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Obituaries from the
Greenville Press

August 2007

Transcribed by Carol Golden
Obituaries provided by Sylvia Hasenkopf

August 2, 2007



Active in St. John’s


Mary Gulisane, 78, or Greenville, died Wednesday, July 25 at St. Peter’s Hospital after a brief illness. 

She was born in Manhattan July, 18, 1929, the daughter of the late Joseph and Nicoletta (Macchia) Lomuscio 

Mary and her husband, John, took up residence in Greenville shortly after marrying in 1949 and there they stayed. 

Mary was a loving and devoted wife, mother and homemaker.  She loved to serve others, and true to her Italian heritage, showed that love through her excellent culinary skills.  Pasta with the family on Sunday afternoons was a much beloved tradition. 

Mary was an incredibly kind and generous soul who lived humbly and cared very little for the material pleasures of this world.  Her treasures were her family, friends and faith.  She was an active member of St. John the Baptist Church, where she offered many hours of Christian service and helped with the local food pantry.  Her friendly, outgoing personality and kindness won the admiration of all who knew her.

Survivors include two daughters, Loretta Gulisane of Catskill and Maria Marquit (Wayne) of Greenville, a son, John V. Gulisane Jr. (Katherine) of Valatie; a sister, Antoinette (Toni) Ambrosio of Poughquag; eight grandchildren, Daniel, Jared, Joseph, Jacob and Angela Gulisane and Matthew and Joshua Marquit and Corrina Marquit-Phillips; and a great-grandchild, Gavin Marquit.

Mary was predeceased by her husband, John V. Gulisane; brothers, Joseph and Frank; and sister Katherine.

Interment was in the Saratoga National Cemetery, Schuylerville.

Arrangements were with Cunningham Funeral Home, Greenville.

August 2, 2007

Farmer, repairman

Donald Elroy Lockwood, 84, of South Westerlo, died Tuesday, July 24 at Daughters of Sarah Nursing Center in Albany.

He was born February 25, 1923 at the family home in South Westerlo, son of the late Elroy and Elberta (Swartout) Lockwood.

Don attended a one-room schoolhouse in South Westerlo before transferring to the Greenville Central School and graduated in 1942.

He took over his father’s poultry farm business and operated it until 1968.  He also worked for Blaisdell’s Repair Shop in Ravena repairing lawnmowers.

Don enjoyed spending time at the family camp on the Hudson River, gardening and helping his neighbors.

Surviving are his wife of 52 years, Janet (Boyce) Lockwood; three daughters; Cynthia Lockwood of Cobleskill, and Christine (Brian) Wickes and Ann (Jayme) Albin, all of Greenville.

Interment was in the Westerlo Central Cemetery.

Those who desire may contribute in his memory to the Westerlo Volunteer Fire Co. or to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, P.O. Box 515 Northampton, MA 01601-0515.

August 2, 2007

Helped the needy

Ann Mary Teresa Moynihan, 60, lived a full and happy life and worked tirelessly in the public interest and particularly for the benefit of the underprivileged.

Born May 11, 1947, she was the daughter of Eugene and Mary Moynihan, and the sister of Nora.

She also is survived by many other family members, friends and colleagues.

Burial was in the Greenville Cemetery.

Those who wish may contribute in her memory to the Coalition for the Homeless, New York City.

August 16, 2007

Poet, author

Thelma Bell, 99, of Durham, died Thursday, August 9 at the Whittier Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center in Ghent.

Thelma was born in Brooklyn on November 13, 1907, the daughter of the late George B. and Elise (Torressen) Dahl.

At age three, Thelma and her family began spending summers in Durham, commuting between New York City and back for several years,

In 1928 Thelma Dahl married Marshall Bell and they were joined later by their daughter “Teddy”.  Thelma’s four-year-old niece joined their family in 1941.

In 1945 Thelma, Marshall and family purchased the Durham General Store and became permanent residents of Durham.  Together Marshall and Thelma enjoyed a lifetime of memories in their 57 years of marriage.

Thelma was a gifted pianist.  In early years she teamed up with her lifelong friend Marion and played regularly on a Saturday morning radio show.  They were affectionately dubbed the “Piano Twins”.

Thelma also played with the Philbob Quartet at many of the area resorts for years.  She also was a piano teacher.

