14th Oldest Lady in the United States

Melissa E. Stetson Traylor, age 111, of North East, Pa., died on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017, at Lecom Senior Living Center.

Theodore Roosevelt was president and the earthquake that leveled San Francisco was still more than two months away when she was born on Feb. 6, 1906, to the late Thomas and Bessie Cummings Stetson. Melissa was born and raised in the family farmhouse on Stateline Road in the Town of Mina, N.Y. She attended school at Sulphur Springs #13 and Findley Lake High School.

At the age of 18 she moved to Detroit, attending beauty school and becoming a hairdresser. She later met Hoy Traylor at the Pier Ballroom and the couple married in 1927. Melissa owned and operated her own salon in Detroit for 30 years until retiring in 1960. She experienced several milestones throughout her lifetime and enjoyed her life to the fullest. Melissa was honored on her 100th and 110th birthdays by both State and Federal Representatives, including cards signed by former United States Presidents and First-Ladies George and Laura Bush and Barack and Michelle Obama. She was a loving, caring woman and was in turn loved by all who knew her. If anyone would live their life as Melissa lived hers there would be very few problems in this world. She was preceded in death by her husband, Hoy Traylor (1975); sisters, Edna A. Greenwald, Nellie Green, and Mabel Rose; and brothers, Harold Stetson, Herbert Stetson and Ernest Stetson. Melissa is survived by her brother, Carlton Stetson of Westfield; and several nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews. Friends may call at the William D. Elkin Funeral Home, 65 South Lake St., on Wednesday 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. and are invited to attend a funeral service on Thursday at 11 a.m. at the funeral home. Officiating the service is Rev. David Kuchta. Interment North East Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Shriners Hospital for Children,1645 West Eighth St., Erie, PA 16505; or the VNA of Erie, 2253 West Grandview Blvd., Erie, PA 16506.