SIDNEY — Louise Bechtold of Sidney died on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, in Oneonta. She was 92.
She was born Louise Regina Siegert in New York City on July 13, 1921, a daughter of the late Paul and Wilhelmina (Bürk) Siegert, immigrants from Austria and Germany. She grew up on Nodine Hill in Yonkers, graduated from Commerce High School in 1939, and married Bert Bechtold in Yonkers on May 30, 1942, a loving partnership that lasted for 66 years until his death in 2008.
She worked at various jobs in Yonkers, including 10 years as a key-punch operator for the Otis Elevator Company. In 1967, she and her husband moved to Unadilla, where they were to live for the next 37 years.
Since 2004, she’d lived at Sidney Senior Village.
She and her husband liked to travel and visited every state but Hawaii. They camped in Alaska, the Northwest Territories, Mexico and Central America, and made several trips to Europe, where they met relatives on both sides of her family.
For 21 years they were winter Texans, living six months of the year in Harlingen, in the Rio Grande Valley, and forming lasting friendships with other snowbirds from northern states. While in Texas, Louise and her husband helped transport food and clothing to needy families in Nuevo Progreso, Mexico, and sponsored the continued schooling of two children from that city, in a country where free education ended at sixth grade.
Louise volunteered as a tutor in the Harlingen schools, teaching children of Mexican immigrants to read, and volunteered in two Harlingen nursing homes.
Locally, she’d worked in the cafeteria at Bendix and was part of the original crew of the Sidney McDonald’s. She volunteered at the New York State Veterans Home in Oxford and at the former extended-care wing of The Hospital in Sidney.
In the 1970s, she and her husband were foster parents to three young children.