Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Agnes Schenkman - some fond Memories

Agnes Schenkman, a most wonderful woman, died last Friday at the age of 87 in NJ. She was a most significant person in various parts of my life and I'm sad at hearing of her death.

Agnes grew up in NYC, living in the back of a flat (I think) behind her parents medical office (both parents were doctors). She and her husband were strong advocates of social justice, leaving Baton Rouge in significant part because of their support of Civil Rights in 1961. She was the mother of 8 incredible children - 2 girls, then 2 boys, then 2 girls, then 2 boys all of whom I enjoyed as friends at various times.

Agnes lost her beloved husband Gene suddenly 32 or 33 years ago and as most of her kids were grown rebuilt a life for herself, which was very difficult for her.

I will never forget Epsilon Acres, the wonderful farmlet - that was their home for many years. One holiday weekend (I think Thanksgiving) one of their dogs had bitten the legs of one or more sheep, and this was going to result in an infection spreading to all the sheep killing them all. Andrew, their oldest son, and Dan, the second son (and perhaps 1-2 others - can't remember) went out in the cold evening to slaughter all the sheep.

I, of course, stayed in the house. I remember one of Gene's brothers - "went out to check on them" and was back in the house within seconds. No one said anything, however we all knew that he'd Not made it to the "killing area", though at least he made an effort to be supportive.

Agnes was a wonderful loving, caring person. Dinners and social events in general oft times had many people - like 15-20ish around their huge kitchen table. Agnes cooked for all and was most welcoming to all. The children were brought up to think for themselves and to be independent and strong, caring people.

Agnes lived a good life! She is and will be missed! Thanks!

1 comment:

Clarissa said...

I'm very sorry for your loss, Geo.