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Services for former Fajardo mayor begin Wednesday


“With immense pain in my heart, I inform you that my father is already resting in peace,” wrote José Aníbal “Joey” Meléndez Méndez, son of former Fajardo mayor Aníbal Meléndez Rivera, who died Sunday at age 73.

By The Star Staff


Funeral services for former mayor of Fajardo Aníbal Meléndez Rivera will begin Wednesday, according to a press release.


“The wakes are expected to begin this Wednesday and Thursday,” reads the statement sent by the press office of the municipality of Fajardo. “There will be a private wake in the vestibule of the new town hall and then the public will be able to say goodbye to the former mayor at the Tomás Dones Coliseum. He will be buried in the town’s Old Cemetery.”


Mercado Francis Funeral Home in Fajardo will be in charge of services, the statement said.


Meléndez Rivera died at 5:15 p.m. Sunday at his home in the Naranjo neighborhood of Fajardo. He died while resting and was accompanied by his wife, Diana Méndez.


Meléndez Rivera was 73 years old and was mayor for 31 years. He resigned from office on Feb. 19, 2020 for health reasons related to Parkinson’s, diabetes and hypertension.


Relatives and friends of the former mayor spoke out at the news of his death.


“Thanks for so much, my old man!” wrote his son, José Aníbal “Joey” Meléndez Méndez. “With immense pain in my heart, I inform you that my father is already resting in peace.”


Meléndez Rivera’s brother-in-law, Rep. Carlos “Johnny” Méndez Núñez, said “today I lose a brother, a friend; a mentor who was always there.”


“Today we mourn the loss of this extraordinary human being,” he said. “My heart and prayers go out to my sister Diana, her children, Dianita, Grace, and Joey, as well as her grandchildren during this difficult time. Almighty God has a special place reserved for this great human being who positively impacted so many people.”


Meanwhile, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said “I am honored to have had his friendship and I will always remember his passion for public service, his sense of humor and his authenticity.”


Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón stated that “I regret and am saddened by the news of the death of my friend and the only public official to support my first candidacy.”


“Aníbal, thank you therefore, for taking care of me and advising me,” she said. “You opened doors when no one believed in new faces. Your family is in my prayers. I love them”.


Camuy Mayor Gabriel Hernández, on behalf of the mayors that make up the Mayors Federation, over which Meléndez Rivera presided, said: “I express our sincere condolences to the family of Aníbal Meléndez, former mayor of Fajardo.”


“Great mayor. Better human being,” Hernández said. “May his performance as a municipal executive for more than 30 years serve as a guide and example to all of us. A fraternal hug to the Fajardeños. Strength and consolation for all.”

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