Winifred "Winnie" Louise Blumenstetter, a long-time Franklin Square resident, died at her home on Dec. 22 at 96 years old.
Winnie was born in Rego Park, New York on Dec. 24, 1924 to James Patrick Ryan and Louise Englert. She had one brother, James.
Winnie attended St. Pancras School in Glendale and graduated from St. Matthias School in Ridgewood in 1939, earning a full scholarship to attend Our Lady of Wisdom Academy in Richman Hill. She graduated as the valedictorian in 1943 and was awarded a scholarship to attend business school. She chose to enroll at Washington School for Secretaries on Park Avenue in New York City. After graduating, she earned the position of Executive Secretary to the Vice President of Johns Manning.
Winnie’s best friend Rosemarie introduced her to Anthony "Tony" Charles Blumenstetter, Rosemarie’s cousin, in 1943, and they were married on Nov. 18, 1944. She and Tony moved to Tony's home on Garfield Street in Franklin Square in 1945 and then to a new home nearby that Tony built for the couple and their growing family.
In 1945, Winnie and Tony had their first child, Kathryn. Their first son, Anthony James, was born in 1949. In 1954, their son Thomas was born, followed by their daughter Dorothy in 1959.
In 1974, Winnie joined the Franklin Square Bicentennial Committee as the liaison for the Franklin Square and Munson Fire Department. She assisted in planning the Bicentennial Celebration at Rath Park on July 4, 1976. She later remained an active member of the Franklin Square Historical Society for many years.
Winnie also served as the 6th President of the Washington Street School Parent Teacher Association and President of the H. Frank Carey High School PTA. In 2010, Winnie joined the Friends of the Library and served as President from 2011 – 2012. She spent her time relaxing by oil painting, gardening in her backyard, and reading the latest mystery novel.
An avid traveler, Winnie travelled with Tony across the United States, visiting all but a few states. She also visited Europe and Asia, as well as Russia, reaching all the continents but Antarctica and Australia. Winnie also enjoyed hosting parties, frequently welcoming family and friends into her home in Franklin Square and cabin in Phoenicia, New York. She spent many days at the cabin enjoying the sun and reading by the stream.
Winnie and Tony shared 64 wonderful years together.
All who knew Winnie recall her warm smile and share the memories of an amazing, strong lady who enjoyed life, serving her community, and being surrounded by her loving family.
Winnie is survived by her four children, Kathy Bloom, Tony (and his wife JoAnn), Tommy, Dorothy (and her husband John Veron); four grandchildren, Janet Gagliardo, Diane Leitner, Dorey Veron, Katey Veron; and four great-grandchildren.
A mass was held for Winifred "Winnie" Louise Blumenstetter on Monday, Dec. 27 at St. Catherine of Sienna Catholic Church, followed by cremation.