Carol Schrier Gelles, a resident of Westchester County, passed away at the age of 84 on Sept. 22, 2013, at Sound Shore Medical Center in New Rochelle.
She is survived by her husband, Walter; her sons, Robert and Richard (Susan); her grandchildren: Andrew, Danny, Kevin and Thomas; her sisters-in-law, Edith Gelles (Michael Weiss) and Carol Gold Gelles (Henry Gelles, deceased); her brothers-in-law, David (Pam) Gelles and John (Marilyn) Heimerdinger; and her 12 nephews and nieces. She is predeceased by her sister, Suzanne Heimerdinger.
Carol was born on Dec. 8, 1928, to Herman and Mildred Schrier and grew up in Mount Vernon until the age of 13. In 1942, her parents and their friends Monroe and Muriel Gold opened the Placid Shore Inn on Placid Shore Boulevard (now Victor Herbert Road) in a Lake Placid house overlooking Paradox Bay.
Carol reminisced that her mother urged her to play the piano beautifully so that conductor Eugene Ormandy, who vacationed nearby, might hear Carol's piano playing and "discover" her. Carol never did get a summons from the famous conductor. Carol also remembered when singer Perry Como dined at the Placid Shore Inn while he was in Lake Placid to be crowned the King of Winter. The Schrier and Gold families continued to operate the Placid Shore Inn into the early 1950s.
Carol met her future husband, Walter Gelles, at Lake Placid High School; they graduated in the Class of 1946. Carol attended Wells College while Walt attended Syracuse University. On Jan. 28, 1951, Carol and Walt were married in the old Lake Placid Synagogue on Sentinel Road. The wedding reception took place at the Hotel Marcy. Up through the 1970s, Carol and Walt spent many of their vacations in Lake Placid.
Over the decades, Carol kept herself busy with various activities. She earned a master's degree at Columbia Teachers College and became a substitute French teacher. She served as a Wells College regional representative, worked as a volunteer in several political campaigns, and, through her synagogue, did outreach to homebound members of the congregation. She enjoyed gardening and continued playing the piano. She also took pleasure in playing golf with a small circle of women friends, who playfully referred to themselves as members of the "sorority" Sigma Alpha Golfa.
Carol touched many other lives with her warmth, generosity and love. She always radiated optimism, enthusiasm and good cheer. Those who knew Carol Schrier Gelles felt a terrible loss when she passed away.
A graveside service in Carol's memory will take place on Sunday, Aug. 17 at 2 p.m. at the Lake Placid Jewish Cemetery on Old Military Road. Rabbi Alec Friedmann of the Lake Placid Synagogue will conduct the service. All who knew Carol are invited to attend.