March 19, 1949 ~ March 20, 2021

Born in: Woodstock , Vermont
Resided in: Mt. Sinai, New York

 

To watch the funeral services on Saturday 4/17 at 4:00 pm click on the link above

 

Eric Paul Sehlmeyer of Mt. Sinai, N.Y. passed away peacefully on March 20, 2021 surrounded by his family.  He was the beloved husband of Maryanne Sehlmeyer, and father of their two daughters Audra Marie Gensel (James B. Gensel) and Carla Ann Sehlmeyer-Mecke (Thomas Mecke).

 

Eric was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend. He brought joy and happiness into all our lives. He had a kind heart and strong soul. He showed us love and cared deeply for family and friends.  Eric was predeceased by his parents, Ernest Ferdinand Sehlmeyer Jr. and Estelle Starke.  He is survived by his four grandchildren, James Matthew, Megan, Thomas Jr. and Annaliesa.  Eric was the dear brother of Stephanie Davis, Constance Sehlmeyer, Ernest Sehlmeyer, Anna O’Brien and Kathy Ferris.

 

Eric was a Vietnam Veteran and Electrician of the IBEW Local 25.  He was passionate about history and enjoyed doing crossword puzzles.  While he fought to overcome his illness with every ounce of his being, he entered the kingdom of God with the confidence and fearlessness only possible for those with true faith.  His radiant soul and the memories we share will never be forgotten.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Eric’s name to:

The Vietnam Veterans of America

or

The American Cancer Society

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Charities

The family greatly appreciates donations made to these charities in Eric P. Sehlmeyer 's name.

American Cancer Society (Cancer.org)

P.O. Box 22478
Oklahoma City, OK 73123

https://donate3.cancer.org/?campaign=frucorg2&lang=en

The Vietnam Veterans of America

7305 Military Trail Bldg. 10
West Palm Beach, FL

https://vva.org/donate/

Memories Timeline

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Guestbook

  1. You’ll always be in my heart! My fierce defender, protector, and friend. Rest In Peace Eric. Maryann and your girls and grandkids will be fine. Give Jesus and my family a kiss for me. Until we meet again, much love!

  2. Eric Sehlmeyer
    Son. Brother. Soldier. Husband. Father. Friend.
    In all his roles in life, one thing that shone brightest was his character.
    The principles that guided him in a life that inspired so many — especially me — were simple and straightforward: Love strong. Work hard. Do your best. Never quit. To this day I can still hear him say, “You can’t try and fail; you can only fail to try.”
    Both humble and proud, Eric downplayed his own wisdom and capabilities, but spoke publically and proudly of his wife and their children, of their many talents and accomplishments, as he deflected any compliments from himself to “Maryanne. She raised them. She did it all. She’s a great mother.”
    Eric was the most selfless and generous man I have ever known. If he were down to his last dime, and he thought you might need it, you got it. If you were faced with a problem — a burst pipe in my living room ceiling comes to mind — he was there to fix it before I could ask for help.
    And he could fix just about anything.
    He was the brother I never had, a better friend than I could ever imagine.
    Eric was a man of honor, integrity, generosity — and a weird sense of humor:
    At a local pizza joint: “Tony.” “Yeah.” “Gimme a garbage pie.” “Don’t call it a garbage pie.” “OK.” [Long pause, then] “Tony.” “What?” “Gimme a garbage pie.”
    [Cue laughter].
    At a Julio Iglesias concert: “Where’s Julio?” Loudly and intentionally mispronouncing the famous entertainer’s name with a hard “J.”
    MANY TIMES!
    At a gas station, where the County Executive had just filled up his county-owned Suburban: “Hey, you’re gonna have to pay cash. Your credit card was declined.”
    Not everybody always appreciated his sense of humor.
    But I did.

