Spoiled Children of Divorce


Exemplary Children of Divorce – Gretchen Buchenholz

Karenna Gore Schiff has published a book about 9 American women whom she admires. The book is called Lighting the Way: Nine Women Who Changed Modern America.

3 out of the 9 women are products of Divorce. This helps out my studies. The Children of D. with the natural instincts to care for others really seem to excel in the world.  The kids who grow up and succeed are the ones who like to interact with other people a lot.

The first one I’ll list here is Gretchen Buchenholz. I can’t find her birth data or decent biographical information about her childhood.

As Schiff describes, Buchenholz was raised in New York City by a Single Mother who worked in a factory. Buchenholz was the third child and youngest. There’s no mention of her Father.

Buchenholz says she has happy memories of her childhood. She liked sports and played softball & Basketball. Her Mother encouraged her children to share, something that Buchenholz is inherently good at. Her Mother also was able to both recognize her children’s talents and encouraged them to develop their gifts. Buchenholz began working at various jobs from an early age because the family was poor. She said this helped expose her to many different types of people and lifestyles.

From one of her jobs cleaning out horse stables Buchenholz learned that she had a great love for horses. She married a psychiatrist and then began to use horseback riding to help others therapeutically. She then opened a daycare center that included disabled children and homeless children. She says that all should be accepted. “There is not a problem playing with handicapped children when so much of play is magic.”

Buchenholz’s community involvement expanded and expanded through many different charities in New York City where she lives. Schiff says that she is gifted with the ability to find real solutions for what seem like difficult societal problems. Her work has involved her with Children’s needs, homelessness, hunger, AIDS, 9/11, and much more.

Buchenholz’s husband passed away in 1984 and so she has raised their 6 kids mostly as a single mother.


4 Comments so far
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My experience with Gretchen was much the same as many.It changed my life. IN the fall of 1980 with a dreadful divorce not quite behind me, a meaningless job I had just lost, kids in shambles, I found the Pantry at 316 E 88TH ST.from there to the soup kitchen to eventually the executive director of the yorkville common pantry. It’s been many years since I left New York, but what I do, think and care about are due to Gretchen. I think of her often and my life always incorporates her.

Comment by betsy siggins schmidt

Hi Betsy,

Thank you for sharing that wonderful story.

Comment by toothless

Gretchen mentored me when I was at a tough place in my life: hard work and true feelings for those living in poverty.
I miss her. It was an amazing journey
She just gets it and it’s infectious !

Comment by Betsy siggins schmidt

That’s wonderful. Thank you for visiting the blog.

Comment by toothless




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