New York City Councilwoman Linda Lee joined Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and Assemblyman David Weprin Sunday at the intersection of 204th Street and Foothill Avenue to unveil Melvin “Mel” Doby Memorial Way.
The Holliswood street name honors late NYPD Officer and Hilltop Village Co-Op President Melvin Doby.
Doby served 30 years for the NYPD. He began as a patrol officer in Brooklyn before serving the rest of his police career as a member of the Highway Department. Prior to his 2002 retirement, Doby served as a first responder to the Sept. 11 attacks. He passed away from COVID-19 in 2020.
“I am proud to honor the life and memory of Melvin Doby, who dedicated his life to the service and betterment of his Queens community,” Lee said. “Although I did not have the privilege of knowing Mr. Doby personally, today’s turnout and the stories told exemplify who he was and how he impacted the lives of everyone he interacted with.”
In addition to Lee, Stavisky and Weprin, several people who knew Doby well were in attendance at the unveiling ceremony. These included his family members, representatives from the NYPD, board members from the Hilltop Village co-op, residents and other community leaders Doby worked with.
“Whether during his time serving our city in the NYPD or through his years of dedication to his local community as Hilltop Village co-op president, Melvin Doby lived a life of service that exemplifies the best of what makes NYC great. I am proud to celebrate and memorialize his vision for the community he truly loved so much,” Lee added.
“Mel was one of the first people I ran into at the station house my first day,” NYPD Highway Patrol Unit 2 member Richard Pepe said. “He was always looking out for me. But the funny thing about Mel, it wasn’t that he took a special liking to me, it’s that he treated everyone with respect. There was not one single person that ever met Mel that would have anything bad to say about him.”
Doby joined the co-op board of Hilltop Village Co-Op No 1. in the late 1990s. He would later serve as one of the co-op board presidents. He was also a member of the executive committee of the President’s Council of Cooperatives and Condominiums, which represents more than 100,000 housing units.
“The loss of Mel Doby is a loss for the co-op community,” Glen Oaks Village President and Presidents Co-Op and Condo Council Co-President Bob Friedrich said. “Mel was an active member of the Presidents Co-op and Condo Council, a think tank of co-op and condo board presidents that are actively engaged in the fight to keep co-ops, like the one he lived in, affordable. We will greatly miss Mel’s involvement trying to protect our working-class families and seniors so that they can live affordably and in dignity.”
“All of the residents of Hilltop Village Cooperatives are so pleased that a piece of Foothill Avenue is being co-named after the former president of the Hilltop Village Co-Op No. 1,” Hilltop Village Co-Op No. 4 President Marc Haken said. “Mel Doby was a thoughtful, creative, insightful person who was connected to the shareholders of the Hilltop and who went out of his way to provide amenities to them all.”
Doby passed away in April 2020 and is survived by his daughter, Syreeta Doby.