Jeni Schutrick-Vitielo (nee Giovanna Bamonte), a longtime employee in the Town of Cortlandt attorney’s office, died Mar. 20 after a brief illness. She was 84.
She was born in Philadelphia to Pasqualina (Lena) and Charles Bamonte on Sept. 11, 1936. After her father’s sudden passing, her mom, sister Rose Anne and Jeni relocated to New York where Jeni spent the remainder of her life.
From the time Jeni was a young girl, she had an abiding Catholic faith and a deep devotion to Jesus and His teachings. She lived her life from a place of compassion, generosity and love. She had an incredible sense of humor, and her laughter was a source of great joy to all who knew her. Professionally, she was a paralegal and loved her work. She retired from the Town of Cortlandt at 70, but that did not slow her down.
Her volunteerism won her many awards, but this was never the motivation for her selfless work. Among many other things, she gave freely of her time to head the Friends of Hudson Valley Mental Health, the food pantry in her community, and coordinated monthly meals for the homeless. Jeni was a Eucharistic minister, a hospital chaplain and taught CCD for 55 years.
She made certain that everyone had a seat at her holiday table who would otherwise be alone. She loved the season of Lent and every year made 100 Easter baskets for needy children so they too would have joy during Easter. At Christmastime, she distributed a countless number of gift cards to struggling families. Always looking out for others, there was nothing she wouldn’t do to make someone feel included, loved, safe or wanted. It was genuine, it was Jeni.
Jeni loved her precious family without reservation and with all of her heart. Her countless friends were graced by her unending kindnesses, and she always extended her hand to strangers who rarely stayed strangers for long. The size of her heart was limitless. Jeni recently said that she wanted to write a book about the family. The book was not written, but the story of Jeni and her life will live on.
Jeni was married to Thomas Schutrick, with whom she had two sons, Charles and Thomas. Many years after that marriage ended, Jeni met and married Vincent Vitielo, with whom she shared a happy life. When he passed, many people said how sorry they were that she “lost” him. She would kindly reply that he was not lost; she knew exactly where he was – safe in the arms of God.
Jeni is survived by her sons, Charles (Susan) and Thomas (Elizabeth); grandchildren Justin, Jarod, Jessica, Charles (Alicia); her great-grandson, Wyatt; and many loving cousins and friends. She was predeceased by her parents, stepfather Jack Grandazzo, husband Vincent and sister Rose Ann (Bamonte) Broderick.