When Madeline Scuderi and her family moved to Melville in July 1945, Route 110 was a two-lane road and their new home was a chicken farm.
"We watched Melville develop and grow up," said Scuderi's daughter, Katherine Lajoie.
Scuderi, who lived in the community for more than 60 years, worked on the family's chicken farm and supervised the family's residential properties, died Tuesday in Port St. Lucie, Fla. She was 100.
Scuderi, originally from Brooklyn, moved to Florida six years ago with her daughter. Scuderi's husband, Angelo, died in 1986.
Lajoie said her mother and father were married in 1938 and the couple worked as chicken farmers in Roselle Park, N.J., before moving to Melville.
"She was one of five girls, and my dad picked the right one," Lajoie said. "They were like bride and groom their entire lives."
While Angelo worked running the chicken farm and nursery, Madeline spent her time paying the bills and looking after residential rental properties, Lajoie said.
"She knew everybody," Lajoie said. "She dealt with all the plumbers, carpenters and electricians, and they all loved her."
Once, Lajoie said, after a contractor had paved a driveway for her mother, the man came back later in the day "just to introduce his wife to my mom."
Lajoie also said that her mother had a wide independent streak.
"At 92 she was still driving," she said. "Once, I got home and she was talking funny. I asked her, 'Mom, what's wrong?' "
Scuderi told her that she had gone to the dentist to have a tooth pulled.
"I asked her who drove her, and she said, 'No one. I drove myself.' That's the kind of person she was."
Besides Lajoie, Scuderi is survived by her son, Angelo, five grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Services for Scuderi are Saturday at 10 a.m. at King of Kings Lutheran Church in Melville.