Michele Joan "Chele" Bickford, 36 of Leonia, NJ, passed on Thursday October 1, 2020. Beloved daughter of Gary and Elizabeth "Betty" (Grau) Bickford. Loving sister of Wayne Bickford. Cherished Aunt of Kairi, Reese, and Sadie. Frank A Patti Kenneth Mikatarian Funeral Directors will be handling the arrangements. https://frankpatti.com/1/Home.html Cremation was private. The family will receive their friends for a Memorial Service for Michele on Saturday October 10, 2020, 2pm-4pm at the Frank A. Patti and Kenneth Mikatarian Funeral Home 327 Main Street, Fort Lee, NJ "opposite the Fort Lee Library". A Memorial Mass Service will begin at 3pm. For information (201) 944-0100 or www.frankpatti.com Michele was born in Englewood Hospital to Gary and Betty Bickford, and big brother Wayne on December 16, 1983. She attended Leonia High School and graduated in 2002. Michele followed her passion to work with and care for animals, and worked her way up from cashier to Assistant Manager for Petland Discounts. There she was able to care for all types of animals for several years. Throughout her life, Michele showed her love of animals through adoption and rescue of many different types of animals - feline, canine, aviary, water-dwelling, and reptile. She even hosted a Facebook fundraiser for the ASPCA for her birthday in 2018. As we all do in life, Michele battled her own personal demons over the years, and struggled to keep them at bay. She sought to broaden her horizons and career options by attending some college business courses. She worked for a time for Acme Supermarkets; as a parts and electronics search, testing and packing technician at AMS Electronics; as a customer service specialist in the Service Department of Jack Daniel's Motors; and for Target Corporation Department Stores and Metropolitan City Markets. Following the onset of her mom's ongoing battle with a debilitating illness approximately three years ago, Michele took on caregiving duties for her mom. She helped run the family household, cooking and cleaning and caring for both of her parents. When her mom's medical condition required more intensive treatment and care in an assisted living medical facility (where she has been making significant progress slowly over time); Michele continued providing assistance for her dad, who suffers daily with unrelenting back pain, but still works full-time for the Leonia DPW. A serious automobile accident in early March of 2019 caused Michele to become physically disabled herself. She suffered a severely broken leg and foot which required pins, screws, and metal plates. A metal rod was placed through the center of her shin bone for stability, and to aid in proper healing. She also endured a fractured back, and experienced some neurological difficulties and nerve damage as a result of her injuries as well. Michele underwent,numerous surgeries and painful procedures to help heal her injuries, but she continued to experience severe residual back and leg pain, requiring the use of a cane to walk. Despite her own difficulties, Michele still showed her love and caring for others. She loved having a good time with family and friends and left wonderful lasting memories to give them comfort. She enjoyed caring for her feline fur-babies and exotic pets. And she especially adored every moment she spent with her three beautiful nieces. Michele is survived by her parents Gary and Elizabeth "Betty" Bickford of Leonia, NJ; brother Wayne Bickford of Lincoln Park, NJ; Nieces Kairi, Reese, and Sadie Bickford of Jefferson, NJ; and was also loved and cherished by her many Uncles, Aunts, Cousins, their children, and her good friends. In keeping with Michele's passion and love for all animals, Memorial donations may be made to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) https://www.aspca.org/ 800-628-0028. The family wishes to extend their gratitude to Frank Patti Jr. of the Frank A. Patti and Kenneth Mikatarian Funeral Home for his support, guidance, and assistance throughout this difficult time.