Otilla "Tillie" Rockwell

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Otilla 'Tillie' Rockwell EsperanceOttilia Helen Pinter Rockwell, 96, passed away peacefully on Monday, July 28th, 2014 at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady. She will be joining her beloved husband of 32 years, Keith, in a better place. She was born at home in Schenectady, NY on January 10, 1918 to the late Josef and Julianna (Putter) Pinter, both Hungarian immigrants. After graduating from Mont Pleasant High School and Mildred Elley Business College, she worked as a private secretary at GE for seven years. Keith and Tillie married in 1942 and moved to Esperance in 1947, where she has lived for the last 65+ years. She was an active member of the Esperance-Sloansville Methodist Church and a founding member of the Esperance Historical Society (E.H.S.). For many years, she organized the volunteers for the E.H.S., located at the former two room schoolhouse, where her husband and daughters went to school. She was very often found greeting visitors there on the weekends. Keith even installed the first, indoor plumbing, (pro-bono), so the girls wouldn't have to use the school's outhouse. She was a member of Pocohontas, Home Bureau, a longtime volunteer at Cobleskill Hospital Auxiliary, a Girl Scout leader, and active member of the church prayer group. Whenever someone in Esperance needed a job done, like collecting for funeral flowers or sending a get well card, Tillie was the woman for the job. She worked as the clerk at the Esperance Post Office for 20 years, and could keep up on the residents of her village. She was always a competitive bowler, only stopping in her 70s after breaking a wrist, while bowling. She became a member of the Schoharie School Board, after winning a write-in campaign to fill the seat of her husband, Keith, who passed in 1974. Tillie was often seen with her fishing gear headed down to the Schoharie Creek early in the morning or later in the day. We are not sure of her success, but that was never a problem to Tillie, who was as persistent as anyone we ever knew, at getting any job done well. She talked about wanting to be a school teacher. She did teach her daughters how to sew, bake, knit, and most importantly, how to become independent women. All three graduated from college and became teachers. Having lived through the Depression, she would repurpose many items not needed by neighbors or friends, long before the term repurpose was invented. Many wonderful times were had at the camp at Priddle Flats. Though tiny, it was a nice spot on a warm summer weekend. Tillie had to refresh the camp several times after flooding of the Schoharie Creek, and she always put it back into tip-top condition. She often talked about having been a chaperone on a high school trip to Europe, and how the plane was diverted to Greenland because of an icing problem. Not to worry, she said, this is all part of life. Everyone in Esperance knew and loved Tillie, and she gave back that love freely. She was predeceased by her siblings, Olga Boehm, Elvira Lathrop and Oliver Pinter. She is survived by her three daughters, Karen J.R. Kuzma, (John) of Schenectady, Priscilla J. Marx, (J. Peter) of Schenectady and Janice L.R. Bartyzel, (Bill) of Venice, Florida. She is also survived by six grandchildren, J.P., Lindsay-Leigh, Nadine, Amanda, Kourtney, and Melanie; 13 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. The family thanks the many caregivers of Ingersoll Place who have interacted with Tillie in so many positive and wonderful ways. We would also thank Dr. Joseph Luz of Schoharie, her primary care doctor for many years, Dr. David Armenia of Schenectady, and Dr. Stephen Hicks of Schenectady for their kindness and professionalism. We thank Ellis Hospital, Schenectady Hospice, and Caring Companions of Schenectady who helped us during the final moments of her life. There will be no viewing hours at the funeral home. All are invited to services at the Esperance-Sloansville Methodist Church at 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 2nd with burial following in the Esperance Cemetery. The family would like to invite Tillie's relatives and friends to meet in the Fellowship Hall next to the church after the burial service. In lieu of flowers, the family would ask that contributions in her name, be made to the Esperance-Sloansville Methodist Church, PO Box 254, Esperance, NY 12066 or the Esperance Historical Society, PO Box 55, Esperance, NY 12066. Langan Funeral Home of Schoharie has provided funeral arrangements with the Rev. Matt Rowe presiding at ESMC church services. Further information is available at www.langanfuneralhome.com.
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Funeral Home
Langan Funeral Home
327 Main Street Schoharie, NY 12157
(518) 295-8175
Funeral Home Details
Published in The Daily Gazette Co. on July 30, 2014
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