    The saying, “I’m a lover, not a fighter,” did not apply to Eric.
    He was both.
    He loved his wife, his family, his friends, his country, and his fellow workers. And he fought for them all.
    Called to serve in the Army, he was a Viet Nam veteran who rose to the rank of Sergeant … and suffered the effects of combat and Agent Orange for the rest of his life.
    Back in civilian life, he was not afraid to call fellow workers off a dangerous job site, even if so doing jeopardized his own job.
    Never intimidated, never overly impressed, never afraid to pop the balloon of someone’s self-importance.
    Money? Power? Influence?
    As far as Eric was concerned, “It don’t mean nothin’. ”

    I have tried — thanks again, Eric — to honor a humble, incredibly talented, selfless, loving, and influential person who helped shape the lives of so many people through his exemplary life.
    (At least, I didn’t fail to try.)
    But as usual, Shakespeare said it best.
    “His life was gentle, and the elements
    So mixed in him that Nature might stand up
    And say to all the world, THIS WAS A MAN!”

    Peace, Bro.

  3. I’m more of a “celebrate the life” than “mourn the passing” kind of guy. All I know is that I had a blast every time I met the man. My heart goes out to Mrs Sehlmeyer (Maryanne), Carla, Audra, and to all of the other family members and friends of Mr Sehlmeyer (Eric). My condolences to everyone and Rest In Peace, sir.

