Alice J. Schafer Buttenschon, 83, passed away peacefully on Sunday, September 17, 2023, in Moon Township, PA.
She was born on Saint Lucia Day, December 13, 1939, in Utica, NY to Paul J. and Mary Price Schafer. She graduated from Utica Free Academy and upon graduation worked for Bell Telephone of New York where she met her lifelong best friend and confidant Jeanette D. Fischer.
At a future sister-in-law's wedding, she met Frederick H. Buttenschon and they fell in love. They married on February 6, 1960, at St. Joseph’s and St. Patrick’s Church in Utica. It was one of the happiest days of her life. They honeymooned in Washington, D.C.
By the time she was 25, she was mother of three children and in 1967 they moved into their first home in suburban Marcy, NY. Alice took great pride in getting involved in her children’s school activities. A few weeks before Christmas 1973, she chaperoned a school trip to New York City with her daughter Robin, son Christopher and many Marcy Elementary School pupils. She was awed by the beauty of the city at Christmastime and the grandeur and collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She would frequently reminisce about this special Christmas memory for many years. During many local, state and national elections, she served as a poll worker at the local firehouse.
On September 1, 1974, she tearfully said goodbye to Marcy and relocated to Moon Township, PA where her husband continued working with Allegheny Airlines at the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport. In April 1975, they built a home where she lived until her passing.
When her children became teenagers she worked at Ames Corporation from 1978-1993. She enjoyed working with people and formed several lasting friendships with coworkers.
In September 1983, she and her husband gave her only daughter Robin away in holy matrimony to Donald Neely. It was a joyous day for the proud and happy parents and all who celebrated. Her brother Paul and sister-in-law Teddie and their children Michael and Holly attended which made her so very happy. Her brother-in-law Mike and sister-in-law Joanne also attended. The reception was very lively as Joanne and Teddie cleared the floor and danced to “The Pennsylvania Polka.” We never heard Alice laugh so hard in her life.
In 1988, she became a grandmother and once again two years later. Each time her grandsons were born she cried happy tears. She had a special bond with her grandsons and always enjoyed spending time with them. She welcomed their frequent weekend sleepovers where she always made them their favorite pancake and eggs breakfast.
As her children became adults, she enjoyed spending more time with them. She loved to shop and have lunch with her daughter Robin at the Beaver Valley Mall. She visited her son Christopher quite often and on one beautiful Ohio summer day went horseback riding for the first time in her life. As Alice always said, “I had a ball!” She traveled to New England and New Orleans and watched her son Corey play college football. Crossing Lake Pontchartrain was an experience she loved to talk about as she was not fond of bridges.
Alice was an avid bowler and was thrilled to watch her Pirates and Steelers on television or at the old Three Rivers Stadium. She visited Pittsburgh many times and her trips there were always memorable. In 1980 she attended a taping of “The Phil Donahue Show” at Point State Park with her visiting parents. After the taping she met Phil and his new wife, actress Marlo Thomas.
In 2018, Alice’s life changed once again as she saw a new generation come into the world. For the next couple of years she saw four great-grandchildren and cherished each of them as only Alice could. She attended every holiday celebration, birthday party and an occasional summer picnic at Racoon Creek State Park.
Alice’s love of her family, strong faith, kindness, affection, and compassion will never be forgotten. She was an exceptional wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. Her birthday cakes, Thanksgiving stuffing, pies, Christmas cookies, potato salad, baked beans and “cabbage salad” will be remembered fondly and will be missed.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Paul J. and Mary Price Schafer, brother Paul L. Schafer and her husband Fred in October 2022. Alice was especially close to Donald’s mother, Rosemary “Dee” Wrhen who passed away in 2015. Mourning her passing are her children, Robin (Donald) Neely, Christopher (Mark) Buttenschon and Corey Buttenschon; grandsons Andrew (Nicole) Neely and Daniel (Kelsea) Neely and great grandchildren Hayden, Benjamin, Paisley and Autumn Neely. She is survived by her special, trusted, and generous sister-in-law Teddie Schafer, nephew Michael (Palma) Schafer, niece Holly (Jonathan) Pawlika, great nephews Noah Nardozza and Jake Pawlika and great niece Lauren Pawlika. She is also survived by another sister-in-law, Nancy Buttenschon who always made her smile and laugh through the years. She is also survived by many cousins, nephews, nieces and great nephews and great nieces.
There will be no calling hours. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at the convenience of the family. The family would like to thank her friend Carol and Sister Jeanine for their friendship and love all these years. Alice loved nature and animals of all shapes and sizes. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in her memory to the Sierra Club or your local animal shelter.