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Obituaries from the 
Greenville Press

June 2007

Transcribed by Carol Golden
Obituaries provided by Sylvia Hasenkopf

June 14, 2007 

World traveler

Elting Raymond “Bill” Gossman died suddenly on Tuesday, June 5 at his home in Westerlo.

Bill lived in Westerlo his entire life, the sixth generation of Gossmans to do so.  He died roughly a mile from the house at Van Leuven’s Corners in Westerlo, where he was born on March 14, 1921.  Bill was the second child and only son of Raymond and Mabel Somers Gossman.

Bill attended school in Westerlo and Greenville, and he worked from the time he was eight years old.  He married Pauline Mary Wayman before a standing-room-only crowd of friends and relatives on September 2, 1956 at the United Methodist Church in Schenevus.  She died on November 11, 1989.

Bill worked for the Albany County Highway Department, and he and Pauline moved into half of Phil and Delite Stewart’s farmhouse (now the Boone farm) in Westerlo.  Later he joined Hannay Reels and in 1966 moved his family into the current home, purchased by Raymond in the 1930s.  He retired from Hannay Reels in May 1989.

Bill could fix anything and learned very early in life how to drive a team of horses and to skin and butcher a cow.

He later taught his children how to surf-cast on Cape Cod, shoot and ride a bike, pulled their big toboggan up May’s hill, and religiously drove them to the Rensselaerville Library.

Bill believed that “a man does what he has to do” and this guiding maxim underscored his support for his family.

He was a member of the Westelo Volunteer Fire Department and enjoyed his friends at the Heldeberg Senior Center.

Bill traveled widely, through all New England, New York and Pennsylvania, to the Florida and North Carolina coasts, Washington State’s San Juan Islands and all of eastern Canada.  In two trips to Europe, he visited England, the Netherlands, France, Austria, Italy, Germany and the Slovak Republic.  He also visited Belgium, including the city of Westerlo, Belguim.

He made memories for others on both sides of the Atlantic when he crashed a business party in Rothenberg, Germany, and stayed for three hours, enjoying libations with American country music-singing Germans.

He took the classic all-American road trip to California and back with two friends in his twenties.

Survivors include his daughter, Jean of Washington, DC; son Robert and wife Amy of Greenville; son William and wife Cheryl of Seattle’ grandchildren Amanda Gossman of Greenville and Connor, Hunter and Elizabeth Gossman of Seattle; younger sister Kathryn Wagoner and husband Olin of Rensselaerville; and nephew Dean Wagoner and wife Mariann of Middleburgh.

In addition to his parents and wife, his older sister Marion Gossman Mead Anders predeceased him in 2000.

Burial was in the Westerlo Rural Cemetery.

Those who wish may contribute in Bill’s memory to the Westerlo Rescue Squad.

Arrangements were with Cunningham Funeral Home, Greenville.

June 21, 2007 

Caregiver, mother

Mildred A. Ford, 77, died Tuesday, June 12 at St. Peter’s Hospital.

Survivors include her sons, Nicholas Foro Jr. of Greenville and Richard and wife Sheila Foro of Colorado; and four grandchildren, Morgan, Mackenzie, Kevin and Tessa Foro.

Her husband, Nicholas J. Foro, predeceased her in 2003.

Arrangements were with Babcock Funeral Home, Ravena.

June 21, 2007


Timothy L. Gabrielle, 57, of Cairo, died suddenly on Monday, June 18 at his home.

Born in Catskill October 8, 1950, he was the son of the later Frank and Hilda (Bathrick) Gabrielle.

Timothy was a painter.  He lived in Athens much of his life and was an avid fisherman, hunter and collector of antiques.  He also was an animal lover.

Survivors include his son, Timothy Gabrielle Jr. of Connecticut; a daughter, Gina of North Dakota; two brothers, Rickie Gabrielle of Athens and Louis Gabrielle of Catskill; six sisters, Sharon Deyo of Leeds, Pat Witko and Diane Gabrielle of Cairo, Geraldine Kardum and Eileen Szepessy of Catskill, and Georgiann Hines of Athens; three grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by two brothers, Frank and Edward Gabrielle.

Cremation took place at the Albany Rural Crematorium, Menands.

Arrangements are with Richards Funeral Home, Cairo.

June 21, 2007

Audit clerk

Agnes Veronica Hutson, 96, died peacefully Monday, June 18 at her home surrounded by her family.

Born in Albany, she was the daughter of the late Eugene and Mary (Hall) Lavine Sr.

She had worked as an audit clerk for the Albany County Department of Social Services.

Surviving are her daughter, Barbara Duncan and husband John of Medusa; nine grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her husband, Frank Hutson, in 1966.  Her siblings; Mary Maguire, Catherine Held and Eugene Lavine Jr., and a great-grandson also died before her.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a graveside service today, June 21, at 1:30 p.m. in St Agnes Cemetery, Menands.

Arrangements are with McVeigh Funeral Home, Albany.

June 21, 2007

GE retiree

Jo Ann Y. Stokes, 45, of Coxsackie Village, died Sunday, June 17 at St. Peter’s Hospice, Albany.

