Following a stage four colon cancer diagnosis in November 2018, 54-year-old Sharon Koblenz Feldman started walking, tenaciously believing salvation was only a stride away. While finding strength and inspiration in the views surrounding Walkway Over the Hudson, she was determined to live a long and meaningful life through each step.
Nearly every day for the next three and a half years, Sharon got out of bed, put on her make-up (she never went anywhere without it), laced up her sneakers, drove from Somers to Poughkeepsie, and walked along the Walkway accumulating as many as 20,000 steps per visit. Sometimes joined by family, often chatting with passersby, she approached each trip with a zest for life and always remembered to count her blessings.
“Getting to her next walk is what helped her fight through 58 rounds of chemotherapy,” said Naava Koblenz, Sharon’s sister-in-law. “No matter the weather, if she could get out of bed, she was walking.”
Nearing the end of her fight, Sharon’s family chose to celebrate her life and legacy by installing a bronze medallion along the Walkway’s north railing. In July 2022, surrounded by loved ones, Sharon was there for the unveiling ceremony to see that her name – and the traits of strength, courage, and passion for life that she embodied – would be forever attached to the park she loved so much. Sharon Koblenz Feldman passed away three weeks later, at the age of 58.
“The bridge was her bridge, but it’s everyone’s bridge,” Naava said. “Seeing the medallion gives our family and friends peace and a place to remember Sharon. We hope that it can help others too.”
Since Sharon’s passing, members of the Koblenz and Feldman families continue to travel to the Hudson Valley from near and far to walk the Walkway and stop at the medallion, sharing Sharon’s story. Donations in Sharon’s name have exceeded $1,000, in recognition of what the park means to so many.
“From our perspective, the Walkway is a great place for everyone,” Naava said. “We want it to continue to grow and be there for people to enjoy.”
To learn more about dedicating a medallion or bench to memorialize or honor a loved one, contact Diane Haight at 845-454-9649 or firstname.lastname@example.org.