Writing was another of her gifts.  She was a contributing writer to local papers, a poet and the author of Reflection….A Lifetime of Memories,  “a biography not written in date order, rather written in the order of a wandering mind, over which she had no control.”

She was a member of the Greenville-Norton Hill United Methodist Church and joyfully accompanied the Children’s Cherub Choir and played in the church’s Bell Choir.

Recently crowned Queen of the Prom at her assisted living residence in Ghent, Thelma reflected during her sudden illness that she was “simply an ordinary woman who led an extra-ordinary life.”

Blessed with a sharp mind, Thelma, at 99, looked forward to visits from friends and family, especially her cousin Marge.  She could recant a century of historic events and often enjoyed the challenge of a good game of cards or tiles.

Thelma’s philosophical outlook at her 99th birthday celebration was that she just enjoyed life.  She was grateful for her many friends and extended family that looked after her, including Mary O’Rourke, Bonnie Kearney and Debbie Magee.

Thelma was predeceased by her husband Marshall Bell in 1985 and daughter Teddy in 2004.

A memorial service to celebrated Thelma’s life takes place Friday, August 17 at 1 p.m. at the Greenville-Norton Hill United Methodist Church.

As to her wishes, she was cremated and will be interred with her husband in the Oak Hill Cemetery.

Those who wish may contribute in her memory to the Greenville-Norton Hill United Methodist Church Building Fund.

Arrangements are with Cunningham Funeral Home, Greenville.

August 16, 2007

B & B, farm owner

Erika Elisabeth Head, lovingly known by everyone as Oma, of Greenville, died Thursday, August 9 at Hospice Inn at St. Peter’s Hospital with her family by her side.

Born in a small farm town, Hemslinglen, Germany, on August 13, 1925, she immigrated to the United States when she was 25 years old.   She purchased Pine Ridge Farm in Greenville in 1951 and ran it as a bed and breakfast and a working farm for many years.

In 1962 she moved to California, where she owned and operated the Twin Peaks Health Center in San Francisco as a licensed massage therapist for 18 years.  She retired and came back to Greenville, where she loved it the most.

She enjoyed traveling, gardening, reading, knitting and cooking.  She was most content while watching the birds and wildlife.

Surviving are a daughter and son-in-law, Elizabeth and Mike Gioja of Greenville; grandchildren Elizabeth Gioja of Reno, NV, and Michael Gioja of Greenville; and several nieces and nephews.

Her husband, Robert Patrick Head, predeceased her.

Funeral services and interment is Saturday, August 18 at 1 p.m. in the Greenville Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Erika’s memory may be made to the Greenville Rescue squad, P.O. 332, Greenville, 12083.

Arrangements are with Cunningham Funeral Home, Greenville.

August 16, 2007

Air Force veteran

John P. Begley, 51, of Cairo, died suddenly on Saturday, August 11 at his home.

He was born July 11, 1956 in Ireland, the son of Martin and Eileen (McMahon) Begley of Medusa.

John was an Air Force veteran and a former employee of Nems Trucking.

He had been an area resident for 17 years and was a member of Sacred Heart Church and supported the Cairo Food Pantry.

He enjoyed sports and computers.

Survivors include his wife Sandra (Abramson) Begley, son Sean of Cairo; sister Elizabeth Cook of Florida, niece Erin and nephew Josh.

Interment was in the Saratoga National Cemetery.

Arrangements were with Richards Funeral Home, Cairo.

August 23, 2007


Helen Flagler, 86, of Westerlo, died Sunday, August 19 at St. Peter’s Hospital, Albany.

She was born October 6, 1920, the daughter of the late George P. and Hazel (Stewart) Messer.

A lifelong homemaker, she helped her husband run their farm in Westerlo.

She was an avid bowler and also enjoyed fishing, watching sports on television and crocheting.  She also attended the Westerlo Reformed Church.

Surviving are a son, Duwane C. Flagler (Hazel) of Westerlo; her grandchildren, D. Renee Fisher (Timothy), D. Robin Smith (James),  D. Cameron Flagler, Devin S. Flagler (Mary) and D. Scott Flagler; and great-grandchildren Jessica and Justin Fisher, Aaron and MacKenzie Smith, and Austin, Kaitlyn, Kya and Alyssia Flagler.

