By the family
Aug. 16, 2023: Patricia Owen Schaffer, age 93, a longtime resident of Bronxville, died peacefully at Littleton Regional Healthcare, Littleton, NH on June 25, 2023. Born in Lynn, MA, she was the daughter of Elizabeth G. Crosby and Lester A. Forsyth, and beloved granddaughter of Annie B. and John M. Gilbert of Swampscott, MA.
She was married for 52 years to the late Robert G. Owen, Organist and Choirmaster at Christ Church, Bronxville, and subsequently to the late David E. Schaffer, Town Moderator of Franconia, NH for 30 years, also formerly of Bronxville.
She attended the Dalton School and graduated from the Hewitt School in New York City. She was a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and earned her master’s degree in Library Science from the Pratt Institute.
Sarah Lawrence College figured prominently in her life. The entirety of her working career was spent at the college’s Esther Raushenbush Library, where she became the Head of Technical Services and Acquisitions Librarian. Upon her retirement from the library, she was appointed Archivist, overseeing collecting and organizing the historical record of the college. For her many years of dedication to the college, she was honored with the Alice Stone Ilchman Award for Service in 2002.
In her retirement, she pursued her passion for history and research, volunteering as archivist for Christ Church. She was the history consultant and a contributing author to Built Upon A Rock: The First 100 Years of Christ Church, Bronxville, New York (2004), and also contributed two chapters to the book, Building a Suburban Village: Bronxville, New York, 1898-1998 (1998). She was an avid genealogist, tracing ancestors back to founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and was especially proud that among these immigrant ancestors were direct descendants of the Plantagenet kings of England.
Moving to Franconia, NH after her marriage to David Schaffer in 2006, she joined All Saints Episcopal Church, Littleton where she had many dear and faithful friends. She was actively involved in advancing and enhancing the mission of The Frost Place in Franconia, a museum and educational center for poetry at the home overlooking the White Mountains where Robert Frost and his family lived from 1915 to 1920.
She is survived by her children: R. Christopher Owen (Kate) of South Salem, NY and Patricia Owen Taylor of Watertown, CT; her brother Victor Lyman of Pisgah Forest, NC; grandchildren Sarah T. DeHaan (Randy), Timothy G. Taylor (Remy), William F. Owen (Taylor), and Scott F. Owen; and great grandchildren, Jackie, Finley, and Juno DeHaan. In addition to her husbands, she was preceded in death by her brothers, J. Maynard Lyman and Alexander S. Lyman, and her sister, Sally L. Allen.
A service of interment was held in the columbarium of Christ Church, Bronxville on Thursday, August 24 at 11am, followed by a reception in the undercroft.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to All Saints Church Food Pantry, 35 School Street, Littleton, NH 03561.