Eleanore Schoenian

Obituary of Eleanore H. Schoenian

Eleanore H. Schoenian Ithaca/ Glenora, NY: Eleanore H. Schoenian, Ellie passed from this plane to join her loved ones in God's kingdom on October 1, 2021 at the age of 96. Her daughter Robin and granddaughter Kate were by her side exchanging stories and singing her favorite songs. She grew up in Chevy Chase, MD, the daughter of Charles R. Strode and Edith G. Strode. She is survived by her sister, Audrey Wolcott of Penn Yan, NY and Sarasota, FL., daughter-in-law Karen S. Hurley of Jacksonville, FL, grandsons Sean P. Hurley (w.Jayne), Ian C. Hurley (w. Nita), Michael T. Hurley, all of Jacksonville and 4 great grandchildren. Her son Stephen V. Hurley of Jacksonville died in 2013. Her daughter, Robin E. Civitello (Peter-sep.), resides in Glenora, NY and granddaughter Katherine I. Krueger (h. Jeffrey) lives in Trumansburg, NY, parents of Henry J. and Samuel H. Krueger. 8 nieces and nephews and their offspring live in Maryland, New York, Connecticut and Oregon. Ellie's parents, Charles and Edith first visited Glenora in 1930, renting the "chicken coop" from their Md. dentist, Dr. Gardner Shoemaker. They fell in love with the lakeside hamlet and purchased a home there in 1931 on "the Point". Charles worked for the Treasury Dept. as an actuary in Washington, DC. Edith was a trained artist from Boston, whose father, Dr. Wilfred Goodwin was an OB-GYN surgeon. Edith's artistic endeavors drew the notice of President and first lady, Eleanore Roosevelt. Eleanor and Edith worked together for the WW1 war effort rolling bandages and selling Edith's sterling silver bracelets she created for fundraisers. Daughter Ellie was a nine year old singing sensation on a Washington, DC weekly radio show. Mrs. Roosevelt would send a driver during the Christmas season to pick her up to sing for guests at the White House. This continued for several years. Ellie was also a natural swimmer. Summers on Seneca Lake found her an avid swimmer and sailor on the K-boat circuit. Locals can read the story of her and her mother Edith being swept out into the lake during the flood of 1935. Edith broke her arm and Ellie was able, at the age of 10, to hold her mother over a log until help arrived. The History of Glenora, by Polly Marks Smith recounts the oral history of the event. Ellie continued to swim competitively in her Junior and Senior High School years. She was recruited to swim for Penn State University and join their Women's swim team upon graduation from Woodrow Wilson High School at age 17. Her first year at Penn State found her breaking well-known Ester Williams (swimmer and actress) records in breaststroke. While at school, Ellie met the dashing first-aid instructor, Walter Hurley. He held a water rescue class, picking Ellie to be the drowning victim. He "saved" her and a courtship began her freshman year. Walt was 8 years older, a graduate of the University of Maryland and a 2 sport athlete in rowing and track. During the summer of 1943, Walt took a train to Upstate NY and jumped off at the Glenora crossing. toting his cardboard suitcase with a clean white shirt and a pair of swim trunks, he asked Ellie's parents for permission to marry her. They planned to be married on Thanksgiving. Walt found a job as the Athletic Director at the Knights of Columbus, primarily as the swim coach in Baltimore. The Washington couple relocated and wife Ellie swam for his team, even becoming a diver. Son Stephen arrived July 21, 1946. He was destied to swim for wherever his dad was the Athletic Director through his high school years (Mt. Saint Joseph's Baltimore, Md.) Steve then swam for the University of Maryland (1966) before he joined the Navy (1967)as a sonar technician/lifeguard on a destroyer. Walt was later honored as the "winningest swim coach" in the State of Maryland (1972). Daughter Robin arrived Sept. 23, 1958 and by then, Walt was the Director of Corrective (i.e. physical) Therapy at Fort Howard VA Hospital in Sparrows Point , Md. Walt had earned his Master's degree in Physical Education back in the 40's (hitch-hiking 40 miles each way on Saturdays for 2 years during the depression, before they had a car.) There was a national teacher shortage in 1950. Ellie was hired with partial credits toward her Bachelor's degree. She taught Elementary Education for 8 years until her second pregnancy. In 1962 she enrolled at Towson State Teachers College (Balt. Md.) and graduated in 1965. She returned to her previous school (Riverview) and several years later completed her Master's degree. Ellie loved teaching second grade and enjoyed a 27 year career. Edith Strode died in 1962. Charles maintained the lake property until his death in 1980. In 1981, the Mary Manley property came up for sale and was purchased by Walt and Ellie. Walt retired in 1981, Ellie in 1985. This afforded them the opportunity to spend half the year in their beloved Glenora and half the year in Baltimore, close to their grandchildren who all came to the lake in the summer! Unfortunately, Walt succumbed to Myeloproliferative Disease in 1989 at age 71. Ellie married Charles (Chuck) Schoenian in 1990 and they moved to Bradenton, FL. continuing to summer at the lake. Robin and husband Dennis Bastin moved to Dundee in 1987, spending their summers at the family boathouse. Dennis died in 1992 and Chuck in 1997 at the cottage. Ellie continued to spend summers at the cottage and deeded it to Robin in 2000. Robin's daughter Kate, with dreams of becoming an architect, designed the addition to the cottage, doubling the square footage. Kate began her 5 year stint at Cornell as an architecture major. Ellie now had a suite to stay in the cottage during summers. Ellie maintained her Bradenton home until age 87 (2012). She hosted many dinner parties, sang in choir, played bridge, booked yearly cruises, and was a patron of the Bradenton Symphony Orchestra. Ellie's sister Audrey, wife of Arthur Wolcott resided nearby in Sarasota. They shared frequent outings and holiday celebrations during the 25 years they finally lived near each other. As her health began to fail, Ellie chose to move to Clark Meadows in Canandaigua, NY., where she quickly found her joy singing at many of the weekly entertainments. She discovered the RPO and that she loved winters in NY! Robin and Ellie looked forward to their Friday "girls night outs". Holidays were shared at Robin's or Kate's for the next 9 years. In 2018, Ellie's health further declined and she moved to Longview Nursing Facility in Ithaca for full nursing care. She received wonderful care there and never lost her positive attitude. She still loved visiting Glenora and hearing news about everyone. Time spent at Kate's and their visits to her at Longview kept her going. To all of our friends in Glenora who have shared their memories of her with us, we are so grateful for your kind words. We will plan a celebration of her life on the Point dock next summer. Honoring her wishes services will be private at the convenience of the family. To leave online condolences to the family visit www.bairdfuneralhomedundee.com.
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