Service and interment in the Westerlo Rural Cemetery will be at the convenience of the family.

Arrangements are by the Cunningham Funeral Home, Greenville.

August 23, 2007

Machinist, dairy farmer

Karl Heinz Volmar, 88, a resident of Greenville (Hannacroix), died in his sleep on Sunday, August 19 at the Kaaterskill Long Term Care and Rehabilitation Center in Catskill, where he had been a resident for the past two years.

Karl was born in Naumburg, Germany, on August 12, 1919.

In 1955, with his wife and two children, he emigrated to the U.S. to begin a new life. During his first few years in this country he worked as a machinist for General Dynamics in Waterbury, CT.

In 1961 he purchased a dairy farm on Hillcrest Road in the Town of Greenville and milked cows until his semi-retirement in 1985.  While in the dairy business he was a member of the many agricultural related groups and organizations.  He was the guiding force behind the creation of the Greenville Agricultural District.

Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Ruth Irene (Schubert) Volmar; two children, Monika Blasco (Andrew) of Kensington, CT, and Eberhard Volmar (Eileen) of Greenville; his grandchildren, Benjamin, Hilary and Molly Blasco, Dr. Keith Volmar, Karen Kirby (Eric), Kerry Houlihan (Michael) and  Kristin Dougherty (Kevin); a great-granddaughter, Isabel Kirby; and two sisters in Germany.

As to his wished, Karl was cremated and his remains will be put to rest on the farm he loved.  There will be a private family memorial service to celebrate his life at a later date.

Arrangements are with Cunningham Funeral Home, Greenville.

August 23, 2007


Henry S. Elwyn Jr., 82, of Freehold, died Monday, August at Albany Medical Center.

He was born in Norwich February 23, 1925, the son of the late Henry S. and Gladys (Babcock) Elwyn Sr.

Henry served in the Navy in the South Pacific during World War II.  A resident of Harriman for 28 years, he and his wife had been residents of Freehold for the last 13 years.

He was the owner and operator of Elwyn Bros. Drywall in the 1960s, employing 30 people.  He also was a contractor, remodeler and homebuilder in the 1950s and 1960s.  He also was a dairy farmer.

Henry was an avid collector of old bottles, a cat lover, a hunter, fisherman, scuba diver, water skier, poet and writer.

Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth (Tice) Elwyn; two daughters, Kathleen Cook of Yulan and Betty Charleston of Harriman; three sons, Henry Elwyn III of Middletown, Stanley Elwyn of Leeds and Gary Elwyn of Freehold; a brother, Charles Elwyn of Lake Clear Junction; three sisters, Mildred Wolfe of South Cairo, Betty Thomas of Copperas Cove, TX, and Doris Bailey of Bainbridge; 12 grandchildren; and 21 great-grandchildren.

A brother, Robert Elwyn, predeceased him.

Funeral services are today, August 23, at 11 a.m. at Cunningham Funeral Home, 4898 Route 81, Greenville.  Calling precedes services from 10 to 11 a.m.

Interment is in the Medusa Cemetery.

Those who desire may contribute in his memory to their local animal shelter.

August 30, 2007

Service station owner

Ruth Elizabeth Whitbeck, 95, of Preston Hollow, died at her home on Tuesday, August 21.

She was born in Charleston Four Corners on March 19, 1912, the daughter of the late Myron and Jennie (Montayne) Whiting.

She grew up on the family farm and after completing her elementary education, she attended Cobleskill High School.

Ruth married William Joseph Whitbeck on March 25, 1934 and had two sons, John Whiting and Peter William Whitbeck. In 1947 they opened and operated Whitbeck’s Service Station in Cooksburg. It is still in operation today, a third generation business. 

Ruth was predeceased by her husband in 1958.

Surviving are her two sons, John W. Whitbeck of Preston Hollow and Peter W. Whitbeck of Greenville; nine grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

As to her wishes Ruth was cremated and interred in the Oak Hill Cemetery with her husband.

Those who wish may contribute in her memory to Community Hospice of Albany, 445 New Karner Road, Albany 12205.

Arrangements were with Cunningham Funeral Home, Greenville.

August 30, 2007

Active in Catskill Elks

Anthony Ventura, 79, died Saturday, August 25.

Born in Catskill, he was the son of the late Cosmo and Lucy (Yannone) Ventura.

