Anna Mae Swenson
Anna Mae Swenson

November 3, 1908 - August 7, 2017
Born in Poughkeepsie, NY
Resided in Rhinebeck, NY

Obituary

Anna Mae Swenson, one of the few centenarians in Dutchess County, died on Monday, August 7, 2017 at The Baptist home in Rhinebeck.

She was born on November 3, 1908 in Poughkeepsie to the late Louise LeRoy and Barent Van Alstyne Witbeck.

Anne Mae went to Poughkeepsie public schools before starting a 46-year career in banking, beginning at the Poughkeepsie Trust Co., then at the Dutchess Bank and Trust Co. (the former Bank of New York/Mellon). She began work as a teller and eventually became an Assistant Secretary.

Anna Mae loved to tell stories, including the one about the day the bank was ordered closed to prevent a run on the bank during the depression.

Always an opinionated and positive lady, she fought for equal rights for women. “I had a tough time as a woman there”, she said, noting that when she returned after her retirement, a young female employee “told me I was a legend and that she wouldn’t have her job if I hadn’t fought for the gals”.

During her lifetime, she was a member of St. James’ Episcopal Church in Hyde Park, the Lyric Club, Antique Study Club at the YWCA in Poughkeepsie, and president of the American Institute of Banking in 1958.

Anna Mae made her debut as a vocalist at the tender age of three. Over the next 101 years, her clear soprano gave the lifelong Dutchess County resident opportunities to perform at various events and church services, including the famous 1939 British Monarch’s visit to Hyde Park and St. James’ Episcopal Church.

The Roosevelts were members of the church. “The Roosevelts wanted to be royal, so they wore long dresses and formal clothes, but the royals wanted to be American, so they wore short dresses and were less formal.”, she remembered.

Anna Mae was widowed twice. Her first husband, Jacob DuBois, died in 1938. She spent many happy years with her second husband, Kenneth Swenson, whom she married in 1946 at their home on Quaker Lane in Hyde Park.

In addition to her husbands, Anne Mae was predeceased by a daughter, Ann Marie DuBois; her sisters, Frances W. Marchbank and Louise W. Hosier; and her brother, George Witbeck.

Ann Mae Swenson’s only living relatives are a niece, Frances Marchbank, of Key West, FL; a great-nephew, Paul Ritter, of Harrisonburg, VA; and a nephew, George Witbeck, of Kingsland, TX.

Anna Mae enjoyed playing bridge, and following her retirement, she set out and saw the world. “I sold 10 acres of land, and away I went to Europe, Morocco, Russia, and the whole Orient”.
She loved welcoming guests to her homes in Hyde Park and at the Woods Condominium Community in Rhinebeck, before she moved to Arbor Ridge in 2008, where she was the first resident to settle in the new facility. She was always the life of any party.

A memorial service will be held at St. James’ Episcopal Church, Route 9, Hyde Park on Friday, August 11th at 10am. A reception will follow. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests donations in Anna Mae’s name be made to the St. James’ Episcopal Church, 4526 Albany Post Rd., Hyde Park, NY 12538 (please make a memo that the donation will be supporting their choir.)

Arrangements are under the direction of Sweet’s Funeral Home, Route 9, Hyde Park.

To send an online condolence, please visit the website, www.sweetsfuneralhome.com.

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Services

Memorial Service
St. James' Episcopal Church
4526 Albany Post Rd.
Hyde Park, 12538
Friday, August 11, 2017
10:00 AM

Charities

St. James' Episcopal Church
4526 Albany Post Rd.
Hyde Park, NY 12538