Sophie Bunte 95, passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 7, 2015 in the home of her daughter with her family and J-lo by her side.
Born in Bayonne, New Jersey on October 8, 1919 she was one of six children of the late Stephan and Stephanie Ribachonek. The family moved to Manhattan in 1920 and Sophie contracted polio during the epidemic of that time. She spent a good part of her early years, during the Depression in the appropriately named Hell’s Kitchen, later discovered to be near Ground Zero for the worst epidemic of that type, then or since. Sophie survived, persevered, and eventually returned to a normal life and gainful employment, doing her part for the war effort in the early 40’s.
After the war, Sophie met the love of her life, Carl, and they were married in 1950. Carol, her only child, was born a few years later and the family moved to what is now known as the South Bronx. Carl died suddenly when Carol was 10 years old and Sophie became a single mom long before it became fashionable. Not to be defeated by the cards dealt her, she overcame that situation too; escaping from the Bronx, beginning a career with MetLife, and successfully raising her daughter in the (then) wilds of Staten Island.
After Carol married in 1972, Sophie lived independently in New York City for 34 years until retirement and age led to residency with Carol in Charlton and Malta, NY. There she spent her last years in the company of her immediate family, to whom she gave more than she took. Despite suffering from the aftereffects of her bout with polio, she never complained.
Among her many interests, Sophie loved classic movies, cooking for family and friends, visiting the nearby Racino, and spending summer days at the beach. She was a member of St. Mary’s Church.
Sophie is survived by her daughter and son in law Carol and Michael Blyskal of Malta; two adoring grandchildren Laura Bliskell of Malta and Michael Bliskell of Bound Brook, NJ; niece Eileen Shea of Fort Myers, FL and nephew William Shea of Pawleys Island, SC both of whom contributed greatly to her care and comfort throughout her life.
A memorial mass will be celebrated at 9:30am, Thursday, June 11 at St. Mary’s Church, Milton Avenue, Ballston Spa. A later internment with Carl will be in Long Island National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Community Hospice, 295 Valley View Blvd. Rensselaer, NY 12144 or St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital.