Celebrating the life of Alma Marie Koenig
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Born: October 15, 1924
Died: January 22, 2012
Alma Marie Koenig was ushered into the presence of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on January 22, 2012. She was born to Rudolf Tramposch of Zwischlern, Austria and Albina Kump Tramposch of Buchel, Austria, at home in Brooklyn, NY. Alma with her parents and her two younger sisters, Ruthy and Mary Ann lived in the Ridgewood and Glendale, Queens’s area for a number of years. Her father owned several businesses, including a fishing tackle store and various real estate properties. Alma graduated from St. Pancras elementary school in 1938 and then from the Brooklyn High School for Garment Trades because she loved to sew and wanted to learn dressmaking. Because it was a long distance to school she had to take 2 buses and a train to get there. She learned to play the violin and played in the orchestra for four years. She played a solo part at some concerts and made her own dress for the prom.
While in elementary school she grew particularly close to one of the nuns at St. Pancras named Sister Irene who took Alma on several vacations to meet other nuns at the Mother House in Amityville, NY. The nuns had wanted Alma to join them there after elementary school at the Juniorate School and to continue her education to become a nun herself. Many years later she would tell her children that her mother would not allow it because she was needed in the household to care for her sister Mary Ann, while her mother helped her father in the business. They told her that she could enter the convent if she still wanted to after graduating from high school. But, in November of her third year of high school, Alma attended the wedding of a cousin in Ridgewood, NY where she met the best man, Joseph Koenig. Joe fell in love with Alma at first sight and told the groom that this was the girl that he would marry. Likewise, she fell in love with him and after a long courtship, three years to be exact; they married on May 12, 1945. Joe was a machinist who had emigrated from Austria in 1938. During the three years of their courtship, Alma subsequently graduated from high school and worked as a seamstress.
Alma and Joe’s first child, Robert Joseph was born in 1946, followed by Joseph Richard, Catherine Marie and Richard Mark. In 1954 the family moved to the Town of Greenville in Orange County to a farm jointly owned with Alma’s parents. Her father worked as a dairy farmer and they raised a variety of animals including chickens, rabbits, sheep, goats and pigs. Her mother kept a large vegetable garden sufficient for their own needs and to share with their neighbors. Her mother and father decided to share their home with three foster children from NYC, Margret, Joseph and John Perales and they were raised along with Alma and Joe’s children.
Alma, Joe and their children loved the farm and the country and they decided to take in children who needed foster care. Over the next 30 years she cared for over 51 children. Meanwhile, Alma gave birth to two more daughters, Gerianne Marie and Teresa Geralyn.
Alma worked at a variety of jobs as time allowed and one of the most enjoyable was for Green’s department store as a seamstress, primarily altering wedding gowns. During her life she belonged to a variety of organizations both religious and secular, including the “Red Hat Ladies”. She was also a 4-H Leader and taught many children to sew.
Throughout her life, Alma cared for those in need. She lovingly cared for her husband Joe, when he developed cancer and was at his bedside when after a struggle lasting many years he finally passed away into the arms of his Lord and Savior in 1987. Likewise she cared for her father, mother and her sister Mary Ann until their deaths.
Her children and grandchildren and great grandchildren were always a focal point of her life and when she was able to travel, she made a number of trips to Oregon by airplane and once on a road trip. She also travelled to England, Portugal (Lourdes), Germany and Austria.
Alma is a devout Catholic and over a lifetime she gave selflessly to many diverse organizations and individuals. She donated to the needy nearby and indeed to people and religious communities worldwide. She never met a stranger and she loved and was loved by all who knew her.
In 2008, after a brief stay at Valley View Nursing Home for rehabilitation, Alma decided to make it her “home”, where she was respected and very well cared for the past four years. Alma’s family would like to thank all the staff that knew and cared for her. They are a special group of caregivers and Alma considers all of them as part of her family. It was an adjustment at first because she always knew it as the “poor farm”. She quickly embraced her new home and became more and more involved in church services and activities like bingo and ceramics. She knitted, crocheted, wrote many letters and cards, remembering hundreds of birthdays and anniversaries. Her family was able to include Alma in a wide variety of family functions and events over the years, thanks in large part to the wonderful cooperation of the staff, therapists and medical transportation, especially Clove Coach and their caring drivers.
