Malissa Anne Wertz
Last updated 11/15/2023 at 5:55pm
On Oct. 25, 2023, after courageously battling cancer, Malissa Anne Wertz, 43, of Fallbrook California, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family.
Malissa filled her entire life with love – love for adventure, traveling, sharing stories, laughing, and, above all, love for her people: her family, friends, students, and colleagues. So, though it is true that her time here was not nearly long enough, Malissa gave and received more love than most people will ever experience.
Malissa was born on Oct. 14, 1980, in Torrance California. Six years later, she and her family moved to Fallbrook. She attended schools in Fallbrook and graduated with the Fallbrook High School Class of 1999. She attended San Diego State University for her undergraduate studies, California State University San Marcos for her teaching credential and California Coast University for her Master of Education degree.
She put her education to great use by teaching in elementary and middle schools in Temecula from 2006 until 2020. Malissa was a teacher through and through. She loved coming up with creative ways to engage her students. She was extraordinary at her job because she found a way to make all her students feel seen and loved.
Malissa loved being active outdoors and that was evident in the early chapters when she played every sport that she could fit into her schedule, and though she was petite, she was fierce on the field. Her athleticism and sense of adventure were throughout her life.
She fed her passions in big ways (hiking Machu Picchu, Half Dome in Yosemite, Mt. Whitney, Zion and traveling through Argentina, Costa Rica, and Europe) and small ways (supporting Race for the Cure, participating in annual Turkey Trots, camping in the woods as well as on the beach, spectating at sporting events and taking walks with her partner Andrew and beloved dog, Frankie) and, in doing so, made 43 years' worth of incredible memories that her family and friends will treasure always.
Malissa's memory was impeccable and everyone who knew her relied on her to remember, and she did. She remembered birthdays and anniversaries and she remembered major and minor details of all the special moments. She remembered all of these things because she cared so deeply. She was loving, compassionate, generous, and loyal.
Malissa laughed with her whole body and loved with her whole heart, and she made everyone around her better. She showed us how to be present, how to walk in the world with courage and hope, and how to live out loud. And so we will.
Malissa is survived by her mother Marilyn, father Edward, brother Victor, Aunt Louanne, Uncle Dick and Aunt Wendy, Loving Partner Andrew Zimsky, many cousins and even more friends.
Be Well Therapy, Inc. wrapped Malissa so completely in love throughout her fight. Please consider supporting Be Well's Malissa Wertz scholarship. Visit https://www.bewelltherapy.net/donate-page-details.
There will be a Celebration of Life in January.