WAPPINGERS FALLS, N.Y. - Eileen McDonald Sassmann, a fourth-generation 'Gilmore Clan' Wappingers native shared with Daily Voice that she's had a lifelong dream of being the Grand Marshal at the Dutchess County St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Saturday she got her wish.
"I always dreamed of doing it, it's way beyond my wildest imagination," Sassmann told Daily Voice from her seat on the reviewing stand. "From the first grade, I dreamed of doing this. I just never told anyone. I'm just showered with blessings... It's just wonderful.
"I retired in 1998 and started to volunteer in the village and the library, the Greenway Trails committee and others," she added. "This is such a beautiful area, I grew up around here, and a lot of my family is still here."
Sassmann, who graduated from St. Mary's Elementary School in Wappingers Falls, Mount St. Mary Academy in Newburgh (prior to the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge), and Mount St. Mary College, had a career at IBM from 1966 to 1998, and by the end of her IBM career she had attained the rank of Senior Technical Staff Member - the second highest technical rank at that time.
"Just to be able to help people, and to know that what I did at IBM is actually transferrable to helping afterward is wonderful," Sassmann said.
She was happy to see so many people out, even on a cold afternoon. "I think it's wonderful that all these people came out, and I hope they're all having as wonderful a time as I am," Sassmann said.
To view Daily Voice coverage of Saturday's parade, click here .