Roxanna Richard Mellinger

04/09/2013 4:14 PM |

Roxanna Richard Mellinger of Village Lane, Orient, N.Y., died on her 86th birthday, April 5, 2013. She and her husband had moved back into the family home when they retired in 1991.

Roxanna Mellinger

Roxanna was born to Orient residents Frank and Mabel Richard in New Haven, Conn., on April 5, 1927.

She attended school in Orient through eighth grade. During those years, she studied piano under Ben Rackett of East Marion. In 1944, she graduated from Greenport High School, where for several years she had accompanied the school chorus. She earned a degree in music from The King’s College and, while in college, played piano for the men’s quartet at various performances and radio broadcasts.

On March 17, 1951, she married the Rev. Clyde L. Mellinger Jr. at Chelsea Presbyterian Church of Atlantic City, N.J., where they had met.

After college, she worked for the Child Evangelism Association and the YWCA of Atlantic City. She also gave private piano lessons for over 20 years and acted as “first lady” of the congregations her husband served. One former member of the Presbyterian Church of Webster, N.Y., where they served for 24 years, recently described her as “the best first lady a congregation could ever have.”

She participated in work camps, Bible study groups and retreats, but she most enjoyed directing children’s choirs. During her first years of “retirement,” she was a member of the North Fork Chorale. She liked to give her lecture “Song in the Bible” whenever asked.

She traveled extensively in the United States, Europe and the British Isles. Her favorite place, other than Orient, was Scotland. Back home, she worked with her husband in such groups as Presbyterians for Renewal and Christmas International House, and was a member of Mattituck Presbyterian Church.

On Village Lane she maintained a long-established cutting garden, and she was a happy hostess for all family gatherings, especially granddaughters’ weddings. Her favorite game was croquet and she was noted for her raspberry duff.

In November 2007, Roxanna was featured in a news release by archaeologists of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, who had been studying the wreck of the Crary, a five-masted schooner that had been under the command of her maternal grandfather, Capt. William H. Potter of Orient. She had made several visits to sanctuary headquarters in Scituate, Mass., to share information about the captain. In her days as a docent for Oysterponds Historical Society, she was able to give accounts of visits to the Village House as a child and the contacts she had with the Vails, the other side of her family.

She is survived by her husband, the Rev. Clyde L. Mellinger Jr.; her children, Lucinda (Bruce) Anderson of Webster, N.Y., Charissa (Steven) Roberts of Gaithersburg, Md., and the Rev. Clyde L. (Mary) Mellinger III of North Huntingdon, Pa. She is also survived by her twin sister, Marcia (Thomas) Hunter of Albany, N.Y., sister Carol Irwin of Sylva, N.C., and brother, Jared (Sharon) Richard of Seal Beach, Calif.

Also surviving are her grandchildren, Matthew (Deana), Mark (Christa), Luke, Katherine, Aubrey (Stanton), Anna, Meghan and Kristen; and her great-grandchildren, Blake, Connor, Parker, Bryn, Brent, Anson, Emily, Brady and Ryan.

A memorial service will be held at Mattituck Presbyterian Church at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 20, 2013. Arrangements were handled by Horton-Mathie Funeral Home in Greenport.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be sent to Mattituck Presbyterian Church or East End Hospice.

This is a paid notice.