Dr. Leonora Roslyn Schaefer

January 25, 1925 ~ February 13, 2019 (age 94)
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Dr. Leonora Roslyn Schaefer was born in Brooklyn, New York on January 25, 1925 and died peacefully, at 94 years of age, on February 13, 2019. Dr. Schaefer was daughter to Dr. Morris J. Renner, a surgeon educated at George Washington University Medical School and the University of Vienna and Miriam Kestenblatt,  an accomplished Juilliard trained concert pianist.  Dr. Schaefer was an older sister to Cynthia Josephson, a loving wife to Eugene Schaefer for 49 years, and a loving mother to three daughters – Marjorie Bergwall, Sarah Paino and Elisa Brickell.  She was a grandmother to six – Nirah Johnson, Hansa Bergwall, Matthew Bergwall, Julia Paino, Joshua Brickell and Caroline Brickell - and great grandmother to Eliah Coleman.

Dr. Schaefer graduated from NYU’s School of Commerce, where she received both her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in 1944. For most of her remarkable life, Dr. Schaefer committed herself to promoting social justice and equal rights for all through both her civil rights and her political and community activism.  She also worked to create access to higher education to those who did not otherwise have the opportunity or means to attend college by creating, in 1968, a non-profit organization called College Fellowship For Mature Adults.

In 1972 and 1980, respectively, she earned two Masters Degrees and in 1983, earned her Ph.D in Sociology from St. Johns University.  She was a college professor for twenty years, where she taught Social Problems of Urban Education, Race and Ethnic Relations and Marriage in the Family.   She also established an art business in 1980 called Artifacts and Art, where she traveled to China in 1980, shortly after it was opened to foreigners, and subsequently to India in 1983.

To Dr. Schaefer, family was paramount.  She was a wonderful, supportive, loving parent, grandmother, great grandmother, sister and aunt. Through her never ending support, wisdom and advocacy, she changed many lives.  She was, by all accounts, an extraordinary and unusually resilient woman who was deeply loved by many and will be greatly missed by all.

Funeral Services will be held on Friday Feb. 15, 2019 at the Waterbury & Kelly Funeral Home in Briarcliff Manor, NY at 11 AM. Interment, Mount Carmel Cemetery, Glendale, NY to follow. Shiva will be observed at the home of Elisa and Jamie Brickell on Saturday afternoon, from 2-6 pm at 38 Miller Circle in Armonk.


1300 Pleasantville Road

Briarcliff Manor, New York 10510


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