Dateline: Schenectady, NY
Lorraine Marie (Barber) Soellner, a long-time resident of Burnt Hills, died on Monday, October 12, 2020 at Schenectady Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing. She was 90 years old.
Born on April 12, 1930 in Shaftsbury, VT, Lorraine was raised in White Creek, NY. A 1947 graduate of Hoosick Falls High School, she went on to attend the Ellis Hospital School of Nursing in Schenectady, from which she graduated in 1950. Lorraine went on to work at Ellis, first in pediatrics and then in the operating room. She met her future husband, musician and teacher Glenn Soellner, in the Young Adults group at Emmanuel Baptist Church, where they were married in 1953. Lorraine continued to work at Ellis until the early 1960’s. During the 1970’s, she worked for the Schenectady Inner City Ministry day camp program and was a substitute nurse for the Burnt Hills –Ballston Lake Schools. In the 1980’s, she joined the staff of the Schenectady branch of Planned Parenthood. Lorraine founded and was case manager of their pre-natal care program, one of the first such programs in the country, for which she received the YWCA Reach Award in 1994. She continued in that role until her retirement in 2000.
Lorraine was an active participant in the cultural life of the Capital District for many years. A talented amateur singer and actress, she performed with the Schenectady Civic Players, Schenectady Light Opera Company, Burnt Hills Oratorio Society, Festival of Praise and the Thursday Musical Club, often singing under the direction of her husband, Glenn. A member of Emmanuel Baptist-Friedens Church for over 60 years, Lorraine was a dedicated choir member and played an active role in many areas of church life, including serving on the Diaconate and as church ombudsman.
Lorraine will long be remembered for her laughter, her humor, her beautiful voice, her love for her family and friends, and her unfailing dedication to helping others. Throughout her life, her career as a nurse was a source of great pride to her and all who loved her.
Lorraine is survived by her daughters, Elaine S. Royal of Tappan and Hillary S. Parks of Troy; grandchildren Matthew and Katherine Royal and Kal and Nicholas Parks; great-grandsons Owen and Theo Royal; and sister, Shirley Nunes of Bristol, RI. She was pre-deceased by her husband, Dr. Glenn Soellner.
Gifts may be made in Lorraine’s memory to Planned Parenthood, 1040 State Street, Schenectady, NY 12307.
Burial arrangements are under the care of Townley-Wheeler Funeral Home in Ballston Lake, NY.