She was born in Albany July 25, 1961, the daughter of Joseph Houser of Albany and the late Florence (Barlow) Houser.

Prior to her retirement, Jo Ann was a customer service representative for General Electric in Selkirk.

She had been an area resident since 1990 and was a communicant of St. Mary’s Church.  She was an avid reader and loved her family.

Besides her father, surviving are her husband of 26 years, Bruce V. Stokes; two children, Kyle and Brianna Stokes, both of Coxsackie; a brother , Joseph Houser of Schenectady; two sisters, Margaret Hunter of Schenectady and Mary Reedy of Albany; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial is celebrated today, June 21, at 9:30 a.m. at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Mansion Street, Coxsackie, by the Rev. John Moyna, pastor.

Interment follows in the family plot of Our Lady of Angels Cemetery, Colonie.

Arrangements are with W.C. Brady’s Sons Inc., Coxsackie.

June 21, 2007

In Memory of JAMES DANNER (Jimmy D)

Jim’s family would like to cordially invite you to attend his memorial being held on Saturday, July 7, 2007 from 4-7 pm, Rain or shine.  Jim wanted a celebration of his life instead of a usual wake.  Please join us and be part of this special gathering located at his home on 244 Route 38, Greenville.

June 28, 2007

WW II Seabees veteran

Philip Confalone died peacefully on Sunday, June 24 at the age of 87.

He was born January 28, 1920 in Yorkville section of Manhattan, son of the late Vincent and Frances (Dirato) Confalone and brother to the late Josephine Confalone. He was the husband of the late Katherine (Lomuscio) Confalone.

Phil served three years with the U.S. Navy Seabees during World War II with 28 consecutive months served throughout the Pacific Theater, ending up in Okinawa when

The war ended.  He was honorably discharged with the rank of machinist mate first class, receiving three battle stars.

He lived in Bergen County, NJ for most of his life, where he was in the engine rebuilding business for many years and a machine tool salesman for 16 years prior to retiring to Greene County in 1982.

Phil was an avid bowler, bowling ABC sanctioned leagues for 60 years.

He served two terms as president of the Greene County Chapter of AARP in 1993 and 1994.  He was an active member of Catskill Elks Lodge # 1341 and rose to the position of exalted ruler, which he held in 1998 and 1999.  He was a member of the American Legion since 1946 and Greenville Post #291 for the last 16 years.

He especially loved the music of the 1930s and 1940s, and the dancing that went with it.

Surviving are his children, Susan Carol Mourning of Colorado and Philip Vincent Confalone of New Jersey; three grandchildren, Stephanie (Mourning) Dahl, Hilary (Mourning) Lowe and Philip Robert Confalone; and four great-grandchildren, Matthew, Scott, Abigail Dahl and Lindy Lowe.

Visitation is Saturday, June 30 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Millspaugh Camerato Funeral Home, 139 Jefferson Heights, Catskill, followed by a graveside service at 11a.m. in the Greenville Cemetery.

June 28, 2007

Past fire chief

Thomas R. Dale, 96, of Medway, died Wednesday, June 20 at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Albany.

Tom was born in New York City on August 24, 1910, moved to the Coxsackie area in 1928, where he worked at the Kaksakee Inn and later at Parks Dairy.

Tom worked at the Voorheesville Army Depot until his retirement in 1975.  After retiring Tom worked with the late Earl Halsted and for family, friends and neighbors to keep busy. Tom was a carpenter and his family and friends have many pieces of his woodworking.

He was a member of the Medway Congregational Christian Church, where he served as a trustee.  Tom also was a charter member of the Medway-Grapeville Volunteer Fire Company, where he served as fire chief for eight years and a member of the fire police and also the Greene County Volunteer Firemen’s Association since 1945.

He was a member of the New Baltimore American Legion Post #1614, a Boy Scout leader in the Medway area and the coach of the Third District Parks Girls softball league.

Surviving are his wife of 66 years, Evelyn (Finch) Daly; two daughters, Catherine Frank and husband Robert of Coxsackie and Margaret (Peggy) Snyder and husband Paul of West Athens; sisters-in-law Betty (Finch) Boelhke of Glenmont, Ruth (Finch) Swan and Agnes Finch of Coxsackie, Marion (Finch) Schwebler of Hannacroix and Dorothy (Finch) Britton of Selkirk; brothers-in-law Alan Finch of Coxsackie and Edward Finch of Schenectady; five grandchildren, Donald Frank and Jennifer of Chesapeake Beach, MD, Heidi Frank and Patrick Frank and Erin of Kingston, Bridget (Snyder) Sutta and Joshua of Palatka, FL, SSgt. Thomas Snyder and Rena, presently deployed in Iraq; three great-grandchildren, Charles Frank of Chesapeake Beach, MD, Amanda Frank of Kingston and Dylan Snyder of West Athens; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

Interment was in the Medway Congregational Christian Church Cemetery, Medway.

Contributions in Tom’s memory may be made to the Medway-Grapeville Volunteer Fire Company or the New Baltimore Legion Post #1614.

