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Tess Meisel, Coleytown Middle School Student

WESTPORT, Conn. — Tess Jacqueline Tanner Meisel, 12, of Westport, died in a tragic accident Wednesday.

Born on Dec. 27, 1998 in Westwood, Los Angeles, Tess was the beloved daughter of Suzanne Tanner and Gary Meisel, of Westport and Los Angeles; adored sister of Jacob Meisel, 15; cherished granddaughter of Mary Tanner and the late Jack Tanner of Mashpee, Mass., and Harriette and Emiel Meisel, formerly of Westport and currently of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; valued niece, devoted cousin, faithful friend and proud owner of her new 7-month old puppy, Celli, named for the orchestra section at Coleytown Middle School, where she was to enter eighth grade.

Tess was first and foremost a healer. Her tenderness, genuine empathy and radiant smile provided her with the tools to help others, which she practiced daily. A natural giver with a humble heart, she offered random acts of kindness and love to all she encountered. She never lacked for creativity or ideas and pursued each of her ventures with determination and zest, including a small business she started in selling her handcrafted jewelry to raise funds for the Polar Bears. In 2010, she won Connecticut's top environmental award at the state's Invention Convention for her design of a reusable pizza box.

Tess enjoyed many activities and hobbies. She was a member of Coleytown Middle School's Chamber and All-School Orchestras, Westport Recreational Soccer and Coleytown Company, where she most recently participated in "Fiddler on the Roof." She also enjoyed rowing crew, riding horses, handcrafting jewelry from beads, gems, rocks and sea glass she scavenged with her artful eyes, and dining with her epicurean taste. She was an avid reader, poet and writer, working on her first novel.

She was a faithful friend to many and an inspiration to all. Her loving spirit continues to embrace each of us in her aura.

A memorial celebration is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 22, at 11 a.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 10 Lyons Plains Road, Westport. Calling hours will be at Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road E., Westport, on Sunday, Aug. 21, from 2 to 6 p.m. A private burial is planned for Willowbrook Cemetery. Donations in Tess's memory may be made to the Tess Meisel Memorial Fund at the Westport Public Library, 20 Jesup Road, Westport, CT 06880. Condolences in memory of Tess may be left for the family on the Harding Funeral website .

Did you know Tess? Please leave a memory below.

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