Dr. Else Mulder Membreño died on July 22 with her daughter Denise Membreño Royer and granddaughter Sofia Ann Royer by her side. She was 90.

She was born on April 23, 1932 to Edgard and Dorothea Mulder on the island of Surabaya in the Dutch East Indies. During the Japanese occupation of the Dutch East, she and her family were interned on the island of Java. While captive, Else, being the oldest, took care of her mother, sister Thea and brother Jan Frits.

In 1945, she and thousands of other Dutch ex-pats, now refugees of the global conflict, began the long journey back to the Netherlands, a country many of them had never known. It would be an unwelcome homecoming as the Dutch government could not immediately address the influx of citizens who had only experienced the war in Asia.

In 1961, after completing medical school at the University of Amsterdam, she boarded the New Rotterdam and made her way to a new life in the United States. She began her medical career at Doctors Hospital in New York city. Here, she met her husband, Denis Membreño, a surgeon from Nicaragua. After residencies in Englewood, N.J. and Detroit, Mich., they settled in Parsippany, N.J. in 1970, where they raised their four children and shared a successful private practice for the next 30 years. She also led the family practice department at St. Clare’s Hospital in Denville, N.J. and was the first woman in its history to serve as a department chair.

In December 1999, Else and Denis retired from their practice and moved year-round to their home on Martha’s Vineyard. She would later confess that the Island was the only place she ever felt truly comfortable. Never idle, she worked with geriatric patients and volunteered on community health committees. She also enjoyed painting, gardening, knitting, writing and flower arranging.

She always fully enjoyed the company of her children and grandchildren. Else and Denis loved to travel together, and often visited their respective home countries. She had lived with her daughter Denise and her family in the Gettysburg, Pa. area for the last six years.

She lived an life full of profound joy, sorrow, obstacles, and accomplishments, all of which she met with dignity and grace. She will be admired, missed, and remembered for generations to come.

She was predeceased by her husband, Dr. Denis Membreño.

She is survived by her children Elseke Membreño-Zenteno, Edgard (Poncho) Membreño, Philip (Chico) Membreño and Denise Maryke Royer; their spouses René Zenteno, Jessica Burton, Beatriz Gómez and Paul B. Royer; and much-beloved grandchildren Mariana, Alfonso and Dalex Zenteno; Elisa and Gabriela Membreño; Isabela and Marco Membreño-Gómez; and Sofia Ann and Maria Corynn Royer.