This will be updated as more members of the family tweak their memories.
I asked David Fuchs to share his recollections about Shebby who he also knew as a child. Here’s what he sent back:
She had an Italian husband, but she was German from somewhere in the Alsace/Lorraine region which changed nationality every few years. A tiny woman whose age, in my mind, remained in the general category of ‘grown up’ all the time I knew her. In my mind she is permanently at the iron board in the kitchen, with my Mother seated nearby, pressing things and folding them. There was a running conversation of which I followed nothing, except that she had a couple of girls, one I think named Dolores, whose various adventures in school were legendary. Since she also worked for Aunt Kay, there were a string of the girls adventures that bounced back and forth between Woodhaven and Putnam Ave. I had a role of my own
In that ongoing saga. When my Fuchs grandfather died, I was sent around to her house, only a few blocks away in Woodhaven, to play Pinocle with her after school on Thursday afternoons. I managed to forget the date every week. So I would burst into the kitchen everytime, come upon Shebby and my Mother who would say “David , You are supposed to be at Grandma’s!’ That led to a sprint down the dead end block we lived in, a hoist over a wall into a garden, a lunatic cut across Forest Parkway, then two more blocks and ringing Grandma’s doorbell. Grandma and Grandpa owned a two story house on 85th Street. I would ring the bell. She would be sitting at the top of the stairs, in a kind of regal chair. She pushed a button. The door would spring open, and there I was. The usual greeting was ‘You’re late, you stupid boy.’ Ah well, a glass of orange soda came with the game.
PS: she was a terrific cook. I remember especially the stews she made, and the applesauce from the tree in our back yard.