Michele Casandra

  • Born: September 10, 1953
  • Died: March 14, 2021
  • Location: Hopewell Junction, New York

Pelham Funeral Home

64 Lincoln Ave
Pelham, NY 10803

Tel. (914) 738-1060

Tribute & Message From The Family

Michele Carla Casandra of Hopewell Junction, New York, formerly of Pelham, New York passed away suddenly on March14 2021. She was 67 years old. Born in Rockville Center, New York to Guido and Gudrun Vittori, she was the eldest of two children. Michele was raised with her brother Manny moving back and forth between New York and Italy but would always find herself at home in Pelham where she would graduate from Pelham Memorial High School in 1971. She continued her education and love of languages at Fairfield University studying German and graduating Cum Laude with a Bachelor in Arts.

Michele loved languages, traveling with her family, and the outdoors. She spoke German, French, and Italian fluently. All these attributes combined with her hospitable personality made her a perfect fit for her first job in Rome. As the secretary to the manager of the illustrious Holiday Inn in central Rome, she would meet and assist many tourists coming through on vacation. There she would meet her future husband Renato and they would marry on 1 December 1979 in a park in Ascoli Piceno, Italy. She would eventually work at Rome International airport before moving back to Pelham, New York where she raised her two children Steff and Debbie.

In Pelham she worked at Anne DeSantis Realty before becoming the secretary for the Town Assessor. In 1999 Michele would become the Assessor for the Town of Pelham. Unfortunately during that same period her husband Renato passed away suddenly. Michele was left raising her two children and becoming the sole provider for her home. In her spare time she loved to go hiking, fishing, bird hunting, and gardening with her children and her friends. Michele loved nature and the outdoors and enjoyed capturing it on her camera. She was also an active participant in the Tax Assessors Union, Parks and Recreation and a former member of the Rotary Club of the Pelhams.

Michele will be remembered as an energetic, curious, and focused person. She had a loving and caring nature and truly enjoyed helping everyone. Michele was an amazing, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. She will be missed by all who entered into her life.

Michele is survived by her children; Stefano (Tera) Casandra, Debora (Joseph) Livorsi, and her companion of twenty years Harry Girdlestone. She is also survived by her brother Manuel (Davida) Vittori and her three grandchildren Alessio, Aurelia and Matteo Casandra. She is predeceased by her husband Renato and her parents Gudrun and Guido Vittori.

A celebration of Michele's life will be held at the Pelham Funeral Home located at 64 Lincoln Ave. in Pelham New York on Thursday, March 25 from 4 to 8pm. A funeral service will be live streamed from the Pelham Funeral Home on Friday, March 26 at 10:30am. To view the live streamed wake and funeral service please logon onto https://my.gather.app/remember/michele-casandra Internment will be private. For more information or to leave a condolence please visit www.pelhamfuneral.com.

Click this link to view additional details about Michele's Services, including any available live streams: https://my.gather.app/remember/michele-casandra


Condolence & Memory Journal

Dear Stefano and Debbie,
I can't believe I missed the Obituary in the Paper...I keep looking for it since I heard the terrible news of your Mom's tragic accident.
Your Mom was such a beautiful woman. We had such fun times working together at Ann De Santis and I remember special times when she and I would take our mothers out to lunch. She had so much life yet to be lived fully. My deepest condolences to your uncle Manny and the two of you and your families.

Posted by Mari-Cris O'Neill - Dobbs Ferry, NY - Friend   June 01, 2021

Sorry for your loss. Didn't graduate with Cassandra, but I attended PMHS in 1964. May Cassandra rest in Heavenly peace.

Posted by Rene Poinsette - Landover, MD - Classmate   March 27, 2021

Sending thoughts and prayers.

Posted by Domenica Wehmann - Orlando, FL   March 26, 2021

No words are enough to say how i feel,this Was not to happen,but did.And makes me feel verry sad.Rest in peace zia Michele with zio Renato.I am near you Stefano e Debora a big kiss. Your cousin Mauro Italy

Posted by Mauro Ravieli - Roma - Grandchild   March 26, 2021

I'm truly saddened to hear about Michele's passing. One of my favorite clients , I will miss her smile her laugh and our conversations. What a beautiful soul she will be greatly missed. Rest In Peace Michele ❤

Posted by Dawn Newgent - New Rochelle, NY - Friend   March 25, 2021


Michele was a true Pelhamite, who loved Pelham and gave herself unreservedly to the town as assessor and as a near life-long citizen. She will be so very much missed.

