Melissa Adele Mills Melendez, an elder of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe who was born here and later lived here in adulthood, died June 3 at home in Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico. She would have celebrated her 98th birthday on June 23.
She was the daughter of Louis and Melissa (Coombs) Mills.
During her marriage to Ernest Furey, the couple and their two children lived in Boston.
She began a career in nursing after receiving her credentials in California, where she briefly lived. She returned to Mashpee and worked in the nursery at Cape Cod Hospital for more than 30 years.
An accomplished cook and seamstress, Ms. Melendez often made clothing by hand. She loved to travel and visited Hawaii, Bermuda and Puerto Rico, where she lived for more than 20 years with her second husband, Felix Melendez.
She leaves two children, Marcella Furey of Mashpee and Allen Furey of Annapolis, Maryland; a stepson, Renaldo Melendez; four grandchildren, Kevin Roberts, Allen Furey Jr., Quinten Furey and Maritza Melendez; five great-grandchildren; and a large extended family.
Ms. Melendez was predeceased by her siblings, Richard Mills, Alice J. Hicks and William Mills; her stepson Leonardo Melendez; and two grandchildren, Tasha Roberts and Marcellus Furey.
She was buried in Puerto Rico.
A memorial service will be held in Mashpee in the near future.