Melissa Anne Bartness, 51, of Forest Hill, MD, entered God’s kingdom on May 6, 2023, surrounded by family. Born on June 4, 1971, to Kathleen and Richard Carstensen, Melissa was a ray of light whose love for her family and friends shined brightly.
Melissa—a warm, radiant, and adoring mother, daughter, wife, and friend—is survived by her parents; her children, Emma and Liam Bartness, her husband, Mike Manzelmann; her brother, Michael; her sister-in-law, Viktorya; her nephews, Corey and Lukas; and a host of extended family, including her 100-year-old grandmother.
Melissa grew up in an Air Force family and was privileged to travel and live throughout the United States, Guam, and Asia. She graduated from Papillion High School in Nebraska and received a BS from Creighton University, an MS from the University of Nebraska, and an MPH from Pittsburg University. After settling in Maryland, she found a home with her family and with her church. She worked at the Fertility Center of Maryland and at the Johns Hopkins Fertility Center at Greenspring Station helping others achieve their dreams of family.
Melissa’s charisma and boundless energy drove her many passions. She delighted in biking, SCUBA diving, swimming, line dancing, and camping with her family. She was an enthusiastic animal advocate, fostering dogs and devoting countless hours to reuniting lost animals with their human families. She reveled in the joys of motherhood, caring for her most treasured children, Emma and Liam. Most of all, Melissa was a devout woman and an active member of St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church. Her strong spiritual faith and church family carried her through her illness.
Funeral services will be held at St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, 909 Shawan Road, Cockeysville, MD. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, May 10th from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. The funeral will be held on Thursday, May11that 11:00am. Burial will follow at the church cemetery.
In lieu of flowers the family asks for the donations to be made to St. Mary Church (Memo: Good Samaritan Fund). These specific donations will support Emma’s and Liam’s education Funds.