Minette Long Munson, wife of the late Edward Dorn Munson, and former Altamont, NY resident, died on June 14th, 2010 at the age 90 close to family in Exeter, NH. She is survived by her three children: Phillip (and spouse Judy Munson) of Fort Walton Beach, FL; Carol (and spouse Dick Huber) of Exeter, NH; and Chuck (and spouse Kate Munson) of Annapolis, MD. She also leaves five grandchildren (Seana, Jeremy, Heidi, Damon and Keith) and two great grandchildren (Oliver and Haley Virginia). She was predeceased by her three brothers: Norman, Winthrop and Bob.
Minette was born in 1919 in Beijing, China, the daughter of Austin O. Long and Helen Cox Long who were serving as YMCA representatives to China. She was a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, class of 1940; and after raising a family, she taught at Guilderland High School for several years until her retirement in 1984, inspiring students to pursue biology as their chosen career.
She took advantage of her retirement years fulfilling her dream to travel widely, visiting many foreign countries and returning to Beijing twice. She followed her life long interest in archeology by assisting in an archeological dig in Cyprus. She was considered by her grandchildren to be a really cool grandmother for white water rafting down the Grand Canyon's Colorado River, riding a tortoise in the Galapagos, befriending a python in Thailand, and at age 82, enjoyed exploring the temples of Angkor Wat.
At home she volunteered as an escort for Planned Parenthood, participated in the community hospice program and supported fund raising for the renovation and restoration of the local Guilderland Schoolcraft House. She helped foreign crew
members who were docked in the Port of Albany to navigate the US postal system when they wanted to mail letters to friends and family back home. She welcomed Chinese foreign students into her home during the holidays making some long time friends in the process.
Minette's sense of humor endeared her to many, young and old, and endured to her final days. She recently remembered with some pride her mischievous behavior as a young girl in China that earned her the distinction of being referred to by her childhood Chinese caregiver as: "jegga-hidza" or THAT child! In the last five years she was fond of accompanying her Exeter family members to the local ice cream stand for "bing-jer-ling" runs (rough Chinese translation for "ice cream"). When asked if we would have ice cream for dessert, she would quip, "Are you new around here?" One of the nurses' aids at Mom's nursing home confided that, "Minette was one of her faves." Always ready to share her knowledge, Mom had happily taught the young nurses' aids how to say "I love you" in Chinese, but cautioned that the phrase should be used selectively.
Donations in Minette Munson's name could be made to her favorite organizations: Planned Parenthood, community hospice programs, or the New York State Youth Theater; or a donation might be given in her name to OMRF Alzheimer's Disease Research, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, 825 N.E. 13th Street, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73104.
In keeping with Minette's wishes and her prior arrangements, her remains have been donated as an anatomical gift to the Albany Medical College. Therefore there will be no funeral service. Instead, a memorial service in her honor will be conducted at 2:00 PM on August 7, 2010, (celebrating her birth date - August 15th) at the Altamont Reformed Church, 129 Lincoln Avenue, Altamont, NY 12009.
Arrangements for the service are being coordinated with the help of the Dutch Reformed Church in Altamont and the Fredendall Funeral Home (199 Main Street, Altamont). If you would like to share a fond memory, please visit the funeral home's website ( fredendallfuneralhome.com) and "Light a Candle".