Edith H. Labita

Sept. 28, 1914–Jan. 4, 2013
Edith was born in Mt. Vernon, N.Y. Her father, Leo von Duehren, had a tavern on East 55th Street in New York City. During Prohibition, the family moved to New Jersey. She graduated from Pompton Lakes High School and was awarded a full scholarship to Pratt Institute.

Edith H. Labita

In later life, she was a beautician and had worked at Chugins in Cutchogue and Williams in Greenport. She lived in Southold with her family for over 20 years, also in Parkchester, N.Y., New Port Richey, Fla., and East Setauket and St. James, N.Y. She was a member of the Eastern Star and the Colonial Hills Civic Association.

Her late husband, S. Richard Labita, who had worked at Plum Island, predeceased her in 2003. She leaves behind a daughter, Roberta Rogers of Port Jefferson; a son, Richard Labita, and his wife, Dorothy, of Remsenberg; three grandchildren, Sue and husband John Oppedisano of East Northport, Richard J. Rogers and Maryann Ryan of Port Jefferson and Richard S. Labita and his wife, Denise, and daughter, Taylor, of Sound Beach; as well as two great-grandchildren, John and Nina Oppedisano; and a sister, Marie Hillyard of Spring Lake, N.J.

Edith was a voracious reader, a watercolorist and a dress designer and did beautiful knit and crochet handiwork. She loved to tell stories about her youth in the 1920s. We heard many a tale about a one-horse open sleigh and, later, her Model T Ford. She had stories of how the Great Depression affected her family and told of men on horseback riding in white sheets in Pompton Plains, N.J.

Her sister has a handwritten book of von Duehren history dating back to the 1600s in northern Europe. They had belonged to the Dutch Reform Church in New Jersey. Edith was a Presbyterian woman, married a Roman Catholic and raised her children Catholic. Through genealogical research, it was discovered that the von Duehren ancestors had lived in the Netherlands and followed the Catholic priest Mennon, who started the Dutch Reformation. They were a founding family of the Mennonite church in Danzig.

Her family is thankful to the staff at St. James Healthcare Center for their loving care these past six years.

Interment will be at Calverton National Cemetery at a date to be determined. Edith was 98.

This is a paid notice.