Merrill Spaeth

[Wife of NCVA-NE member Edmond Spaeth]

Merrill Marie Hunting Spaeth, 66, of Fishkill, died on 6 January 2012, as a result of a motor vehicle accident.

She was born in Yonkers, NY, 29 April 1945, to the late Willard and Marion (Sullivan) HUNTING. Merrill graduated from Sacred Heart High School, Yonkers in 1963 and in 1967 went on to get a BA in Elementary Education at SUNY New Paltz. In 1971, she earned a Masters Degree in Library Science at C.W. POST College of Long Island University. In 1967, she started her teaching career in Yonkers Public Schools and later worked at New Rochelle Public Schools. In 1975, she became a librarian at Wappingers Central Schools. When she retired in 2000 from Wappingers Schools, she had a district level position at the Central Media Office. Through her whole life and library career, she was an avid reader and a strong advocate for reading, for libraries, and for public education.

Merrill was a member of the DAR, and as such she was honored to recently participate in a Wreaths Across America tribute to Revolutionary War veterans at the unmarked burial ground in Fishkill, just down the hill from her home. Merrill was a woman of many talents, among which was a love of cooking, doing all manner of needlecraft and of late, making lovely greeting cards. She was an active member of the Skykill Chapter of the Embroiderers Guild of America, Apple Valley Needleworkers, and the Gayhead School Retirees Lunch Bunch and Book Club. If one were to catch Merrill unaware, she probably would have been reading or stitching. In her retirement, she loved to travel and go adventuring with her husband on trips to Alaska, Hawaii, or across other states, to Europe and the Caribbean. Merrill, so unpretentious, had a warm and friendly personality, making friends wherever she went.

On 16 September 1973, Merrill was married in St. Denis RC Church, Yonkers to her husband, Edmond Spaeth who survives at home, a fellow whom she met, where else, but in the Yonkers Public Library. She is also survived by their daughter, Erin Elise and her husband, Tim Murphy of Kingston. Also surviving are several cousins, Marie and Ed Keating of Pennsville, NJ; Gerald DeVito of Yonkers; Ron and Andrea Noonoo of Las Vegas, NV; Eugene Newman of Miami, Fl; and Robert and Susan Noonoo of Los Angeles, CA; and several other cousins throughout the US. Merrill, who was with her beloved mother when she died, cherished her family more than anything. She was predeceased by her parents, and both her sisters, Denise Hunting and Karen Ann Drambour.

Because Merrill placed such a high value on her eyesight using this precious gift to read and to create beautiful needlework pieces that grace our home, her corneas were given as a Gift of Life for someone in need of a corneal transplant. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Guiding Eyes of the Blind or to the charity of your choice . The family wishes to thank the staff of the Putnam Hospital Center, Carmel and other first responders for their heartfelt caring and thoughtful response in our time of need.

The family will be holding a celebration of her life on Tuesday from 2-4 and 7-9pm and Wednesday from 2-4 pm at the McHoul Funeral Home of Fishkill, Inc., 1089 Main Street, Fishkill. The funeral service will be at 4pm on Wednesday at the funeral home. Interment will be in Gerald B.H. Solomon National Cemetery at a later date.

For driving directions or online condolences, please go here.

[Published in the The Journal News on January 8, 2012]

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