- Deceased's name: Elizabeth Onderdonk
- Age: 77
- Date: June 19, 2012
- Hometown: Oradell, River Edge, and Chestnut Ridge NY
Elizabeth S. Onderdonk (nee Schilling) age 77 of Chestnut Ridge, NY died Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at Hackensack Univerisity Medical Center.
Born in the same hospital in 1934, “Betty” grew up in Oradell, where she attended Dwight Morrow High School. She went on to attend Wheelock College in Boston, MA, where she studied Early Childhood Education. During summers she worked as a flight attendant, transporting European refugees and American soldiers.
From 1957-62 she taught Kindergarten at Somerville School in Ridgewood. She married Jack 1961 and started a family in River Edge. After her first child was born, she stopped teaching and devoted her life to raising five children. They moved to Upper Saddle River before settling in Chestnut Ridge, NY.
Betty loved children and grandchildren. She had an intuitive understanding of children’s needs which guided her interactions with her own children and those in the community around her. Music was an essential part of her life, whether singing on her own, listening to her children play, or attending concerts.
She was ahead of her time in her commitment to all things organic. Her fridge was stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables and nothing contained preservatives or artificial ingredients. While Betty felt strong that young children should be playing rather than watching TV, she had a secret love for reality television, her favorite being Dancing with the Stars. Her backyard garden was an oasis filled with flowers, herbs, and wild birds.
Surviving are her children, John and his wife Trang of Wyckoff, Paul and his wife Maria of Wyckoff, Amy Onderdonk of Hoboken, Beth and her husband Kevin Ellis of Mendham and Chris and his wife Colleen of West Chester, PA.
Also surviving are her eleven grandchildren, Nicole, Sean, Ryan, Sarah, Andrew, Riley, Anna, Avery, Jack, Katie and Thomas and her sister, Ruth Hennessy of New Vernon, NJ. She was predeceased by her husband, John 'Jack' Onderdonk in 2004, and her brother Louis R. Schilling.
In lieu of flowers donations to Green Meadow Waldorf School, 307 Hungry Hollow Rd., Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977, www.gmws.org would be appreciated.