Obituary: Traci Melendy
- Traci Melendy was born on April 23, 1971, and passed away on Jan. 26, 2008. She loved being with her family, friends and especially her children. She loved watching her children as well as her nieces and nephews play basketball and other sports. Traci was the special auntie to all the children. She was always there when anyone needed help of any kind. If someone needed a place to stay, her place was open. As ill as Traci was, she still had determination, strength and will power and all who knew her admired her.
At a young age Traci was involved in her culture and wanted to learn as much as she could. It was important to her to be a part of preserving it. She passed on her love for the Yurok language to her children. During Tracis life she participated in the Brush Dance by dancing and later by staying up all night watching the dances and enjoying the songs. At 16, Traci was honored to be selected to dance in the Jump Dance at Pecwan.
Traci loved to work but because of her illness she had not been able to work for the past four years. Traci had worked in numerous jobs for Indian tribes and organizations, but her main goal was to work at the Yurok Tribe, her tribe, which she was proud to be a part of.
Traci was the assistant director of the Yurok Culture Department. She was responsible for many of the functions of the department, her greatest accomplishment was in setting up and maintaining the first Yurok archive. Another accomplishment, which she also considered a privilege and a joy, was working with the elders on the Yurok Culture Committee where she was able to learn about the Yurok language, but most of all she enjoyed talking to and visiting with the elders.
Traci was proud that she had gone to college and received her bachelors degree in anthropology with a minor of Native American Studies at Humboldt State University, where she graduated with honors. She also graduated from College of the Redwoods with high honors and was on the Deans List.
Traci is survived by her husband Michael John ORourke II and children Cassie, Michael and Robbie. She is also survived by parents, Carol and Jeff Hutton, of Willow Creek and Jamie and Jackie Melendy of Hoopa; sisters Michelle and Aimee Melendy and domestic partner, Neil Moon and brother James (Jimbob) Melendy, and Janae Stevens, Rick and Leona ORourke, Duane and Paula Dickie.
She is also survived by her grandparents Madoline Keller of Hoopa and George and Lynn Abbott of Shasta Dam City; numerous aunts and uncles, Leslie Abbott and partner Paul James, Steve, Leonard and Stacey Abbott, Shirley and Dennis Cushman, Diane and Tom Annand, Kenneth Keller, Deirdre and Eugene Young, Mary and Roger Britton, Patrick and Andrea Melendy, John, Faith and Joy Melendy, Kathleen Carpenter, Rochelle Encinas, Laura, Liz, Kevin and Sugar Latham, Lester, Brenda, Wanda Latham; Tom and Sherry ORourke, Daniel ORourke, Tiger and Elizabeth ORourke, Tom and Sherry ORourke, Carole and Vernon Lewis, Patti and Roger Gibbens, Kay and Rudy Inong, Valerie ORourke, Margo and Dick Robbins; nieces and nephews, Derrek, Jamie, Analisia Cheshep, KC (Roo), Lacey Mae, Quincy, Tony, Devlin, Joseph, Liam and Daniel.
She is also survived by numerous cousins including Loren Hostler, Erika Hostler, Jerald Moon, Chance Carpenter, Timasha, Brenda, Joe Carpenter, T.R., Billy and Marshall Maloney, Robroy Latham, Angie and Tim Melendy, Patrick, and Bradley Melendy, Kevin, Josh and Megan Latham, Gary Young, Thomas, Madolin, Geno ORourke, Ashley and Keith Abbott; special friends, Vicki Bates, Diane Nelson and numerous others.
Preceeding her in death were her grandparents Lester and Noreen Latham; great-grandparent, Mae and George Abbott, and Matilda and Edward Marshall Sr.; uncles Robert Robbins, Harold Blaine Marshall, Tim Melendy and Rob Roy Latham Sr., K.C. and Hazel Keller.
Pall bearers are James Melendy, Tony ORourke, Rick ORourke, Chance Carpenter, Timothy Rob Maloney and Marshall Maloney.
Honorary pall bearers are Rob Roy Latham, Jeff Hutton, Billy Maloney, Jamie Melendy, Thomas ORourke Jr., Eugene ORourke, Gerald Moon Jr., Loren Hostler, Neil Moon, Tyke Robbins and George Robbins.
A visitation will be held Friday, Feb. 1, 2008, at Pauls Chapel, 1070 H St., Arcata, from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The funeral service will be held Feb. 1 at 1:30 p.m. at Pauls Chapel. The graveside service will be held at ORourke Family Cemetery in Morek Saturday, Feb. 2, 2008, at 2 p.m. A reception will follow at the Yurok Tribal Office in Weitchpec.
Arrangements are under the care of Pauls Chapel of Arcata.
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