Obituary of Elizabeth Stapleton Manion
Elizabeth (Libby) Stapleton Manion, of Marlboro, NY, died on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, at Vassar Brothers Hospital, Poughkeepsie, NY.
Born in Clifton Springs, NY, on November 3, 1935, she was the daughter of Stephen Lawrence Stapleton and Margaret Keating Stapleton.
Libby is survived by her husband of 59 years, James (Jim); her four daughters, Margaret W. Manion (Amir) of Weston, MA; Ann L. Manion (Farzad) of Southborough, MA; Katherine M. Weinstock (John) of Madison, WI; and Elise M. Logue (Michael) of Marlboro, NY. Also surviving are her eight grandchildren, John, Mark and James Parsaie; Andrew, Margaret and Ellen Weinstock; and Michael Patrick and William Logue. She is also survived by her dear sister, Katherine Sagarese and her brother-in-law, Edward Sagarese, of Milton, NY; sisters and brothers-in-law, Marian and Ken Hotopp of Howes Caves, NY and Judy and Bill Gephard of Marlboro, NY, as well as several nieces and nephews. Libby was predeceased by her parents and her brother, Stephen Stapleton. Libby's final months were made infinitely more comfortable by the professional care provided by her friend, Jacquline Howell.
Libby graduated from DeSales High School, Geneva, NY, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Master in Library Science from SUNY Albany.
Libby lived her life with purpose, determination and generosity toward others. Her love of writing, books and commitment to public education were at the forefront of her lifelong professional and volunteer career. She taught English at Haviland Junior High School, Hyde Park, NY, where she established the school's first library. During the 1980's, she was the personal librarian to local authors John Thomas Mahoney and Caroline Bird Mahoney.
It was a call from Edward Dalby in the late 1960's asking Libby to serve on the Marlboro Free Library (MFL) Book Committee that launched her course of dedication to library services in the Town of Marlborough and statewide. She served on the MFL Board of Trustees, 1968-1979, many as Board President. In 1985, she became the Director of the MFL and remained in that position until her retirement in 2002. Over her 30 years of service to the MFL, she led many significant initiatives including changing the library from an association library to a school district public library, the relocation of the library on King Street to its current location on Bloom Street, as well as later physical expansions. She also developed many library programs, including the establishment of the Marlboro History collection. The focus of her tenure was the public library's need to offer new technologies while maintaining its mission to serve as a community resource for educational, cultural and recreational services for every generation.
On the regional and state level, Libby served on the Mid-Hudson Library System Board of Trustees, the NYS Association of Library Boards, the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries and was an active member of the NY Library and American Library Associations. Libby's partnership with others to lobby for and establish quality library services to NY state residents was the professional work of which she was most proud.
Service to her community is a quality for which Libby was known. She served on the Marlboro Central School District Board of Education, Women in Service to Education at Ulster County Community College, Women's Auxiliary to Dutchess County Medical Society and Vassar Brothers Hospital, Mount Saint Mary College Board of Trustees, Community Garden Club of Marlborough-on-Hudson Board and Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley Board. Libby was an active parishioner of Saint Mary's Church, Marlboro, NY and served as food pantry coordinator, lector and euchiaristic minister.
Libby's favorite place was her home on Manion's Hill, which she shared with Jim for 52 years, and where they raised their four daughters. Together, Libby and Jim created a beautiful home with exquisite gardens, which they enjoyed sharing with family and friends. No doubt, Libby's favorite room was the kitchen where her worn wooden spoon rests now as evidence of the countless culinary creations she prepared for those she loved. Whether it was holiday family gatherings, dinner parties, birthdays, weddings, or just an evening meal, her husband, children, grandchildren, family and friends were always eager to gather around her table.
The family will receive friends commencing at 10am on Friday, November 29, 2019, at Saint Mary's Church, 1209 Route 9W, Marlboro, NY, followed by a funeral Mass at 11am. The interment of ashes will immediately follow at Saint Mary's Cemetery, Lattintown Road, Marlboro, NY.
In lieu of flowers, donations are welcomed to the James and Elizabeth Manion Charitable Fund, Community Foundations of Ulster County, 280 Wall Street, P.O. Box 3046, Kingston, New York, 12402. https://communityfoundationshv.org
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Carl J. DiDonato of the DiDonato Funeral Home (845)236-4300, www.didonatofuneralservice.com