Schenectady – Barbara Foote Draffen, age 92, died peacefully in her sleep on Saturday, June 25, 2022. She was born on October 10, 1929 in Gloversville, NY. Raised in Northville, NY, she graduated from Northville High School first in her class at the age of 16 and Syracuse University, with a B.A. in Speech. Although she taught English for several years, her main career, for which she was remembered most fondly by her family, was majordomo of her eight-person household. She maintained a prominent presence in her congregation at the First Reformed Church of Schenectady where she served as an elder and deacon. Many of her fellow parishioners recall her fondly for her encyclopedic knowledge of both the Bible and the church itself and she volunteered her time managing churches in transition for the Schenectady Classis of Reformed Churches (for which she also served as President). She was also an active member of the Northville Presbyterian Church where she and her husband made their home in retirement.
Barbara volunteered extensively including longstanding membership in the Junior League where she was an early supporter of The Schenectady Children’s Theater, for whom she and her eldest son acted, touring elementary schools around the city. She also spent many years working the front desk at Girl’s Incorporated in Schenectady, offering not only her administrative skills, but her wisdom, comfort, and care to all who walked through its doors.
Barbara enjoyed playing Bridge, doing the NY Times crossword (exclusively in pen), and having lunch with the girls at Klippels in her hometown of Northville.
She was predeceased by her parents, William and Helen Foote; her brother, Lieutenant J.G. William W. Foote, and her husband of 68 years, Jack Windrum Draffen who died on April 5, 2020. Jack moved their family eight times for his job with General Electric and Barbara never complained or thought twice when the time came to move. Jack would frequently remark, “My wife can do anything.”
Survivors include her children – Christopher Draffen (Margaret), Rebecca Draffen Grande (Carlos), Andrew Draffen, Matthew Draffen (Teresa), Helen Guerin (Joshua) and Jennifer Draffen (Brian Yates); Her grandchildren – Emily Draffen (Stephen Garrett), Sarah Draffen (Pedro Carbajal), Aurora Phillips (Alex Liebson), Nathaniel Phillips, Camila Grande, Elena Grande, Marcus Draffen (Kristen) and Lucas Draffen; one great-grandchild – Clementine Garrett; and Elsie Binotto (Eder) Cruz, the family’s Brazilian exchange student.
Services for Barbara and Jack will be held on Wednesday, July 6 at 3 p.m. at The First Reformed Church of Schenectady, 8 North Church Street, Schenectady, NY 12305. The entrance can be found on Church Street. The family extends their thanks to the staff of Glendale Nursing Home for the care she received at the end of her life.