Marie Schoonmaker McManama- Beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and friend passed away peacefully on April 8, 2019. She was born on July 10, 1932 in Berne, New York, where she resided for a lifetime. She was the daughter of Clyde and Ruth (Barber) Schoonmaker and sister of Betty Schoonmaker Ebel (Walter) and Walter C. Schoonmaker, who all predeceased her. Her children, Noreen McManama Fargione (Tom) and Deborah McManama Herodes (Bob), along with their children Matthew Fargione (Megan), Nicole Fargione Cornell (Chris), Michael Fargione (Nicole), Sarah Misenhimer Clermont (Aaron), Myleah Misenhimer Frary (Brent) and Mikayla Misenhimer Pecan (Dan) were all able to be with their mom and their "Mimi" before her passing. Additionally, all her great-grandchildren including Kayden, Camden and Ashton Cornell, Jackson, Noah and Logan Fargione, Tyler and Brittany Fargione, Jonah, Eliza, Lydia and Maria Clermont and Jude and Diana Pecan were also gathered around their "Mimi" to bring her last notable smiles during her last week of life. Additionally, the newest member of her family (a Frary son) is due any day; how she wanted to meet him.
Jodi Ebel, (sister of Jeff Ebel, who also predeceased his Aunt Marie) Marie's much-loved niece and her daughter, Staci Ebel were weekly visitors to Marie's bedside and lived next door to Marie for 50 years. Marie considered Jodi a daughter, after the passing of her mother in 1974.
Marie was employed by The Berne-Knox-Westerlo School District for 52 years (its longest employee,) where she worked as both the high school and elementary school secretary. Although administrators came and went, she was a constant to all children and parents throughout the decades. She touched the lives of thousands of children, during and after her working hours, as she left her employ at 3 p.m. and raced home to teach piano lessons at her home for over four decades. She gently taught her students how to play the piano, have confidence in performance and love music. Music was always a driving passion in her life and hundreds of children passed through her front door and sat on that antique, spinning piano stool.
In addition, Marie also worked at Thacher Park Pool for many summers and was a travel agent (Marie's Travel Service.) Her service to her community was also central in her life. She was a Sunday School Teacher at The First Reformed Church of Berne for countless years, where more children started to call her "Mimi" and have throughout their lives. She was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary, a Girl Scout Leader and the main organizer and chaperone for the Teen Center, held at the BKW elementary school in the seventies. Her overwhelming energy was witnessed by all who knew her but her compassion for children, animals and her family were always central.
Arrangements for Marie have been made by Fredendall Funeral Home of Altamont and the Berne Reformed Church. Her memorial service will be held at the church on Saturday, April 13. Calling hours will be held from 10-11:30 a.m. in the church, with the service to commence at 11:30 a.m. Rev. Robert Hoffman will be the officiant. Burial will follow the service at Woodlawn Cemetery in Berne, New York. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Marie's memory to the First Reformed Church of Berne, 1664 Helderberg Trail, Berne, NY 12023.