Melissa Theis, 36 of Scranton, died Friday evening at Allied Hospice surrounded by friends and family.
Born in Scranton, she was the daughter of Joseph Theis of Olyphant and the late Catherine Sokoloski Theis. She was a graduate of Abington Heights High School and attended Keystone College studying environmental sciences. She was the recipient of several certifications for land management and water testing in the Marcellus Shale region. She was employed as a consultant for the Bradford Environmental Law Clinic and also worked for O'Malley and Langan Law Firm. She was a former member of St. Mary's Visitation Church in Dickson City.
While a paralegal for the law firm of O’Malley & Langan, Melissa helped develop a new practice area in the investigation and prosecution of cases for property owners whose water was contaminated by methane and by-products of gas drilling operations. She traveled throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania visiting the homes of people whose water had been contaminated. She also spoke before citizens groups throughout the Marcellus Shale region about the need to have water tests performed. She worked on the first arbitration case brought by a series of property owners against the gas drillers.
As a result of her work as an environmentalist and an animal activist she was selected by the Scranton Times to receive Northeast Woman Award. She was an avid traveler having visited South Vietnam, Panama, Belize, the Dominican Republic, and several states and cities throughout the United States. Melissa was an enthusiastic chess player and an accomplished equestrian having participated in several horse shows.
She is survived by two brothers, Timothy Joseph Theis, Boston and Gary Theis, Clarks Summit and a sister, Chelsea Rock, West Chester and several nieces and nephews. She is also survived by Richard Bisignani who was her long time companion and the love of her life.
The funeral will be private at the convenience of the family, Arrangements are under the care of Margotta Funeral Homes. For online condolences go to, www.margottafuneralhomes.com