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Dec. 8, 1949 – April 28, 2014

Melanie Strassburg, a master gardener and longtime North Tonawanda resident, died Monday at home following a more than two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 64.

The former Melanie Nicholson was born in North Tonawanda. She was a 1968 graduate of North Tonawanda High School and went on to graduate from Niagara County Community College in 1970 and the University at Buffalo in 1973.

She worked briefly as a teacher, but was primarily a homemaker who took classes to achieve the title of master gardener. Her daughter Erin said her mother was an avid golfer who competed in and won tournaments. She and her husband James also played pickleball – a combination of badminton, tennis and table tennis – and enjoyed ballroom and line dancing.

“She was the most kind, caring, sensitive person you had ever met,” her daughter said. “She was just the sweetest.”

The couple relocated to Tennessee in 2002 but split their time between there and North Tonawanda.

In addition to her husband of 42 years and her daughter Erin, she is survived by another daughter, Jaime Davidson, and a sister, Chris Townsend.

A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday in St. Mark Lutheran Church, 1135 Oliver St., North Tonawanda