SCOTIA — As a young girl growing up in Quaker Street, Patricia Coppolo Hoeth waited for the first winter snowflakes.
Her mother, Matilda Coppolo, told her all those wisps of white could build bunches of snowmen.
Patricia began building snowmen. She found ways to dress them in creative outfits.
When she couldn’t build them, she bought them.
“Patricia never outgrew her love for snowmen,” said her sister, Rosalie Stafford. “Wherever she traveled, a new snowman would join her collection.”
Hoeth, who lived in Scotia, died in October at age 86. The collection has been entrusted to a relative who lives in Delanson, where hundreds of snowmen are on display in a small family room.
They wear top hats and coats, scarves, winter caps and carrot noses. Some carry candy canes, one has a shovel, a few are candles. All have smiles.
“She just had a love for them,” said Stafford, 84, who lives in Glenville. “Some people have a love for cats and dogs, she had a love for these people.”
The snowmen took over the Hoeth household during the Christmas season. They had places in the living room and kitchen and became a sensation. Hoeth often invited family and friends to visit her and her snow people, with hot chocolate and cookies as extra incentives.
“Snowmen large and small filled the house with warmth,” Hoeth said. “Come February, each snowman was wrapped carefully and put to bed.”
Hoeth was a vibrant woman. She lived part of her life in the New York City area, where she worked for Con Edison. She lived in Yonkers and made friends who called themselves the “Bunny Club.”
Hoeth was an avid dancer, loved meeting new people and followed sports. Her favorite teams were the New York Yankees, New York Giants and Duke Blue Devils. And she liked a margarita once in a while.
One of Hoeth’s last wishes was a simple one: She wanted the snowman tradition to continue. She wanted her figurines to have a new home.
“Patricia would have been so happy that all her snowmen were all together,” Stafford said.
“Whenever you are out catching snowflakes, remember her.”
Reach Daily Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 518-395-3124 or at [email protected].
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Categories: Life and Arts