Thursday, January 8, 2009

Alumni Mom - In Memory of Gretchen Stringer

The following originally appeared as part of a larger post about an alumni mom, Gretchen Stringer, back in July. She passed away Tuesday, peacefully and with her family. This is a tribute to a much admired citizen, volunteer, woman, and mother:

"Gretchen Engstrom Stringer was inducted into the WNY Women's Hall of Fame in 2001:
"Gretchen Stringer walks around with pockets full of energy, humor,inspiration and optimism, all of which she generously shares with anyone lucky enough to bump into her. And there have been scores so blessed over the decades of her business and volunteer careers. Gretchen’s distinctive style of leadership has inspired groups from Girl Scouts to Junior League provisionals, from community workers to businesswomen. Building a house, planning a celebration or serving a client, Gretchen goes the extra mile that makes everything she touches special."
She is highly regarded for her myriad contributions to the community and work in the field of volunteer administration. The Friends of Women's Rights had this to say about Gretchen when listing her as a member of their board of directors:
"Gretchen Stringer has actively served on more than 20 community boards, including the Girl Scouts Council, NABOW, Junior League, and the Erie County Commission on the Status of Women, and has received numerous honors for her volunteerism, including induction into the Western New York Women’s Hall of Fame in 2001. In 2005, the Volunteer Administrators of Western New York established the annual Gretchen Stringer Outstanding Award in the field of volunteer administration. Gretchen is currently the President and Owner of Volunteer Consultants."
Perhaps one of her most unique accolades was being chosen to carry the Olympic torch when it traveled through WNY in 1996.

She also served on the Clarence School Board. There's so much else to say about her other contributions, books, classes, seminars, inspirations, recognitions and such. She has not only served on several boards, she has also served down in the trenches.

Now semi-retired, Mrs. Stringer did an interview with WBFO and it can be heard on their site. She was accompanied by NYS Senator Mary Lou Rath, who then participated in the memory conversation (pictured). I'm sure the 40 minutes flew by, just like the years."

STRINGER - Gretchen (nee Engstrom) January 6, 2009, age 83; beloved wife of the late Loren F. Stringer; loving mother of Lizbeth, Pamela, Frederick (Lisa) and William (Giselle Maira) Stringer; cherished grandmother of Elspeth and Neil. The family will be present on Friday from 2-4 and 6-9 PM at the (Amherst Chapel) AMIGONE FUNERAL HOME INC., 5200 Sheridan Drive (Corner of Hopkins Road) where funeral services will be held on Saturday at 1:00 PM. Friends invited. On-line guest register at

View/Sign Guest Book


allthingsjennifer said...

Gretchen was everything I hope to be someday, it has been a blessing to know her and to be inspired by her compassion.

Linda Drury said...

Gretchen Stringer was my Girl Scout leader and a great role model. She was a beautiful person.