Elvena Gerner Countryman, 91, wife of the late Arthur Irving Countryman of 1101 Chester Village West, Chester, CT, formerly of Hamden, passed away January 13, 2009. She was born in New Haven, April 25, 1917, daughter of the late Charles and Laura Elizabeth Kaehrle Gerner and was a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, class of 1938. She received her Master's Degree in Library Science from the former Southern CT State College. Mrs. Countryman was a librarian for the Town of Hamden, prior to her retirement, a former member of the New Haven Power Squadron, Dunbar United Church of Christ, and wrote a weekly column for the Hamden Chronicle entitled 'Dunbar Hill Chronicle'. She is survived by daughters, Ruth Phillips of Bangor, Maine and Mary Palumbo of Killingworth, and 4 grandchildren. Predeceased by 2 sons, David A. Countryman and Charles Irving Countryman. A special thank you to Annie Younge for her compassion and care of our mother. Memorial service will be held at BEECHER & BENNETT, 2300 Whitney Ave., Hamden, Friday morning, January 23 at 11:00. Friends may visit with the family from 10-11. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one's choice or do a kind deed for someone today.

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  1. Dear Mary, Ruth & Family, I worked with your Mom at Community and Miller Libraries before her retirement. She was unflappable and had a wonderful dry wit. It would make you say incredulously, .Did you really say that Elvena?., then you would both breakout in laughter. Besides being MHC grads [1982], we shared our love of dogs, especially black labs. I was eager to hear of Trucker’s latest escapades when off lead. She talked proudly of you, Mary and Ruth. She glowed when talking about her grandchildren. I remember being at Elvena’s retirement party. Mary, I think you were expecting your first child at the time. She was very excited about a new grandchild, retiring from the daily grind of the library and spending time with Art. Together they took their dream trip to Alaska. Elvena always sent me a lovely Christmas card & note. Sometimes during the year, she’d drop a note with a clipping about the Library in it. She even came over to meet me in Hamden when her friend the Village was going to a local doctor. We caught up for a short time. She was a good and kind friend, a mentor. I will miss her deeply. I’m very sorry for your loss. Sincerely, Irene Nolan

  2. Dear Mary, Ruth and Family, I enjoyed the days I worked with your mother at the Mt. Carmel Library. I always found her so pleasant to work with. I know that she will be sorely missed by all who knew her. My deepest sympathy to all of you, Shirley

  3. Dear Ruth and Mary Your mother will be deeply missed. She was like a second mother to Suzanne, Bill and I. She used to give Bill and I haircuts until we were over 10 years old. Her dry sense of humor was memorable and she was unflappable in any situation. When I was about eight years old, the Countryman’s cat left a dead mouse at their back door. Her son Charles and I brought it into the kitchen to see how she would react. She was not at all shocked and offered to dissect it for us. She explained the function of each of the mouse organs as she uncovered and separated them at the kitchen table.. We watched in amazement and learned a lot about biology. She has made a lasting impression on our lives and we thank her for that.

  4. Dear Ruth and Mary, Your mother was the last of her generation. I remember how the doors were always open between our two houses and all of us travelled freely between them. I especially remember your mother leading us safely out of Sleeping Giant Park when we got lost following the Blue Trail. We were all scared silly but we knew we were safe with her. I think she treated us all to ice cream at the end of our great adventure. She will be truly missed. I am so sorry for your loss.

  5. I worked with Elvena at the Miller Library and remember her fondly – she was smart, kind and funny – a good combo! My condolences to her family.

  6. My heartfelt condolences to Mary and Ruth. Your Mom remained a tie to the old neighborhood for many years. My mother often recalled the trips she took with she and your Dad. I remember her sharp mind and keeping her sense of humor always. Best regards, Carol Prior

  7. To Ruth and Mary and all family and friends. With deepest feeling of loss for a close neighbor and family friend. The last of the great generation of a time that was. Elvena’s positive impact on so many lives will live on through good deeds.

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