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Elizabeth Gumaer

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Mrs. Elizabeth (Betty) Gumaer residing at Niskayuna, New York died peacefully in her home on May 5, 2014. She was 100 years old.

Elizabeth Kathryn O’Brien was born in Oswego, New York on January 10, 1914, the daughter of Francis Wendell O’Brien and Florence Mullaney O’Brien. She was a graduate of the 1934 class of the Oswego Normal School where she received her degree in teaching. She was a member of the Clionian Sorority, the Debating Society and the League of Women Voters. She pursued and achieved higher degrees as well.

While employed by the IRS, she relocated to Watertown, N.Y. where, on the eve of WWII, she met and married her husband, Wilson Edsal Gumaer. Upon his return from the war they raised their four children and resided at 302 South Massey Street- an historic home they restored- until 2004. In addition to raising a family, she taught in the public schools and worked until retirement for the federal government as an accountant.

One of her great passions was boating and she and her family enjoyed years of boating on the St. Lawrence River. She was also passionate about food and travel and vacationed with her family throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Israel, Turkey and Greece.

Throughout her life in Watertown she was an avid member of the League of Women Voters, the AAUW, the Great Books Group, the Jefferson County Historical Society and the Gourmet Group. She also belonged to St. Patrick’s Parish.

Remarkably, her life spanned over a century and she bore witness to profound events in history and technology. She adapted to the computer and cell phone, yet her greatest pleasures were found enjoying the water and fabulous meals with her family.

In 2004 Elizabeth relocated to Niskayuna, NY where in a new home closer to family she remained physically active: exercising daily, walking in her beloved garden, playing the piano and spending time with family and friends right up to her final hours. She was much loved and will truly be missed.

Her husband, Wilson, predeceased her in 2005. Her brother, Francis O’Brien, also predeceased her. She is survived by her four children: James E. Gumaer and his wife Theresa Tomaszewska of Averill Park, NY; Lawrence W. Gumaer and his spouse Duane Page of Niskayuna, NY; Brenda A. Boldizsar and her husband Jeffrey Boldizsar of San Diego, Ca; Laura M. Gumaer and her husband Kevin J. Dermody of Walden, NY. She is survived by her three grandchildren; Jocelyn E. Boldizsar, Kyle S. Boldizsar and John F. Dermody. She is also survived by her sister-in-law Marie Gumaer Valeich of Newfoundland, NJ and by numerous nieces, nephews and cousins with whom she has maintained contact over these many years.

There will be a private gathering for family and friends. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Save the River, Clayton NY or Schenectady New York Hospice.

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