Mel passed away on March 17, 2022, in Austin, Texas, surrounded by family. Known by her friends and family as “Mel,” she was born on April 2, 1935, to Suzanne and Wesley LaFever in Los Angeles, California, and spent her childhood in the Beverly Hills area.

She attended El Rodeo Elementary School, Marlborough High School, and Bennet School for Girls. An avid tennis player, she played in tournaments all over California, and especially enjoyed her tournaments in Ojai where she later lived.