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Pleasant Valley - Irene Elizabeth Mattias(ich) Schaefer passed away on Sept.8 at home. She was born in Teaneck, N.J. in 1929. The daughter of Anton Mattias(ich) and Eleanor Gallessich Mattias(ich), she attended schools in New Rochelle and Scarsdale. When she was 16, her family moved to a farm in the Town of Clinton.
She graduated from F. D. Roosevelt High School in 1947 and attended New Paltz State Teacher's
College, where she studied Early Education.
On Sept. 5, 1948, she married Robert H. Schaefer at the Pleasant Plains Presbyterian Church where they remained active members all her life. Their honeymoon was a cross country road trip to California in a Model "A" Ford.
Irene was a loving wife, mother and grandmother and her love of music, flower gardening and history were a great influence for her family. She always enjoyed music, especially Italian Opera. She was a member of the Poughkeepsie Community Mixed Chorus, participated in the Poughkeepsie Opera Workshop, and for a brief time was choir director at the Avery Chapel of Hudson River Psychiatric Center. She loved her flowers and was a member of the Crum Elbow Garden Club. She liked to travel and especially enjoyed going to Croatia and Germany to visit relatives. She was an avid reader, especially of biographies, history and theology.
After raising her children, she returned to school and graduated from Dutchess Community College in 1974 with an Associates Degree in Nursing and worked as a Registered Nurse in the Psychiatric Unit at St. Francis Hospital.
Irene was a devoted member of the Pleasant Plains Presbyterian Church, where she served as a Deacon, Sunday School teacher and choir member. She was a passionate believer in the Holy Spirit and the power of prayer and started a prayer group which continues to meet every week.
Irene is survived by her loving husband of 65 years, Robert; son R. Christopher Schaefer of Albany and friend, Linda Haenichen, daughter Denise Byrnes and husband Robert of Hyde Park, daughter Joyce Morse and husband Richard of Staatsburg, son Mark Schaefer and wife Cindy of Buffalo, daughter Susan Schaefer of Hyde Park and eight grandchildren that were truly a blessing to her: Kasinda Schaefer, Elizabeth Schaefer, Laura Byrnes, Daniel Byrnes, Robert Morse, Thomas Morse, Grace Schaefer, and Benjamin Schaefer. She is also survived by a sister, Eleanor Edwards of South Weymouth, MA, and many nieces and nephews.
The Schaefer family would like to give special thanks to Dr. Rachamalla, Dr. Jha, Dr. Westmoreland and to Hospice for their compassion and care.
At Irene's request there will be no calling hours. A celebration of her life will be held at 11 am Saturday, Sept. 21st at the Pleasant Plains Presbyterian Church, 2 Fiddlers Bridge Rd., Staatsburg, NY.
Memorial donations may be made to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 1311 Mamaroneck Ave., Suite 310, White Plains N.Y., 10605 (WWW.LLS.ORG).
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Sweet's Funeral Home, Hyde Park. To send Irene's family an online condolence or for directions, please visit www.sweetsfuneralhome.com.
Sweet's Funeral Home
4365 Albany Post Road Hyde Park, NY 12538
Published in the Poughkeepsie Journal from Sept. 15 to Sept. 17, 2013