He was a member of many area organizations and was especially active with Catskill Elks Lodge # 1341.

He was a past employee of IBM.

Survivors include two daughters, Mrs. Robert (Deborah) Weisheit of Selkirk and Kathy Ventura of Coxsackie; a sister, Mrs. Charles (Antoinette) Porto of Catskill; four grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

His wife, Carol M. (Atkins) Ventura, predeceased him.

Cremation was private.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Patrick’s Church of Athens, the First Reformed Church of Athens or Community Hospice.

Arrangements were with Richards Funeral Home, Athens.

August 30, 2007

Painter union member

Henry Ferrante, 44, of Cairo, died Saturday, August 25.

He was born in New York City December 21, 1962, the son of Anna (Nieves) Ferrante of Florida and the late Matthew Ferrante.

Henry was a member of Local 201 Painters Union of Albany.

He loved all sports, cars, fishing, music and dancing.

Besides his mother, survivors include his wife of 14 years, Stephanie (Lackie) Ferrante; two daughters, Crystal Maria and Heaven Lee; five siblings, Cookie Morales, Fernando Morales, Larry Ferrante, Matthew Ferrante and Joanne and husband David Bundy; mother-in-law Frances Lackie; godchildren Matthew Thomas Lackie and Violet Bonet Sandburgh;  and many brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial is celebrated Friday, August 31, at 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church of Cairo with the Rev. Jeremiah Nunan as the celebrant.

Interment is in the Catskill Town cemetery.

Calling hours are today, August 30, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at Richards Funeral Home, 29 Bross Street, Cairo.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in his memory to the Children’s Education Fund, c/o Stephanie Ferrante, 153 Bross Street, Cairo, 12413.

August 30, 2007

Army veteran

Harry Van Wormer Sr., 77, of West Coxsackie, died Monday, August 20 at St. Peter’s Hospital, Albany.

He was born in Breakabean on February 20, 1930, the son of Harry B. and Frances (Foland) Van Wormer.

Harry had been an area resident since 1980.  He retired from the CDPC in Albany in 1992.

He served in the Army during the Korean Conflict and was a member of New Baltimore American Legion Post # 1614.

He was an avid bowler, a past member of the NRA and a member of the Coxsackie Senior Citizens.  He loved fishing, hunting and crossword puzzles.

Surviving are his wife; Theresa C. (Reisner) Van Wormer; two sons, Harry B. Van Wormer Jr. and wife Charliene of Hannacroix and Frank G. Van Wormer and wife Nancy of Amsterdam; adopted son Keith Diehl and wife Ada of Climax; two daughters, Mrs. Alfred (Frances) L. Schwab of Greenville and Mrs. Josef (Theresa Ann) Van Wormer-Schmidt of Earlton; eight grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by a brother, Harold.

Burial was in St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Those who wish may make contributions in his memory to the Dialysis Unit at the Greene Medical Arts Complex, 159 Jefferson Heights, Catskill 12414.

Arrangements were with W.C. Brady’s Sons Inc. Funeral Home, Coxsackie.

August 30, 2007

Former Durham town justice

Hubert Lee, 91, of Oak Hill, died at Albany Medical Center on Tuesday, August 28.

He was born in Gilboa February 20, 1916, the son of the late Harry and Flossie (Becker) Lee.

Hubert was manager of Dean’s Mills for 21 years.

A community-minded person, he was instrumental in helping the Town of Durham Ambulance get its start.  He also was a former Durham town justice and member of the Oak Hill-Durham Volunteer Fire Co., serving as a secretary and a fire policeman.

Hubert loved his Great Danes and raised champions.  He also loved playing cards and farming.

He was predeceased by his wife, Alfreda (Wells) Lee, and a brother, Roderick Lee.

Surviving are his daughter, Sandy Rasso (Everett) of Oak Hill; three grandchildren, Melissa Payton, Celina Rasso and Everett Rasso II; two great-grandchildren, Thomas Payton and Hogan Byrne; a great-nephew, Michael Lee; and a great-niece, Michelle Hunt.

Funeral services are Friday, August 31 at 11 a.m. at Cunningham Funeral Home, 4898 Route 81, Greenville.  Interment is in the Oak Hill Cemetery.

Calling hours are today, August 30, from6 to 9 p.m. at the funeral home.

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