Prudence Shlimbaum Ferraro: 1926-2022

Prudence Shlimbaum Ferraro, “Prudy”,” daughter of Dr. Sol Shlimbaum and Lillian Mills Shlimbaum from Bay Shore, NY, loving wife to Frank J. Ferraro, from Babylon NY, wonderful mother to David, Ben, Joanne and Prudence, mother-in-law to Lorrie, Jack and Eddie, amazing grandmother to Jake, Jill, Angelika, Bryce, Miles and Cole passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on October 28, 2022. Cause of death – long life lived well.

Prudy was born on November 28, 1926 in Bay Shore, NY. She attended Bay Shore High School and was awarded the prestigious Elmira Key upon graduation. After three years at Elmira College she transferred to Cornell University School of Nursing where she received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and RN in 1949. Prudy’s career began as a public health nurse in Suffolk County, Long Island until the birth of her first son David. She returned to work as a school nurse teacher at Gardiner Manor Elementary School in the Bay Shore District where the family resided. Prudy was a lifelong learner and pursued two masters’ degrees as a working mother. Prudy was passionate about her job, teaching health education to her students, and her commitment to education continued throughout her life – inspiring and encouraging her children and her grandchildren to pursue all that an education had to offer.

Prudy retired from the Bay Shore School District after 20 years and moved to New Smyrna Beach with Frankie. Having no interest in golf, she signed up as a substitute teacher and quickly became a number one sub. In addition, Prudy mentored students at The Boys Club of New Smyrna. After Frankie passed away in 2006, she sold her home and moved to Dobbs Ferry, NY close by her two daughters. Prudy once again continued her commitment to education and worked as a substitute teacher, as well as a volunteer, in the Dobbs Ferry School District at 80 years old. At 89 she stopped subbing but continued volunteering at the Springhurst Elementary School until the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown in March 2022. Over her 15 years in Dobbs Ferry she was an active member of the community. Prudy was a contributing archivist at the Dobbs Ferry Historical Society up until her passing. In addition she was a member of the South Presbyterian Church, joined the Dobbs Ferry Library book club, and was a weekly regular at the senior center playing Mah Jongg and Bridge.

A key piece of Prudy’s life centered in Fair Harbor, Fire Island and has spanned four generations. Her family bought their first home when she was just three years old in 1930. In the 1938 hurricane their ocean front beach house was washed away like so many other homes in Fair Harbor. Her mother later purchased a new home on Broadway which is still in the family today. Her love of Fire Island has been handed down to her children and grandchildren. She was an avid clammer, fisher, swimmer, loved to pick fresh blueberries and beach plums for her delicious pies and jams and was instrumental in creating a Fair Harbor Cookbook. She ran the doctor’s office for a number years and was a volunteer at the Fire Island Lighthouse and the Fire Island School Library. When her children became teenagers, she hosted Fresh Air Fund Kids to share the beauty and bounty of the island she loved so much.

At the age of 93, Prudy became an ordained minister so she could marry her eldest grandson Jake and his husband Alex Bondarenko. It was a beautiful ceremony. In Prudy’s words, “if we replaced the word ‘Godwith ‘Lovethe world would be a better place.”

Prudy had a strong sense of purpose throughout her long productive life. She was committed to service, a love of learning and sharing, and to helping others. Her door was always open to anyone in need of counseling, food, or a bed – in fact she never locked her door! Her final act of service was donating her body to Weil Cornell Medical College in the interest of medical education.

Prudy is survived by her children David Ferraro, Ben Ferraro, Joanne Ferraro Eleftheriou, Prudence Ferraro Bettinelli, Daughter-in- Law Lorrie Ferraro, Son-in-laws, Jack Eleftheriou and Ed Bettinelli, grandchildren, Jake Eleftheriou, Jill Ferraro, Angelika Eleftheriou, Bryce Ferraro, Miles Bettinelli, Cole Bettinelli and grandson-in-law Alex Bondarenko.

Contributed by Ben Ferraro, Joanne Ferraro Eleftheriou and Prudence Ferraro Bettinelli

A private celebration of her life will be held with immediate family only. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to:

Habitat for Humanity

Dobbs Ferry Historical Society
12 Elm Street, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522


Bay Shore Historical Society
22 Maple Ave., Bay Shore, NY 11706

Fair Harbor Fire Department – EMS