On December 17 at 7 p.m. the Milford Township Council will issue a proclamation to Stephanie Neugebauer.
The Proclamation will include some of the highlights of Stephanie’s life as listed below.
Stefanie Neugebauer, a resident of Milford, PA and a former resident of Yorkville, in Manhattan will be 100 years old on December 24, 2018.
She was born in the Austrian mountain village of Laas, in Styria, orphaned at age 7 with her twin sister Mitzi and brother Erich. Raised by her grandmother.
She grew up on a farm with the nearest one room school house several miles away.
At the age of 14 she left home to find work in the next big town in order to support her family.
She travelled to Vienna at 16 to work as a housekeeper for an accomplished young fashion designer, who also taught her how to cook Viennese style.
She eventually travelled to the Stuttgart area in Germany, where she worked during the day and continued her studies, taking accounting and stenography courses at night.
She then took a job with the German Railway. For most of her life she could decipher train schedules in her sleep. She was posted to various towns and met some very good people with whom she is still in touch with today. They are friendships that have lasted over 80 years and encompass several generations. Many of these friends have come to the numerous family reunions she and her husband Franz organized over the years in Austria.
After the war, she came to the city of Villach in Carinthia, where she met Franz Neugebauer. They eventually married in 1950 and began a life together. She also welcomed with open arms Franz’s daughter Heidi, who was as much a daughter to her as Ingrid and Doris.
She encouraged Franz to travel to New York in 1956, “for a few years” to see the city and earn some money with which to build a better home in Austria.
They both travelled to Hamburg to board a ship to New York City, which is where the second part of their life’s journey began, entering New York harbor and seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time.
After a few months in New York, Steffi became pregnant to her first daughter Doris, followed by Ingrid, two years later. Plans of returning to Austria were put on hold. Steffi and Frank concentrated all their energies on raising their daughters, working hard and saving to buy a small place in the country, which eventually became the little bungalow at Lake Quinn. Steffi had a tremendous garden and beautiful flowers and many fruit trees that she lovingly cared for.
Both Steffi and Franz invested in real estate in Brooklyn and Queens. Steffi took over all of the property management, often working weekends.
Over the years many trips to Germany and Austria were made to visit with relatives and friends, America had become their new home.
The girls (Doris and Ingrid) finished college and moved into their own places, Steffi convinced Frank to start travelling again. They toured extensively – North and South America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the South Pacific and took in countless cultural sights and events which Frank captured on film. They make up cherished memories of a lifetime.
Steffi was not able to continue her skiing, hiking and mountain climbing in NYC, she was able to garden for a good part of the year. She loved swimming at the lake and taking the rowboat out to pick blueberries across the lake, picking for hours at a time. Even at 99, she continued to swim. A passion she never let go of. Of late, she enjoys walking with our family dog Kasey. Everyone in the neighborhood knows and recognizes her. Many leave a chair in their driveway so she can rest if she gets tired on her way home.
Steffi is admired for her love of life, her commitment to family and friends, her generosity and kindness to others and her overwhelming spirit to enjoy every moment that life gives us. Despite a very poor upbringing, she always believed and proved to all of us “that even a poor farm girl can make something of herself.”
The council meeting is open to the public and anyone wishing to attend the reading on the Proclamation is welcome.