1/4/1968 – 7/27/2010
*Michelle, your presence will always be missed, you touched allot of people’s lives and never even knew how much you inspired us all! You are truly and icon, may peace be with you!!! Debi xox
After a brave battle with cancer, Michelle Catania, 42, of Manalapan, peacefully entered Heaven on July 27, 2010 surrounded by loving family at home.
She was born on January 4, 1968 in Lakewood, NJ, to Angelina (Barbuto) and Robert Wilkins. She moved to Dunnellon, Florida at 14, where she attended high school, followed by attendance at Central Florida Community College in Ocala.
As a young woman she excelled as the lead in many plays and musicals at DHS and CFCC. Truly fearless, she learned to fly planes while beginning a successful career in restaurant management in her early twenties.
Soon thereafter, she returned to New Jersey and married her longtime sweetheart, Tony Catania. As they started a family with the births of Nicholas, now 15, and Stephen, 13, she continued to find success in business, managing retail stores including TJMaxx, The Limited and Kohl’s. After her first bout with breast cancer, she changed careers and found even greater success and many friends in real estate as a top salesperson and broker-associate at Weichert Realtors in Marlboro. Michelle also rekindled her love affair with the theater, becoming involved in community productions with the Mighty Oak Players, of Monroe, and Center Players, of Freehold, where she recently performed as a lead in the female version of The Odd Couple. In addition to theater and real estate, she enjoyed preparing gourmet meals, singing and backyard gardening.
A sister, aunt, mother, wife, daughter and friend who touched many lives with her bright smile, huge laugh, good advice and a giving heart – this beautiful, talented woman will be missed by many.
Additional survivors include Michelle’s five siblings; Glenn & Robert Wilkins, Gina Georgiano, Angela Rose and Maggie Gunther. Also, Step-Father Thomas Gunther, Father- and Mother-in-law Anthony and Donna Catania, numerous nieces and nephews, cousins, brothers- and sisters-in-law and many loving friends.