Melva I. Neff, 78, passed away on December 23, 2017 in Syracuse, NY. She was born in Utica to Russell and Charlotte Brown. She graduated from Kings College in 1959 and Columbia University in 1962. Melva had a nursing career that spanned 48 years. She began her career caring for newborns as an ICU Nurse in NYC and later moved to Utica and became a Nurse Manager at St. Luke's Hospital. While there, she met Fred and they married in 1966. She postponed pursuit of her career goals to be a mother to her three children. But her love of nursing led her to become a nursing instructor; first at Mohawk Valley Community College, then West Chester State College, and later Onondaga Community College. She also became one of the first nurses hired by Central NY HOSPICE. Her developing interest in quality care of the elderly led Melva to become Director of Education for the Syracuse Home Assoc., an infection control nurse at James Square, and ultimately Infection Control Practitioner at the Loretto Health and Rehab Center. She subsequently became a consultant for Loretto and other nursing facilities in the region. Her recognized expertise in infection control led to invitations to deliver presentations at nursing conferences in Albany and Manhattan. Melva retired in 2010.
Melva was involved in community. She was past-president and life member of the Women's Garden Club of Baldwinsville. She was an active member of St. Mary's Parish, including the choir and funeral committees. She volunteered for PACE of CNY providing services to disabled and chronically ill. Above all, she valued time spent with family. She supported and nurtured her children's interests in music and sports. She enjoyed attending the Syracuse Symphony, Penn State games with Fred and traveling with husband and grandchildren. Melva will be remembered by all who knew her as smart, classy, witty, and compassionate.
She is survived by her husband of 51 years, Frederick Neff; children Deborah (Michael) Smiley, Stephen (Brenda) Neff, and Matthew (Hailey) Neff; six grandchildren; sisters, Agnes (Ernest) Merrill, and Susan (Peter) Forbes.
Calling hours are, January 2, 2018, 4-7 PM, at Falardeau Funeral Home, 93 Downer St, Baldwinsville. A Mass of Christian Burial will be, January 3, 2018, 11 AM at St. Mary's Church, 49 Syracuse St, Baldwinsville. Burial is in St. Mary's Cemetery, Baldwinsville.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Loretto Foundation, 1305 Nottingham Rd, Jamesville, NY 13078 or online at Lorettofoundation.com