Frieda Congello, of Saugerties, NY, passed away peacefully at home on June 21, 2020, at the age of 96. Born on June 2, 1924, in the Bronx, NY, she was the youngest of four children born to Isaac and Slaty Schechter Drohobitch. The first college graduate in her family, she earned a degree from Hunter College in NYC. Upon graduation, she became an occupational therapist. While working at Misericordia Hospital in the Bronx, NY, she met her future husband, Anthony (Tony) Congello, who was a patient there. In 1954, they relocated to Lawrence, KS, where she became the department chair for O/T at Kansas University. After the birth of two daughters in 1956 & 1957, they moved back to NY to be near family. While working at the Hebrew Home for the Aging in NYC for several years, Frieda decided to go back to school to earn her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from City College in NYC. She worked as an elementary school teacher at PS 90 in the Bronx from 1964 until her retirement in 1989.
Frieda leaves behind two daughters, Lora Geoghegan of Yonkers, NY, and Diane (Richard) Congello-Brandes of Saugerties, NY; grandchildren, Garrett (Angela) Colburn of Clayton, NC, Christina (Stefano) Misciagna of Bronx, NY, Matthew Geoghegan of Yonkers, NY, Spencer Brandes of NYC, NY, and Deanna Geoghegan of Yonkers, NY; great-grandchildren, Gavin, Liam and Ethan Colburn of Clayton, NC as well as several nieces, nephews, friends, and her caregiver, confident & dear friend, Patricia McCoy. She was predeceased by her husband, Anthony Congello; grandson, Anthony Geoghegan; and her siblings Gloria Marks, Benjamin Drew, and Sylvia Giantonio.
To know Frieda was to love her. Her loving, caring nature, interest in the world, and quick wit endeared her to all who knew her. In the 1950s, Freida chose a progressive lifestyle, pursuing a career while her contemporaries married and raised families. When she did have a family, she continued to work, instilling a strong sense of hard work and perseverance in her daughters. Despite setbacks and failing health, Freida never complained. She was a nurturing grandmother who loved being surrounded by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and was a role model for her daughters.
The family held a private service June 22, 2020, at Seamon-Wilsey Funeral Home in Saugerties, NY, followed by a private graveside service on June 23, 2020, at Rose Hill Cemetery in Putnam Valley, NY. Rabbi Zoe B. Zac of Temple Israel of Catskill, NY, officiated over both services. A Celebration of Life will take place at a future date.
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