Melissa Ann Kolwaite, beloved daughter of Dr. Paul Kolwaite and Jacklyn Kolwaite, passed away unexpectedly at age 51. Melissa was born in New Hartford, N.Y., on Nov. 20, 1969. She received her primary education from New Hartford Central School and then went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Arizona.
After college, Melissa became assistant to Mayor Wellington Webb in Denver, Colo., communications director at the Wilderness Society and vice president of Aiello Public Relations. She then went on to spend 14 years at Waste Management as director of public sector solutions for Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah.
“Missy,” as her friends called her, excelled in everything she did. She was a very creative artist, an expert downhill skier and simply loved life and all it had to offer. Missy could light up a room when she walked into it. She had a great sense of humor and could make anyone’s day a little brighter just by being there. Missy will be remembered for her infectious laugh, adventurous spirit and happy-go-lucky personality.
While in Denver, Melissa belonged to numerous organizations and received several awards including Waste Management’s Circle of Excellence Award winner in 2012, Musco de Las Americans Organization Leadership Circle 2010, Denver Metro Chamber Foundation Leadership Circle of 2007, J.D. Beckworth Outdoor Education Program and the Outstanding Support Award in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004.
We have lost a bright light in our lives and we will never be the same without her. She leaves behind her parents Paul and Jacklyn; brothers, Stephen Kolwaite (Sabrina), Dr. Douglas Kolwaite (Karen) and sister Alison Kolwaite (Shannon). She also leaves five beloved nieces and nephews as well as a multitude of fiends.
There is no service planned at this time. Per her request, her ashes will be spread over the Colorado and Adirondack mountains at a later date.