Margaret “Missy” Brainerd Moses, 40, passed away July 9, 2012 near her home in Ramona, California.

Missy was born in Princeton, New Jersey, where she attended Chapin School and the Hun School of Princeton before moving to Ridgefield, Connecticut.

Missy then moved with her father and stepmother to Charlotte, Vermont, where she graduated from Champlain Valley Union High School.

Missy later attended the New England Culinary Institute in Essex, Vermont, where she earned an Associate of Occupational Studies in Culinary Arts.

Missy moved to San Diego, California, in 2002 and later to Ramona, California. At the time of her death, she was employed by Frito-Lay.

Missy had two pit bull terriers, to whom she was devoted, Kali and Carlos, as well as a cat named Phelon. She was passionate about rescuing pit bull terriers and had hopes of opening a rescue shelter of her own.

Missy was an accomplished chef and loved to cook for family and friends. She loved snowboarding, classic rock, and the Boston Red Sox.

Missy was always most at home in the outdoors and especially enjoyed the mountains and the desert. She had hoped one day to retire to Montana to enjoy the wide, open sky.

Missy is survived by her parents, Bradford and Carol Moses of Grantham, New Hampshire, and Martha Gorman Nielsen and Robert Nielsen of Trenton, New Jersey; her sister Jean Moses and Jean’s wife Beth Rappeport of Kingston, New Jersey; her sister Christine Gorwood of Arlington, Massachusetts; her niece and nephew Melissa and Findlay Moses of Kingston, New Jersey; her maternal grandmother Jean Findlay Gorman of Princeton, New Jersey, and paternal grandfather George L. Moses of East Falmouth, Massachusetts, as well as many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

She was also dearly loved by a diverse and supportive group of friends across the country, many of whom she considered her family.

A memorial reception for Missy will be held on Saturday, August 4, 2012, at The Nimrod Restaurant, 100 Dillingham Avenue, Falmouth, Massachusetts, from 4 pm to 7 pm. The reception will follow a private ceremony in which her family will scatter her ashes.

The family requests that donations be made in Missy’s honor to the rescue that has taken in her dogs and will be finding a loving home for them: The Barking Lot, www.thebarkinglotrescue.com.