Matushka Pauline Warnecke

Funeral services for Matushka Pauline Warnecke will be held at Saints Peter and Paul Church, South River, NJ, at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, September 5, 2011.  Visitation will begin at 5:00 p.m. at the church.  A reception will follow.  On Tuesday, September 6, the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m., followed by coffee and light fare.

At 7:00 p.m. Tuesday evening, a Panikhida will be celebrated at Saints Peter and Paul Church, Syracuse, NY.  On Wednesday, September 7, the Burial Service/Panikhida followed by interment will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m.  A reception will follow.

Matushka Pauline, 89, fell asleep in the Lord on Friday, September 2, after a brief illness.  She was the wife of the late Protopresbyter Alexander Warnecke, long-time pastor of Saint Peter and Paul Church, Syracuse, NY.

Born Pauline Stepanovna Shafran to Stephan and Rosalia Shafran in Olyphant, PA on July 2, 1922, she was a fraternal twin.  She and her twin brother, Archpriest Paul Shafran of Trenton, NJ, were the youngest of the family’s five children.  Their sisters, Olga Dakunchak and Matushka Sonia Labowsky, and their brother Emilian Shifron [sic], predeceased her.

She married seminarian Alexander Warnecke, at the time a student at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, at All Saints Church, Olyphant, on September 4, 1948.  After his ordination in 1950, she and Father Alexander began their life-long ministry at Saint Peter and Paul Church, Syracuse, NY, until his repose in July 2001.

She graduated from Saint James Hospital School of Nursing, Newark, NJ, in 1943.  She received additional professional training as a nurse anesthetist at Mount Carmel-Mercy Hospital School for Anesthesia, Detroit, MI, from which she graduated in 1948.  She worked for over 40 years as a nurse anesthetist at the VA Hospital in Syracuse, NY.  After retiring in her mid-70s, she continued to volunteer at the VA until relocating to Monroe, NJ in 2001.  She was a pioneer in her field; she and a few other women of her time paved the way for opportunities for women in mid-level health care positions.  She helped many parishioners and immigrants in Syracuse and elsewhere navigate healthcare options and sought out medical pro-bono services for those in need.

She was well known as a hospitable and gracious hostess, welcoming parishioners, friends, acquaintances, and strangers into her home, especially for dinners.  She helped provide housing and comfort for many through the years.  Her love was not only extended to other persons, but to animals, which she loved.  Throughout her adult life, she rescued and adopted numerous dogs and cats from shelters.  As a child of the Great Depression, she was known for her frugality and industrious work ethnic, yet she always shared the fruits of her labor freely.  She was known for her love of Russian culture, and she supported local linguistic, cultural, and artistic happenings in the Syracuse and New York City areas.  She maintained an extensive collection of Russian art, icons, and artifacts.

In her later years, Matushka Pauline enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and took an interest in a variety of activities.  She was fond of recalling past memories with her twin brother, Father Paul, with whom she shared the qualities of persistance and sturdiness.

After moving to New Jersey, she became a parishioner of Saints Peter and Paul Church, South River, before moving to Saints Cosmas and Damian Adult Home, Staten Island, NY, where she attended services at Saint Irenaeus Chapel.  She was much beloved by the staff and her fellow residents, with whom she enjoyed many activities.

In addition to her twin brother, Father Paul, and Matushka Mary Shafran, she is survived by two daughters, Daria York and Argyra Lapchuk; her sister-in-law Elizabeth Youngblood; eight nieces and nephews; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.  A fifth great-grandchild is anticipated to be born in the near future.

Donations in Matushka Pauline’s memory may be made to Saint Andrew’s Camp, c/o Jeffrey Hoff, 575 Scarsdale Road, Tuckahoe, NY, 10707, noting in the memo line that it is in her memory.  On-line donations may be made

May Matushka Pauline’s memory be eternal!