Obituary of Junice D. Wusterbarth
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Junice DeVoe Wusterbarth, 101, passed away peacefully at home on September 28, 2022. Born September 15, 1921, Junice was a lifelong Schenectady resident, spending the last 91 years on Daniels Avenue. In 1941, while working at General Electric, she met Harold J. Wusterbarth of Meriden, CT. They were married at First United Methodist Church of Schenectady in June 1943 and spent the next 72 years together until his death in 2015. One of Junice’s greatest joys and proudest accomplishments is the family she and Harold created, and nurtured. At the time of her death, it included their four children Niles (deceased) and Lois Wusterbarth of Olympia, WA; Mark and Fran Wusterbarth of Niskayuna; Michael and Susan Frisoni of Niskayuna; Doug Wusterbarth of Schenectady and his partner John Morse of Delmar; their eight grandchildren Kevin Wusterbarth of Sun City West, AZ; Shelley Frisoni of Schenectady, Brian and Amy (Wusterbarth) Egan of Kensington, MD; James Wusterbarth and Dr. Stephanie Ricci of Abu Dhabi, UAE; Meg Frisoni of Schenectady; Peter and Cindy Frisoni of Scotia; Luis and Julie (Wusterbarth) Ontaneda of Rye, NY and Gary and Stephanie Wusterbarth of Niskayuna; and their thirteen great-grandchildren Sally, Niles and Damon Egan; Tristan and Brycon Seal; Olympia and Roark Frisoni; Claire and Ryan Wusterbarth; Luke and Callie Ontaneda; and Bibianna and Wolfgang Wusterbarth. She is also survived by her nieces and nephews Marilou Sancibrian, Rachel Korkosz, Jim DeVoe, Kathleen Edwards, Rick DeVoe and 7 great nieces and nephews. Also, there are a number of people who will always remember her as their surrogate Grandma. Junice’s love of the natural world started at an early age while playing on the dunes and in the woods near her childhood home. She and Harold were members from the 1940s of the Sitz-machers and OYK, two groups of young professionals who hiked, boated, skied, and restored trails and shorelines in the Adirondack Mountains. These groups later formed the Schenectady Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club. For 3 generations, she shared her knowledge with her family while on her famous nature walks in the woods near her home and on vacations. Curious by nature, Junice firmly believed that you were never too old to learn. She proved this to herself and her family time and time again – leading by example. In her mid-60s, she began taking Taekwondo with her 6-year-old grandson, earning her brown belt and impressing her family and friends. She bought her first computer in the early 1980s and continued to “log on” until late 2021. She taught herself to use different programs and enjoyed creating special, unique (sometimes upside down) greeting cards for her loved ones. With the dawn of social media, she became impatient waiting for one of her grandkids to show her how to create a Facebook profile. She did it herself and promptly sent a friend request to that grandchild to let her know she no longer needed help. Second to her curiosity was her sense of adventure. She and Harold traveled the world together, with their children and with their grandchildren. She made a point of letting family know that her only regret in life was not bungee jumping in New Zealand (at the age of 70) when she had the chance! She held a deep, strong faith in God; was a staunch advocate for social justice, and held herself and those around her to the highest standards. A member of First United Methodist Church for more than 80 years, Junice was often the first person to greet newcomers when they entered the building. Many Saturday mornings were spent arranging flowers as part of the Altar Guild, which blended her love of nature with her faith. She sang in the choir for many years, taught Sunday School, and was a youth group advisor for decades. Junice’s commitment to her community is reflected in decades of volunteerism. She was a member of the Friends of the Schenectady County Public Library, where she served as treasurer for 33 years. She was a member of the Schenectady Greenhouse and Indoor Plant Association (GAIPA), ECOS: The Environmental Clearinghouse of New York, and the Schenectady Day Nursery. Junice lived her life “grateful for gifts, unearned and undeserved”, and we are all better for having her in our lives for so long. A memorial service to celebrate Junice’s life, led by Rev. Janet (McGaughey) James, will be held on Sunday, October 16, 2022, at 2:00 PM at First United Methodist Church in Schenectady. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her honor to the Schenectady Day Nursery, 25 Lafayette Street Schenectady, NY 12305.