Noreen Callahan Schnell

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.


Jan. 10, 1932 — Oct. 4, 2019

Noreen Callahan Schnell, 87, a longtime resident of Rockland County, New York, peacefully passed away at her son Tim’s home in Wilson, on Oct. 4, 2019, surrounded by an abundance of love with her family by her side

Noreen was a prominent New City resident, raised on a bucolic 118 acre farm in upstate New York. From this upbringing, she was able to cultivate a lifetime of education in music, intellect and creativity. A dynamic woman for her generation, Noreen attended Potsdam College at the age of 16 where she earned a degree in music. During this period, she was able to grow a love for literature and philosophy. While Noreen earned her degree, she met her future husband, Frank Schnell Sr., a World War II hero. They met during her summer job at Lake Placid, New York. This is where Frank famously reported, “I saw her from across the room and I knew I was going to marry her.” Luckily for Noreen’s family, he was right. They ultimately relocated to New City, New York next to another farm setting, which was nice for Noreen. This allowed her to continue her education at New York’s Empire School of Music. Noreen and Frank had five children together, and she was able to instill the love of music in her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Noreen’s creative talent in the kitchen is another thing her family will always remember. There will always be comfort in the unforgettable “Shrimp Jello,” “Wind Pudding” and the most loved “Spaghetti and Eggs.” The secret recipes will be handed down for generations.

Noreen was preceded in death by her husband, Frank Schnell Sr., in 2005 and her youngest son, Christopher, in 1996. She was also preceded in death by her parents, Bertha and Pete, and her siblings, Robert, Chet, Betty and Gen.

Surviving are her four children, Franceen DeCicco, and husband, Joe, Frank and Candy, Tim and Judy, and Kathleen Baker, and husband, Carl; 18 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; one sister, Rae Fobare of Schenectady, New York; and dozens of nieces and nephews from the North Country.

A celebration of Noreen’s life will be held in the spring of 2020 at her daughter, Kathleen’s, in Middletown, New York.

Memorials in Noreen’s name may be directed to Community Home Care and Hospice, 2841 Daisy Lane N., Suite E, Wilson, NC 27896.

Funeral services are under the direction of Thomas-Yelverton Funeral Home, Wilson. Online condolences may be sent to www.thomasyelverton.com.