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Obituaries

Henry John Schmidt died on Jan. 5, 2005 after a long illness. He was 82 years old. He was a resident of Port Washington for over 50 years until 2002 when he moved to Florida. He was a graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy, Class of 1944 and served in WWII.

Active in the Port Washington community, he served on the board of directors for the Landmark on Main Street and the Port Washington Senior Citizens; also in the Manhasset Bay Association and the Port Washington Public Library. He was a valued member in his church community, in which he served on many boards, a member of the choir and involved in Christian education and ministries to the sick and homeless.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mabel; his children, Chris Fisher (Fred), Sanford Schmidt, John Schmidt (Carolyn); Tim Schmidt (Glenda), Karen McClelland (Scott) and daughter-in-law Candyce Schmidt. He is also survived by 14 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

A memorial service celebrating his faith and life will be held Jan. 22 at 1 p.m. at the Lutheran Church of Our Savior, 12 Franklin Ave., Port Washington. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations go to the Lutheran World Relief ("Wave of Relief" Fund), 700 Light St., Baltimore, MD 21230 or online www.lwr.org or a charity of your choosing.

Maurine Cades Buckner

Maurine Cades Buckner was born Oct. 5, 1927 in Atlantic City, NJ. She was raised in Ventnor and Margate, NJ. She graduated from Atlantic City High School in 1945, attended the University of Pennsylvania, and received a master's degree in humanities from Hofstra University. Maurine was first violinist for Atlantic City High School Orchestra and an honor student.

Among her many interests, Maurine Buckner was in both the University of Pennsylvania orchestra and the string quartet. In 1946, she met her husband, Sy Buckner, during her freshman year. Sy Buckner was a returning veteran from WWII where he served in the Army Air Corps. They married in 1948.

During her summer college breaks, Maurine worked with children with developmental disabilities. Her experiences served as the basis for her interest in music therapy. In her later life, this background enabled her to develop a music therapy program for psychiatric patients at Long Island Jewish Hospital.

Maurine and Sy have lived on Long Island for nearly 60 years. The couple raised five children: Leslie, Janice, Hal, Mindy, and Toni. She was the sister-in-law of Helene Windt, and the mother-in-law of Richard Strauss, Ralph Goldstein, Peggy Buckner, and Frank LaPietra. She was the grandmother of Jessica Strauss, Abigail Rice and husband Eric, Amanda Buckner and husband Jay Jack, Michael Buckner and wife Jennifer, Gabriel, Felice, Emily and Daniel LaPietra, Nakita, and Makana Buckner-Statler, and Katrina and Dylan Goldstein.

Living in the Roslyn area, Maurine served as president of the local chapter of the Long Island National Council of Jewish Women. She was the first woman to be elected to the Board of Directors of the University of Pennsylvania Alumni Club of LI, where she served for many years as an officer.

Music was an intrinsic part of Maurine's daily life. Her talents as a violinist and her love of music were graciously passed on to her children and grandchildren. Maurine Buckner played an important role in many musical groups. She was a member of the American String Teachers Association, and for many years the Great Neck Symphony and the principal violinist for the Arista String Quartet. Along with Caroline Minionis, violist, she transposed and arranged the music for the Holocaust Program; the music originating from the Theresenstadt Concentration Camp in Czechoslovakia. This imposing and memorable presentation was offered at synagogues and libraries throughout the New York, New Jersey and Westchester area. Maurine and her associates brought music to graduation services such as the Kings Point Merchant Marine Academy, and also performed when Governor Mario Cuomo officiated at the opening of the Monti Pavilion of North Shore University Hospital, and continued to donate her musical services for over 20 years at the annual Don Monti Ball fund raiser. This was in conjunction with her concerts for senior citizens, weddings, and private parties. She used her teaching background to teach the violin to private students for many years at the Music House in Port Washington.

An independent thinker, Maurine lived her life in the present moment, bringing an importance to each day. Her modest persona enabled her to put people at ease and to express themselves openly. Her "people person" skills focused on others rather than on herself. Her understated personal style influenced everyone who met her. She was a woman who listened to others but thought for herself.

At the memorial service held on Jan. 9, the Arista quartet performed a tribute to Maurine. An empty chair signified the loss that everyone felt. Donations in her memory can be sent to the Don Monti charitable fund at the North Shore LIJ Hospital in Manhasset.

Henry Zelinger, 85, of Port Washington, died on Jan. 16, 2005. Husband of Shirley. Father of Alan and Michael (Sharon). Also survived by her grandson Matthew. Memorial service Jan. 23 at 11 a.m. at the Austin F. Knowles Funeral Home, 128 Main St., Port Washington.
Leitha (Lee) Mae Gutleber

Lee Gutleber, esteemed and beloved wife, mother and pillar of the Long Island community, always had a kind word for everyone, passed away on Jan. 3, 2005 at the age of 61. Born in Neptune, NJ to Charles Hanigan and Mary Dafeldecker, she was orphaned at a young age and raised in foster care. She spent her life and passion creating the strong, supportive family and community that she missed as a child. Mrs. Gutleber passed away of congestive heart failure resulting from her fight with cancer.

She is survived by husband John J. Gutleber, president and CEO of Castagna Realty and their three daughters. Stephanie, a 2000 graduate of Cornell, works with real estate finance company Charter Mac Related Capital in Manhattan; Jaclyn, a 2002 graduate of Roger Williams University, will receive a master's degree in social work from Adelphi in 2005; and Megan, a junior at Cornell University, will study at the University of New South Wales in Australia this year.

Lacking opportunity as a young woman, Mrs. Gutleber worked hard to rise within the ranks of many of New York's prominent law firms as a paralegal. Her work in copyright law at Abeles, Clark and Osterberg brought her into contact with major musical performing artists of the time. On May 26, 1973, she married John Gutleber and devoted herself to raising their daughters and supporting a variety of local charities.

Mrs. Gutleber's compassion for those with limited opportunities and dedication to her community led her to leadership roles in many organizations across Long Island. The Neighborhood House in Setauket, the Museum at Stony Brook, the Ward-Melville Heritage Society, the Historical Society, the Usdan Center for the Performing Arts and Adelphi University all benefited from her dedication and counsel. She gave special attention to the Arthritis Foundation and the National Center for Disabilities, and found great satisfaction in her work there. "She always put the concerns of others ahead of her own," said her husband John. "In her values of family and charity, she was selfless and sought no personal recognition for what she did."

Simple and elegant in style, always in high heels, Mrs. Gutleber was affectionately known as "The Dancing Queen," for her grace on the dance floor. Whether the music called for the Charleston, a waltz or the Irish jig, she would be the first person in the room to dance at a party, and could follow any partner. At home, she would often hum to herself and was the first to offer comfort, loyalty and strong-willed support for her beloved family. Mrs. Gutleber also enjoyed travel and hours spent walking on the beach in Captiva Island and Naples, FL, hunting for seashells.

She loved to collect and create family heirlooms for her daughters, since she had never inherited any herself. Special china and a collection of teddy bears were among the treasures she wanted to share with her family. But perhaps her most important legacy was her honesty, her generosity and her support for her family and friends. "Even when she was sick, she would always say, 'Give me a smile,'" said her husband John. "We were all very proud of the life she led."

Mrs. Gutleber is also survived by brothers Charles Hanigan of New York, and William Hanigan of Michigan. The wake was held on Jan. 6 at OB Davis Funeral Home in Port Jefferson. The funeral mass was held on Jan. 7 at St. James Roman Catholic Church in Setauket. Donations in her memory may be made to any of the charitable organizations to which she contributed.


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