossette (Connecticut) and grandparents Wendell and Alice Gibson (Florida).

She is survived by parents, her daughters Nota L. Meza, Stormi A. Meza, and Autumn M. Meza, all of Fallon, her brother Ryan A. Cossette (Fallon), sister Cristi Cogdill, nieces Charlize and Chloe Collins (New Mexico), grandparents James and Carol Sanders (Fallon) and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins who all loved her dearly.

Melissa graduated from Churchill County High School in 2013; she attended Sierra Nevada College in Incline, Nevada. During her high school years, she worked at American Carwash and U.S. Fish and Wildlife as a youth intern. While in college, she worked at Raley's grocery. After college, she worked for the Bureau of Land Management’s Carson office as an office intern and later as a journeyman tree cutter, where she met the father of her children. She was a co-owner of the Great Basin Tour Company. Upon the birth of her first child, she wanted to devote her life to her daughter. She moved to Yerington and worked for the Yerington Paiute Tribe as a Youth Worker/Librarian. Upon the birth of her daughter, she returned to Fallon, NV, and worked for the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe as a Librarian.

Her last job was with Far Western Anthropological Research Group, where she worked as a Cultural Monitor.

Melissa loved reading, learning, and practicing her Paiute culture. She thrived being outdoors and with nature. She loved the challenge of educating and inspiring native youth. Her greatest joy was, above all, the love she had for her daughters.

Melissa was diagnosed in September 2023 with a debilitating illness that brought with it much physical pain. Melissa suffered from depression for the majority of her short life.

Melissa’s cause of death is undetermined at this time. If anyone has information or possible insight into events leading up to her death, please contact FBI Special Agent Steve Bonanno at 775-328-4000. The family does not want to believe Melissa self-harmed, or someone could have harmed her. Full trust and faith are now given to the investigation in hopes of finding the truth.

If you're in crisis, there are options available to help you cope. You can call Lifeline at any time to speak to someone and get support. Call 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Life is precious, and you are loved.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Melissa’s beautiful daughters, Nota, Stormi, and Autumn, by using Zelle at 775-427-5259.

Visitation will be held Friday, April 12, 2024, from 6-8 p.m., at Smith Family Funeral Home, 505 Rio Vista Dr., Fallon. Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, April 13, 2024, at 11 a.m. at Smith Family Funeral Home’s chapel. Interment will follow at the Fallon Cemetery.


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