I majored in secretarial science throughout high school. College was not an option for me, but with pretty good secretarial skills, I secured a position with an engineering firm in Plainview. In 1963 I married Ray O’Connell (LMHS Class of ’59) and two years later, quit my job to begin raising a family. We had a new ranch house built in Lake Ronkonkoma (when the LIE went only as far as Route 111!) and had four children in five years (2 boys and 2 girls). I loved that time of my life, involved in Cub Scouts, class mother, and on any given day having most of the neighborhood kiddies playing in my back yard.
Once my kids were all in school it was time to look for a part-time job. I read that the IRS was planning to open a large tax processing center in Holtsville with day and night shifts. I thought that would be a good place to look for an office job where I could work evenings. Eventually the processing center was built and I got a part time job as a typist in Personnel. I made many friends at the IRS over the years and they continue to be our friends today. After 30 years, I retired from an upper-level management position. Not bad for not having a college degree! I am now retired 19 years and am always so thankful that I took that path (especially when the pension check arrives each month lol).
Unfortunately, after almost 20 years, my marriage to Ray ended. In 1989 I remarried, to Chuck Schuster. We will soon celebrate our 33rd anniversary.
My two daughters are married and live in Florida, Erin and husband Mike, and Mary with her husband Gene and their two daughters. My oldest son Tim and wife Sue live in Northern KY with their two daughters. Sean and his wife Tina and their son, Sean Jr., live not too far from us. Chuck has one daughter who lives in Mississippi with our granddaughter and grandson.
We have a home in Ormond Beach where we retreat for a few winter months each year, but I am a die-hard New Yorker, I love Long Island and my many IRS friends, LMHS friends, and neighbors. Besides, with our five children in three different states, how could we choose where to live?!
Twelve years ago we moved to a golf community in Middle Island. We golf, ride bikes, play pickleball, play cards. We are also avid travelers. We’ve gone as far north as Northern Sweden/Arctic Circle down to New Zealand/Australia. We’ve gone on a safari in Tanzania and tented in the Serengeti. We’ve done whitewater rafting down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon three separate trips, usually with a group of friends along. We also like to ride our Spyder (three-wheel) motorcycle, having been from Nova Scotia to Key West (not in all one trip though!)
For many years a few of us LMHS gals would spend a week together in Myrtle Beach. We would reminisce, gossip, and get totally silly! Unfortunately, I don’t see another “retreat” in our future. I miss those trips—for that week, we were taken back in time to being silly Levittown high school girls and all our cares and worries would disappear! Friendship and laughter are, indeed, the best.
Our Spyder, Nova Scotia