Marie Schoonmaker McManama

Marie Schoonmaker McManama

Marie Schoonmaker McManama

BERNE — Marie Schoonmaker McManama — described by her family as a beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, and friend — died on Monday, April 8, 2019, with her family by her side. She was 86.

She was born on July 10, 1932 in Berne, where she resided for a lifetime. She was the daughter of Clyde and Ruth (née Barber) Schoonmaker.

“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,” her family wrote in a tribute. “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, Mrs. McManama worked at Thacher Park Pool for many summers and was a travel agent at Marie’s Travel Service.

“Her service to her community was also central in her life,” her family wrote. “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.”


Marie Schoonmaker McManama is survived by her children, Noreen McManama Fargione and her husband, Tom, and Deborah McManama Herodes and her husband, Bob, along with their children Matthew Fargione and his wife, Megan, Nicole Fargione Cornell and her husband, Chris, Michael Fargione and his wife, Nicole, Sarah Misenhimer Clermont and her husband, Aaron, Myleah Misenhimer Frary and her husband, Brent, and Mikayla Misenhimer Pecan and her husband, Dan.

“They were all able to be with their mom and their ‘Mimi’ before her passing,” her family wrote. “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.”

Her parents, Clyde and Ruth (née Barber) Schoonmaker, died before her, as did her and sister, Betty Schoonmaker Ebel (Walter), and her brother, Walter C. Schoonmaker.

A memorial service will be held at the Berne Reformed Church on Saturday, April 13. Calling hours will be held from 10 to 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.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First Reformed Church of Berne, 1664 Helderberg Trail, Berne, NY 12023.

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