Deborah Wickes Schwabach ’59

Deborah A. Schwabach of Gilbertsville, New York, died Thursday, July 9, 2020, following a long illness.
She was born Deborah Ann Wickes on June 23, 1942, at Albany Medical Center and grew up in Scotia.
She graduated from the Northampton School for Girls in Northampton, Massachusetts, and attended the University of Chicago. She later graduated from the SUNY Regents College and University of Kentucky.
She loved nature, birds, wildlife and exploring back roads to see where they would take her. She had an extensive knowledge of New York State history and wrote articles for Adirondack Life, Kaatskill Life, New York Alive, the Encyclopedia of New York State, as well as many newspapers and national magazines. She also had some poetry published. She drove the Alaska Highway in an old pickup truck and crossed the country many times, visiting every U.S. state except Hawaii and Alabama.
She taught writing at SUNY Oneonta, Syracuse University, SUNY Cortland, the University of Delaware, and the Marist College program at Oneonta Job Corps.
A lifelong proponent of Civil Rights, she was honored as the NAACP’s Person of the Year for her campaign to get Oneonta library cards for Job Corps students.
She is survived by her sons, Aaron (spouse, Qienyuan Zhou) of San Diego and Jon of Gilbertsville and daughter, Karen of Hammondsport; sister, Cynthia (spouse, James Vail) of North Carolina; nieces, Gabrielle and Lindsay; and grandchildren, Veronica, Jessica and Daniel.
She was predeceased by her daughter, Jennifer; nephew, Jeffrey; and brother, Robert.
A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 14, in Brookside Cemetery in Gilbertsville, with a memorial service planned for a later date after the pandemic.
The family asks that those who wish to do so please donate to the Gilbertsville Emergency Squad in her memory.

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