Linda Jean (Stephens) Schoonmaker (1945 - 2012)

  • "We all love and miss you very much! Butterflies in heavan!"
    - Kristian Jusko
  • "May God be with each of you during this difficult time. ..."

KILL BUCK – Linda Jean Stephens Schoonmaker, of Kill Buck, died early Saturday morning, (May 26, 2012), following a courageous battle with retroperitoneal sarcoma.
Born in Salamanca, on Dec. 3, 1945, she was the daughter of Helen Kyler Stephens of Zephyr Hills, Fla. and the late Fredrick Stephens. In June 1967, she married Jon Schoonmaker, who survives.
A 1964 graduate of Salamanca High School, she worked as an operator for New York Telephone, in Salamanca and Olean, from July 1964-August 1971. She was a YMCA preschool assistant teacher in 1980. For 14 years, she worked at Hampshire Mills as the shipping and receiving clerk.
In 1993, she graduated from Jamestown Community College with an associate's degree in Early Childhood Education. She then worked as a substitute preschool teacher at J.C.C. and as assistant teacher at the Little Valley United Methodist Preschool. Her love of children was also shown through her volunteer work with the Memorial Library of Little Valley Story Hour and the Little Valley Holiday Cheer Program.
In May of 1995, Mrs. Schoonmaker moved to Orange, Va. where she worked as a day care supervisor at the Orange County Nursing Home and the Early Learning Center in Orange and as a Sunday nursery director for St. Thomas Episcopal Church.
In 2005, she moved to Baltimore, Md., to be a live-in nanny for Anna, Catherine and Cav Gillepsie. She returned to the Salamanca area in 2010 because of failing health.
She is also survived by her daughter, Heather Schoonmaker of Oak Island, N.C.; her son, Jason (Brianne) Schoonmaker; daughter, Maddisyn Jean of Little Valley; her brother, Jim (Ginger) Stephens of Zephyrhills, Fla.; her sister, Sharon (Paul) Jusko of Hamburg; as well as nieces Sheila Laigle and Tracy Jusko; nephew, Kris Jusko; and grandnieces and nephew, Megan, Bella and Kris, Jr.; brother-in-law. Gary (Kay) Schoonmaker, Sun Prairie, Wis. and their children, Erica, Erin, Jon (Kim) Schoonmaker.
In addition to her father, she was predeceased by her beloved nephews Jon, Paul and Steven Stephens.
There will be no visitation. A memorial service will be held at St. Patrick's Church in Limestone, N.Y. on Saturday, June 2, 2012, at 10 a.m. with Rev. Patrick Melfi as celebrant.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the O'Rourke & O'Rourke, Inc. Funeral Home, 25 River St., Salamanca, N.Y.
In lieu of flowers, Mrs. Schoonmaker requested donations be made to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, 5500 Main Street, Buffalo, N.Y. 14221; Little Valley Holiday Cheer, in care of Ann Poole at 618 Erie St., Little Valley, N.Y. 14755, or Homecare and Hospice at 1225 W. State St., Olean, N.Y. 14760.
E-condolences can be sent to or
Funeral Home
O'Rourke & O'Rourke Inc Funeral Home
25 River Street Salamanca, NY 14779
(716) 945-4760
Published in The Salamanca Press from May 29 to June 28, 2012
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