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Schenectady
Thursday, April 18, 2024

Centuries-Old Connection: Marchitto and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Join Forces in County

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Jeane Marchitto was⁤ born in Schenectady⁢ on Oct. 18, 1920, just a few years after the nickname⁣ “The City That Lights and Hauls the World” became associated with our town. Almost 100 years ⁢ago, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, a long-standing Schenectady institution, opened its doors to the community.

Although American Locomotive ⁤Co. has​ closed ‍and General Electric’s presence in⁢ the city has declined, Marchitto and Our Lady ⁣of Mt. Carmel continue to⁢ thrive. The two have been intertwined for a century ​and Marchitto is without a doubt ‍one of the most dedicated members of ‍the church.

Named Jeane Gullott at birth, Marchitto‍ was baptized at St. Anthony’s on Nott ⁢Street. However, when ‍she ⁣was just a‌ toddler, her family began attending Our Lady of‍ Mt. Carmel. The‍ new Catholic church was located in the Hamilton Hill neighborhood, much ⁢closer to their home in Hungry Hill.

Despite⁢ the shorter ‌distance, Marchitto ⁢was happy to walk anywhere,‌ especially if it involved singing. Blessed with a beautiful voice, she ⁣frequently performed at local events,​ even‌ at non-Catholic churches, ⁤which was not well-received by‌ her pastor at the ⁣time.

“In ​those ⁤days, you were not supposed ⁣to enter ‌another church if you were Catholic,” ⁢Marchitto recalls. “But I was asked to sing⁤ and I would walk all the way downtown to the Methodist church. My‌ pastor found out​ and told me I couldn’t do that.”

Fortunately, Marchitto could still sing⁣ with the ‍Mt. Carmel choir and did so until just a few years ago.⁢ She currently lives‌ at the⁣ Ellis Residential ⁣and ‌Rehabilitation Center and although⁣ she no longer​ attends‌ regularly,⁢ she ​remains devoted to the church and her ⁤faith.

In 1939, she graduated from ⁢Mont Pleasant High School where she was known for her powerful soprano voice.⁣ It was her lifelong dream ‌to attend​ the ⁤Crane School ‍of‍ Music, but at the time,⁢ college was not a priority for her family. She stayed in Schenectady and married Anthony Marchitto in 1942. Together, they raised their three children, Thomas, Frank, and Bernadette.

Working at the ‍state office was always her true goal ⁢and‍ she eventually took and⁢ passed several exams, ending up with a Grade 9 position before retiring after nearly 40 years of service.‌ She ‌would⁣ go ⁢on to provide her talents and time to ‌her family, church, and community.⁤ Whenever Our Lady of Mt. Carmel needed help promoting an event, you could always count on seeing “contact Jeane Marchitto for more information”⁤ in the newspaper.

Marchitto fondly remembers Schenectady when the circus visited Hungry Hill and when local boxer, Marty Servo, packed an arena with ⁢fans during⁣ one of his biggest career fights. She lived in the Hungry Hill neighborhood before moving to Mont ⁣Pleasant ⁣and recalls her mother⁢ and sister working in the sporting goods ‍business, making baseballs and softballs. ‌

Wilson Sporting Goods⁤ opened a branch in Schenectady in 1920 but the plant closed in 1954. Marchitto remembers working in a factory and, unlike‌ many of her coworkers, she wanted a more fulfilling job. She often​ took state ⁤exams and eventually got a position at the office ​in Albany.

Although most of her family and friends have passed away, her two adult children, Thomas and Bernadette, visit regularly and she continues to ​make new friends. Marchitto, who turned ‍103 last month, feels like⁤ she has a purpose ‍and cherishes every day.

She says, “I’m here for ‍a reason and when I have fulfilled my purpose, it will⁣ be⁢ time ⁤to go.”

Her enthusiasm and work ethic are as⁤ strong as ever. Currently in a wheelchair and learning how to walk again, Marchitto eats healthily and reads the Bible daily. She enjoys talking to visitors and spending time outside in the sun. There’s no doubt her kind and welcoming personality will forever be ingrained in the Schenectady community.

WILSON⁢ IN SCHENECTADY ⁣

World-famous sporting goods company, Wilson Sporting Goods, opened a branch‌ in Schenectady in 1920. Although the company had a legendary success story, the Schenectady plant closed after 30 years in operation. Many‍ of the ‍employees, mostly women, went on strikes and there was a lot of tumultuous‍ activity‌ throughout the years. The plant was eventually demolished and a new building, now used for postal services, was erected⁢ in its⁣ place. Despite its short lifespan, the factory was a lasting memory for Marchitto and many others in the community.

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Juniper Li
Juniper Li
Juniper Li, with her roots in documentary filmmaking, brings a unique narrative style to local news reporting. A graduate of NYU’s Journalism program, Ava has a keen eye for stories that capture the essence of community life. Her reporting often highlights local achievements and challenges, drawing on her experience in visual storytelling.
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1 COMMENT

  1. Good grammatically, agrees: Joining forces between Marchitto and Our Lady of Mt Carmel in County is a strategically intelligent move, paving new pathways while respecting the centuries-old connection.

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