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Rye Loses Jeanne Sinnott

Thanks to Rye's Ted Carroll for writing this remembrance.

Jeanne A. Sinnott – past President of the Rye Board of Education and past President of Resurrection Church Parish Council died Monday at her home in Rye. She was 79.

Jean Sinnott

A Rye resident for over 55 years, Mrs. Sinnott was born in the Bronx and graduated from St Jean Baptiste High School in Manhattan and earned her bachelor's degree in Business from Good Counsel College (now Pace University.)

In her “day” job – along with raising her daughters, Mrs. Sinnott worked in advertising, marketing and research for such companies as NW Ayer, Doyle Dane Bernbach in New York City and in Rye for ITT Continental Baking and Gabelli & Company.

In her “nights, weekends and whenever” job, Mrs. Sinnott was a highly respected volunteer and leader of numerous community events and organizations most prominent being her dozen years at the school board during the tumultuous late 1960’s thru the mid 1970”s where she served as President from 1972 thru 1975.

Longtime friend Sis D’Angelo remembered her as a gracious and tenacious advocate for classroom excellence at all levels and recalled the many long nights she spent working through tough issues (with characteristic grace) with members of the community as the war in Vietnam raged and The Watergate Hearings were viewed live in classrooms at Rye High School.

Jean Sinnott and family

Sis also recalled Mrs. Sinnott in action the night of a special election in the early 1970’s when it was discovered that the sole voting machine used to count over 2,000 local votes had malfunctioned – resetting itself mysteriously after each 999 votes back to one single vote. The results were widely disputed (loudly) and contested (hotly) in Albany but ultimately certified. 

Another longtime friend, Tina Smith of Allendale Drive, recalled Mrs. Sinnott’s personal love of travel, especially cruises, and her delight at sailing transatlantic on the QE II and then staying aboard as the ship visited other European ports. Mrs. Smith recalled Mrs. Sinnott’s strong intellectual curiosity on a multitude of subjects which she spoke about at their frequent dinners over many many years. Chinese food was a mutually favored delight.

Shirley Carroll, of Warriston Lane, recalled Mrs. Sinnott’s deep religious faith and how that impacted her work during the introduction of sex education at Rye High. Mrs. Sinnott shuttled between officials of Planned Parenthood and the rectory at Resurrection spending hours shaping a consensus policy on the issue (including how far anatomical depictions in classrooms would go). Neither side was fully pleased but acceptable policy was forged.

Mrs. Sinnott is survived by her daughters Colleen Powers of Rye and Louise Stocker of New York City; sons-in-laws James Powers and Michael Stocker and her four beloved grandchildren. The family will receive friends at Graham Funeral Home today, October 1st, from 2-4pm and 7-9pm. A mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday October 2, 2009 at 10 am at Resurrection Church.

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