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Grace Mary Strangio Achtermann

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Achtermann, Grace Mary Strangio

Grace Mary Strangio Achtermann passed away Tuesday, October 15, 2013, from pneumonia, a month shy of her 89th birthday. She had been a resident of Endwell, NY since 1956.

Born in 1924 in Brooklyn, NY, she graduated from Scarsdale (NY) High School and earned a B.S. in home economics from The State Teachers' College in Buffalo (now Buffalo State University), having worked her way through school by providing childcare for a professor's family. After graduating from college, Grace conducted research on the common cold in Mount Vernon (NY) while doing graduate work at the New School for Social Research in New York City. She also pursued graduate studies at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, OH and later taught high school home economics there.

During her years in Endwell, Grace was an active member of the community. She belonged to the American Association of University Women, the League of Community Action, the Endwell Garden Club, the local Home Economics Club, and Northminster Presbyterian Church. In addition, she was co-president with her husband of the Maine-Endwell School District PTA and served on the Board of Directors for Fairview Good Shepherd Nursing Home. An avid reader, she belonged to a local book club for decades. Grace volunteered for Meals on Wheels, the League of Women Voters and the International Youth Rally. She also contributed to a book on local history and led a project to erect historical markers in Endwell for the historical society.

Grace adored all plants and trees and had a special lifelong love of poetry, which she collected and composed. Grace taught ballroom dancing professionally for Arthur Murray in Valhalla, NY. She danced whenever she had the opportunity and won a few amateur competitions with her husband. Grace also studied oil painting and produced many landscapes before being slowed by arthritis. She loved life and inquired about all its varied manifestations.

Grace was preceded in death by her husband, Gerald E. Achtermann, to whom she was married 25 years; her parents, Vincent and Anna Strangio; her brother, Vincent Strangio; her sister, Anna Smith; and her son-in-law, Douglas G. Hobbs. Survivors include her daughter, Amy Hobbs of Sussex, NJ; and three sons and daughters-in-law, Bruce and Kathryn Achtermann of Woodinville, WA, Roger Achtermann and Jo Anna Natale, of Clifton, VA, and Gordon Achtermann and Joan Goldfarb of Annandale, VA. In addition, she leaves behind a sister and brother-in-law, Isabel and Vincent Castellano of Cobleskill, NY; and seven grandchildren of whom she was very proud, Alyssa Nayyar, Hannah Hobbs, Mahala Hobbs, Ben Achtermann, Sam Achtermann, Jerry Achtermann and Tess Achtermann.

Interment will be at Riverhurst Cemetery in a private family service. A memorial service in celebration of Grace's life, officiated by Rev. Lisa Heckman, will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 19th, at Northminster Presbyterian Church, 711 Farm-to-Market Road, Endwell. The family will receive friends from 10 until service time at 11. The family invites all to gather after the service for a luncheon honoring Grace.

The family notes donations in Grace's memory can be made to the Arbor Day Foundation, 211 N. 12th Street, Lincoln, NE 68508 or at www.arborday.org.

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Published in Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin from Oct. 17 to Oct. 19, 2013
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