Back in 1996 Alma adopted one of her foster children, and Sammantha Christine Prosnak-Koenig joined Alma’s other six children.
In death, Alma continues to give. She donated her body to the Albany Medical College for teaching purposes. When her mission is fulfilled, Alma’s remains will be cremated and her ashes returned to her family for burial with her loving husband Joe in the cemetery at Holy Name Catholic Church in Otisville, NY.
Her parents, her sister Mary Ann, her husband Joe and many aunts, uncles and cousins preceded Alma in death.
Alma is survived by her sister, Ruthy, of Roswell, GA. Also her children, 23 grand- children and 11 great-grandchildren as follows: Robert & Kay Koenig of Philomath, OR (Jamie Koenig/fiancé David Jackson of Portland OR; Christi & Josh Vermillion of Vancouver, WA; Stacy, Jason, Audrey & Jared Gerding of Philomath, OR); Joseph & Laura Koenig of Greenville (Matthew, Tyler, Victoria and Rian Koenig; Andrew, Angela, Emma & Violet of Greenville; Michael Koenig of Shohola, PA; Joanna Koenig of Queens, NY); Catherine & Kevin Talty of Monroe, NY (Elizabeth & Eric Faust of Austin, TX; Kevin Talty of Monroe, NY; Timothy Talty of NYC); Richard & Martha Koenig of Gardiner, NY (Nikki, Mike & Norah Nielson of New Paltz, NY; Fritz, Alison & Finn Koenig of Menlo Park, CA; Maria, Frank & Eve Guyette of Pittsburgh, PA; Mark Koenig of Gardiner, NY; Johann Koenig of Menlo Park, CA; Joseph Koenig of Newark DE); Gerianne & Richard Minkus Jr. of New Hampton, NY (Joseph Minkus of New Hampton, NY; Kimberly, Dylan and Livia Dembeck of Warwick, NY; Thomas Minkus of New Hampton, NY); Teresa Hoffmann of Otisville, NY (Christian Hoffmann of Staten Island, NY, Jake, Luke and David Hoffmann of Otisville, NY); Samantha Prosnak-Koenig of Garfield, NJ. and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
In an email on the day after her death, her eldest granddaughter, Nikki Nielsen wrote: “Nana’s heart started beating on earth October 15, 1924. It ceased to beat on earth January 22, 2012. Over the course of Nana’s 87 years of lifetime, her heart pumped out love. So much so that when, finally, it was too weak to pump anymore, she went out of this life fully in the embrace of the love her family and friends returned to her, and in anticipation of the love of family and friends who await her in an eternal life with love. She had love and gave love to all those in her life. Nana’s love was for her parents and her sisters. For her husband. For her children and foster children, and grandchildren and great grandchildren. For God. For Jesus. For the Virgin Mary. For her nieces and nephews. For her grand nieces and nephews. For her cousins and their children. For her classmates with who she maintained lifelong correspondence. For her dressmaking customers. For her friends, whom she held on to as soon as she met them. For the people she met in her travels. For those she never met. Nana measured her success by her love, especially by counting babies, the quintessential evidence that love exists and is meant to persist. The depth of her love was and is beyond measure. She showed it in so many ways. Most importantly she told us. She said it aloud. She wrote it. She hugged us. She asked about each of us. She knew each of us as individuals. She respected each of us even when she didn’t agree with us. She empathized with us. She was sympathetic when we needed her to listen to us when we were in pain. She fed our hearts with her love. Nana’s heart has always swelled with such a tremendous amount of love. And what her heart and her love should have taught us is that there is no limit to love. And although her physical heart can no longer beat, Nana’s love is strong, fierce and perpetual. We have it with us forever and always. Her love is embedded in each of us. When we remember that what we received from Nana is love, we know that her memory and her love will live forever.”
A Memorial Mass, A Celebration of Alma's Life, will be held on Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 11AM at Holy Name Catholic Church in Otisville, New York. Memorial contributions may be made in Alma’s name to the charity of one’s choice. Arrangements are under the direction of Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home, Inc., 130 Highland Avenue, Middletown, NY, 10940.
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