  4. candleRemembrances of Eric
    I escaped to the outdoors on the day my brother died, in search of peace, and understanding, and comfort.
    It was a sadly beautiful day, the first day of spring, with a bright sun and promises of new beginnings in the greening grass, the swelling buds. Snow drops and crocuses peeked cautiously through the melting winter snows, perhaps as surprised as I was by the beauty of the day. It had been a difficult winter; days of snow mixed with days of dark and drear. But the season had turned at last, right on time. Spring was unfolding as it should.
    My brother Eric was born on March 19th, St. Joseph’s Day, the day the swallows return to Capistrano. I used to remind Eric of that; I told him that he had brought with him the gift of hope; that his birthday marked the end of winter and the beginning of a new season, a time of renewal.
    Eric, and his family, all of us, had struggled through the cold dark of winter; through days of misery and pain and desperate prayer against the disease that was taking him from us. Now I prayed, on that lovely first day of spring, that he had found peace, and joy; that he was hearing, as I was hearing, ‘the music in the melting of the snow.’
    “It is a perfect day to begin a new journey,” I thought, as I watched the chattering robins seek out nesting space. “Perhaps he heard the swallows calling, and drew away from pain to soar away with them, to bluer skies and sunnier days.”
    My first memory of my brother was as a newborn, the latest addition to the family.
    I was four, going on five. His arrival rather upset my understanding of my world and how the universe worked. Up until then, we had been a family of five – Taffy (me), the eldest; Connie, a year younger, and Johnny, two years younger. And there was our mother – always busy, and our father, rarely seen.
    That was the way it was, so that was the way it was supposed to be.
    All of a sudden, there was this new baby. He didn’t do much. I remember a bassinette, white, with little wheels and a white skirt, and my brother looking up at me. He had the biggest, bluest, eyes. His name was Eric. We children had not expected him.
    On this particular day, not long after Eric came home, I was put in charge of baby watching with my brother and sister. My mother must have had some urgent chore – perhaps hanging laundry; I seem to remember her going to the back room of the house in Vermont, where I think laundry was hung in the winter.
    Anyway, she set us three older ones round the bassinette and told us not to move until she came back; that our baby needed watching. It was up to us to keep him safe.
    So, we stood there, round the bassinette, six little hands grasping its edge, watching our baby, and talking. Someone asked me where he came from. I didn’t know. By now, however, I had made a place for him in my world.
    “He’s supposed to be here,” I said. “A new baby comes every year.” How I knew this, I don’t know. I wasn’t in school yet.
    “First, there was me, I said, “And then there was Connie, and then there was Johnny, and now there is Eric, and next year there will be another baby.” Of course, I did not KNOW this, but, as it turned out, it was pretty good guessing, for Anna Frances arrived a year later, and Kathy came along after that.
    The questions continued, and I continued my answers. We kept up our baby watch.
    Suddenly, one of us, to get a better look perhaps, stood on the crosspiece that connected its wheels – and the bassinette wibbled and wobbled and went over with a crash. We were all stunned with shock. I was terrified that we hadn’t kept our baby safe.
    My mother came running in. I seem to remember she looked frantic; I don’t remember if she yelled at us or not. We were already pretty upset.
    So, already, just a few days or a few weeks old, barely started on his life’s journey, my youngest brother was at the mercy of the rest of us. That tumble from the bassinette was the first of many adventures, good and bad.
    There is a picture of us at Eric’s christening some time later. Connie holds her doll; Johnny is peering into the camera to see how it worked (I remember him asking). I am reserved and watchful, close to my mother, and she is seated, with a very relaxed baby Eric in her lap. Calm, quiet, easy-going. That was Eric.
    Despite sometimes harrowing adventures, Eric remained a happy child. It was not easy for him, I am sure. For one thing, he was the youngest of us walking kids at the time – tagging along, not old enough to play our games, but always trying.
    And he wore farmer overalls – we had very limited wardrobes, mostly hand-me-downs, and Eric got the bottom of the rag bag. He didn’t seem to mind, but he was teased about those overalls….
    I have a picture of the five of us older children, taken in front of the Vermont house on a day my mother came to visit. My brothers are dressed in matching cowboy outfits that she had sent. Eric is about four years old. There was a fuss, I remember, because Eric could not find his cowboy six-gun. Still, Eric was smiling in the picture; not much kept him down.
    I have another photo of Eric at about age ten – this time, on Long Island. It is winter, and Eric and I and two neighborhood boys are standing in the snow-covered driveway. Eric is smiling, holding a huge snowball over the head of one of the boys. He liked to liven things up.
    There’s another of him, in the spring, with a baseball and glove – getting ready for team tryouts, perhaps. We were on Long Island, still much on our own, with Mom working and no dad. My brothers had newspaper routes and Little League – as long as they could get themselves there. Eric took it all in stride and, as we all did, made the best of things. The photo is not a good one but it’s easy to see his cheerful smile, and remember his big blue eyes.
    Eric was always hopeful, expecting that everything would turn out all right, with hard work, enthusiasm, and a little luck. I remember teaching him, when he was quite small, to look for four-leaf clovers. Years later, at the house where he and Maryanne raised their daughters, I watched him walk the yard, looking for those lucky clovers. He found a few, and gave me two for my journey home. Years after that, in the last months of his illness, I sent one back to him, with love and thanks for the sharing times.
    These are memories of Eric as I knew him, on mostly sunny days. There were no doubt dark days, angry days, like the early days after his return from Viet Nam. But it is the sunny day memories that, for me, are the essence of Eric.
    There are phrases in “Desiderata” that remind me of him:
    “As far as possible, be on good terms with all persons….” I think that Eric did his best to live up to that ideal.
    And this: “Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. You have a right to be here.”
    Eric was here with us for what seems now so short a time. Yet, like the trees and the stars, he made his mark and enriched our lives. His passing leaves an ache, an emptiness, and sadness blurs the happy times.
    One day, though, the promise of spring will be realized. Bright memories will fill the dark empty places, and the smiles on our lips will gentle the tears in our eyes.
    Dear Eric, you are some days and weeks now into your journey, your latest adventures; soaring with the swallows, perhaps. No doubt as optimistic as always, with those big blue eyes. We could not hold you back.
    And so, as our sister Kathy said, “Go with our love.”
    As for us, we must bide, and take this lesson from “Desiderata:
    …whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
    Or, as we would hear Mom say many times as we got older, “This is the way it’s supposed to be.”

    [Dedicated to my younger brother. From his Sis (the eldest one)]
    Remembrances of Eric March 2021
    1493

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