Posted by Arthur Scinta - Pelham, NY - Friend   March 24, 2021

I was saddened to hear of Michelle's passing and wish her family peace in this sad time.

Carol Vergara

Posted by Carol Vergara - Hartsdale, NY - Coworker   March 24, 2021

Always a smile and a friendly conversation usually about Stef and Debbie. Sincere condolences.
The Harrigan Family

Posted by Maureen Harrigan - Greenwich, CT - Friend   March 24, 2021


The news of Michele's accident chilled us, we could never imagine such an adverse fate. Our beloved cousin will live forever in our memory. A hug to all of you.

Posted by Luca Vittori - Ascoli Piceno - Family   March 22, 2021

Dear Stef and Debbie,
We are here for you in anyway that you guys ever need. These past few days with you have been bittersweet as we reminisce about the memories we all shared growing up with a warm feeling and gentle smile. You will always be family to us and your Mom will always be with us. May God bless her and I know she is smiling right now with your father and grandparents, they are all very proud of you guys.
-John Engstrom

Posted by John Engstrom - CT - Family Friend   March 22, 2021

Dear Stef and Debbie:

I am at a loss for all of the right words to express the profound sense of sadness I feel over the sudden and untimely death of your dear mother, my colleague, but most importantly, my friend.

She warmly welcomed me into the Pelham community and then into your family, where I recall spending several lovely dinners with you, your grandparents and your father. We immediately connected with each other, both having deep roots in Italy and the love of all things Italian. While I didn't stay long as the Pelham Assessor, which was a great opportunity for Michele to advance, we always remained in contact and often traded work stories and sought each others opinions. (In fact, the day of her passing, I had texted her the name of a vaccine helper, as she was having trouble getting an appointment.) Her love of and dedication to her job as the Pelham Assessor is remarkable and in my opinion, is unparalleled. She was such a bright star.

Death changes everything, but not the love you had for each other. I hope you can find the strength to go forward and continue to make her proud in everything you do. I will always be thinking of you and praying for you.

I cannot imagine a life without her and will mourn her abrupt passing for a long time; however, never will her memory fade ... Riposo in Pace, Michele. Forever in my heart.

Posted by Nanette J. Albanese - Pearl River, NY - Coworker   March 21, 2021


I was shocked when I read of the passing of Michele. We worked together in the Pelham Town Hall for 10 years. It was always a pleasure to speak with her during our tenure. She will be missed by all who knew her. Michele was a beam of sunshine every day of the week. She had a very hearty laugh with a sensational smile.
My deepest condolences to all of her family, especially to Debbie and Stef.
May she rest in peace.

Posted by John R Cassone - Pelham, NY - Coworker   March 21, 2021

It saddens me to learn of your passing you were a good friend of mine through High School and later on in life. May you Rest in Eternal Peace. Till we meet again

Posted by Paul Bonfiglio - Poughkeepsie, NY - Friend   March 21, 2021

Sending my deepest condolences on the loss of your mother Michelle. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Posted by Robert Livorsi - Rockaway, NJ - Family Friend   March 21, 2021

Goodbye to my dear friend. You taught me much about loyalty and family, and especially about friendship. I shall miss you. To Steff and Debbie, know you are in my heart and prayers. Condolences to all your family and friends.

Posted by Christine Cosse Gray - Berthoud, CO - Friend   March 21, 2021

I was stunned to receive the news of your mom and my high school classmate.

My sincerest condolences to the family.

Posted by Thomas Bonfiglio Bonfiglio - Voorhees - Friend   March 20, 2021

I was so saddened to hear about your Mother Michelle's passing.
I pray you and your family are given the strength from God to endure this most difficult time.
I can see her beautiful smile on your Wedding day and hope someday you can look back on these precious
memories and smile.

Posted by Barbara Livorsi - Rockaway, NJ - Family Friend   March 20, 2021

Family Album