Lorraine Marie DeCarolis, daughter of the late Ann (MomMom) and Thomas Robinson, was born January 25, 1930 in Brooklyn, New York. She passed away just shy of her 91st birthday on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2021, at The Baptist's Home in Rhinebeck, NY. As witnessed by her loved ones huddled at her window, Lorraine received excellent care and great comfort in her final days for which they are eternally grateful.
Lorraine is survived by her adoring husband Louis DeCarolis. The two were married at Saint Matthew's Church in Brooklyn. As teenagers they had met through mutual friends over a dice game. Little did they know how life would roll out for them.
Lorraine is also survived by their children: daughter Doreen, son Glenn and Crystal, son Gregg and Denise, and daughter Claudine and David Brammer.
Becoming a grandmother was a role that added tremendous laughter and joy to Lorraine's life. She was affectionately known as "Grammy" or "Wheezer" to Vanessa and Daniel Shafer, Cassandra Ruff and Kara Dunbar, Marissa, Danielle, Drew, and Devin DeCarolis.
She will tenderly be remembered as "GG" to her great-grandchildren: Lincoln Rupe DeCarolis, Shea Karaline and Etta Lou Shafer, all of whom shared the rare gift of living on the same compound with their great grandmother for the better part of their lives.
Lorraine and Louie were lifelong small business owners and relentless hard workers. They owned a luncheonette in Crown Heights Brooklyn during the 1960s before moving their family and MomMom to Red Hook in 1971 when they purchased what was then Schaffer's Inn. There they established the Gaslight Inn which was not just their business, it was their family home. While it offered roadside lodging to some it provided far more than that to many. The Gaslight welcomed repeat guests who became Lorraine's friends, and her "your key is in the door, dear" mentality offered haven to countless individuals and local families in need. Lorraine successfully ran The Gaslight until her mid-80s when her granddaughter and grandson, Vanessa and Daniel Shafer, bought it in hopes of carrying on the family legacy Lorraine and Louie had built.
For several years Lorraine and Lou also owned the business that is now known as The Cornucopia, directly across from their Inn and introduced the novel idea of a convenience store in Upper Red Hook. In the late 1980's Lorraine opened a real estate office in the heart of the village. While she loved Brooklyn, she was a proud and beloved Hardscrabble resident. She participated in the Red Hook Area Chamber of Commerce, was active with St. Christopher's Church, an engaged civic member of the community and a staunch caregiver and donor to anyone in need. Lorraine was a proud supporter of the Democratic Party and seeing Barack Obama take office was one of her greatest joys, perfectly complemented by the reporting of Anderson Cooper.
She was an avid reader and devoured celebrity memoirs alongside the prolific words of Pope Francis, St Francis, Martin Luther King, Jr. and countless others. Lorraine was very engaging and had an astounding memory that she was always eager to share, except during Dynasty or when her beloved Yankees were playing ball. She had developed a love of the game at Ebbets Field and it never left her. A ballgame and Holy Cow were her true respite in life.
Her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, her beloved 106-year-old Aunt Marie, her entire Florida family, her adored niece Stacy Stiuso and nephew Neil Kightlinger also of Red Hook, her unofficially adopted daughter, Barbara Jacob, her nieto Naelson, family, friends and guests near and far, will greatly miss her and her famous voicemails. She and they were priceless. If you knew Lorraine you know, there will never be another.
Friends may call at Burnett & White Funeral Homes on Friday, June 11th, 2021 from 4 to 7PM. A Memorial Service for Lorraine will be on Saturday, June 12th, 2021 at 11AM at the Red Hook United Methodist Church, 4 Church St. Red Hook, NY 12571. All are invited back to the Gaslight Inn, 8049 Route 9, Red Hook, NY following the service for continued time of fellowship and some refreshments.
In lieu of flowers we ask that you consider a donation in her memory to Red Hook United Methodist Church at 4 Church St., Red Hook, NY 12571.
Arrangements are under the direction of Burnett & White Funeral Homes 7461 S. Broadway, Red Hook, NY.