An Enduring Tribute

The Ithaca College community is a close one. As students, as alumni, as faculty and staff, we all share a connection with one another through our association with this amazing institution. And as much of a lasting impression as Ithaca College has on our lives, each one of us leaves an equally indelible mark on our IC community.

The faces you see below are members of our college community who have died. Here, we take a moment to reflect on their lives. We remember their generosity, their contributions, their intellect and interests. Each story describes the life of a loved one lost, offering us a chance to reconnect with a unique spirit, or make an acquaintance for the very first time.

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Cleta Dromgoole Schermerhorn '30, M.S. '56Cleta Dromgoole Schermerhorn '30, M.S. '56
September 2, 1910 April 7, 2014

Cleta Belle Dromgoole Schermerhorn was born in Finchville, N.Y., on September 2, 1910. She studied music at Ithaca College, graduating with a bachelor's degree in 1930 and a master's degree in music education in 1956. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, Cleta met Marlo Keith Schermerhorn on November 11, 1928. They exchanged little more than a hello that night, but the encounter was the start of the college sweethearts' lifelong love story.

Cleta and Marlo were married on June 29, 1932, and made their home in Lancaster, N.Y. In 1934, their only son, Devon "Pete" Lee Schermerhorn, was born. Cleta loved traveling with Marlo and Devon, and visited every continent, except Antartica.

At the time of Cleta's death, the Schermerhorns were listed at  number 9 on Wikipedia's site for "Longest Living Married Couples" in the world and, once updated, the Schermerhorns will be listed on the "100 Longest Marriages Ever" at number 58.

Early in her career, Cleta taught music in Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y. Once she and Marlo moved to Lancaster, Cleta established herself there, directing three choirs at St. John's Lutheran Church and taking on private voice and piano students, with each student giving her a picture of them to be placed on the piano. The entire front of the upright piano was covered by the time she stopped teaching privately at the age of 93.

Cleta and Marlo founded men's and women's choral groups and directed the Lancaster Community Chorus for 25 years, performing at international festivals and competitions, and a variety of venues, including Carnegie Hall.