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

June 28, 2007

Active in community

Joseph C. Fritz Sr., 86, of Rensselaerville, died at the Daughters of Sarah Nursing Home in Albany on Thursday, June 21.

He was born in Rumania September 26, 1920, the son of the late Matei and Katherine (Hinterholtz) Fritz.

Joe served in the Navy during World War II. He was a general mechanic and worked at Camp Cass in Rensselaerville before he retired.

Active in his local community, he was a member and past commander and past adjutant of Clark White Post #589 American Legion, a former member and secretary of the Rensselaerville Volunteer Fire Co. He also was active in Trinity Episcopal church and served as a past vestry member, and was a past treasurer of the Hilltown Senior Citizens.

Surviving are two sons, Joseph C. Fritz Jr. (Janet) of Sunset Beach, NC, and Stephen L. Fritz Sr. of Rensselaerville, five grandchildren, Wendy Lanaro (Joseph), Stephen L. Fritz Jr. (Jenny), Jennifer Fritz (Don), Janeen Spencer (Bryan) and Jeffrey Fritz (Kate); and five great-grandchildren, Amanda and Andrew Mnich, Ryan Fritz, and Ian and Carli Spencer.

He was predeceased by his wife of 60 years, Ruth C. (Spielmann) Fritz, on October 18, 2005; a daughter, Judith Anne Fritz; and two brother, Peter and Matthew Fritz.

Interment was in the Rensselaerville Cemetery.

Those who desire may contribute in his memory to the Trinity Episcopal Church Memorial Fund or to Community Hospice of Albany.

Arrangements were with Cunningham Funeral Home, Greenville.

June 28, 2007

Transportation rate analyst

Allan F. Grimke, 79, of Freehold, died Wednesday, June 20 at the Livingston Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Livingston.

He was born in Brooklyn August 21, 1927, the son of the late Allan D. and Catherine (Koehler) Grimke.

Allan served in World War II and the Korean War as a corporal in the Marine Corps VMF-132/VMR 153, II Marine Air Wing.

He was employed by Allied Chemical and Kraft Foods as a transportation rate analyst and as assistant building manager for the College of Insurance until he retired in 1991.

He was a member of the Carnarsie Reformed Church, serving as deacon for 16 years and then elected to the office of elder for four years and still held the office and title of elder (retired).

Allan was a member of many organizations, including the Marine Corps Aviation Association, Marine Corps Air Transportation Association, La Societe Des 40 Hommes Et8 Chevaux (40/8), Norfolk and Western Historical Society, Southern Railway Historical Society and the Greenville American Legion Post #291.

Survivors include his daughter, Susan B. Smith of Acra; a brother, Clifford Galluzzo of Staten Island; three granddaughters, Lydia Dorothy Weisinger, Cassandra Ann Simmons and Sonjah Leah Smith; a grandson, Seth Smith; and two great-grandsons, Elijah Simmons and Jakob Weisinger.

His wife, Lydia (Janofsky) Grimke, died in 1976.

Burial was in the Long Island National Cemetery in Pinelawn.

Arrangements were with Cunningham Funeral Home, Greenville.

June 28, 2007


Nancy L. Herrick, 53, of Greenville, died  Saturday, June 23.

She was born in Catskill on August 6, 1953, the daughter of Laura (Lewis) Willig and the later Arthur Willig.

She attended the Greenville Christian Life Center and the Seed of Abraham.

A caregiver to all she knew, she had completed mission work in Jamaica and the Ukraine.  She would like to be remembered as one who loved the Lord and lived and loved life to the fullest.

Besides her mother, surviving are her two daughters, Tiffany and April Herrick.

Funeral services are today, June 28, at 11 a.m. at the Greenville Christian Life Center on Route 32.

As to her wishes, she would like donations in her memory to be made to the Greenville Christian Life Center on Route 32.

Arrangements were with Cunningham Funeral Home, Greenville.

June 28, 2007

Graveside service

Relatives and friends are invited to a graveside service for Ruth Ford Radick on Saturday, June 30, at 11 a.m. in the Oak Hill Cemetery.

Ruth died on December 26, 2006 in Florida.

Surviving are two sons, George and Lionel Ford; a brother, Roger Webster; seven grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by two husbands, Leo Ford and Charles Radick; a daughter, Kay Pisciotta; and two sisters, Elsie and Rachel.

Arrangements are by Cunningham Funeral Home, Greenville.

June 28, 2007

Army, Navy depot worker

Leslie Van Tassel, Jr., 79, died Saturday, June 23 at his home in Lewisberry, PA, surrounded by his loving family.

He was the husband of Gertrude (Layman) Van Tassel, with whom he celebrated a 56th wedding anniversary on December 29.

Van Tassel was born April 16, 1928, in Durham, the son of the late Leslie and Olga (Rivenburg) Van Tassel.

He was 1946 graduate of Middleburg High School and later served with the New York State Guard from 1947 to 1951, where he earned the distinction of expert marksman.

He was employed with the New York Army Depot in Voorheesville for 13 years and was transferred to the Mechanicsburg Navy Depot, where he worked for 32 years until his retirement in 1983.

He was a member of Mt. Airy United Methodist Church in Wellsville.  He was also a member of the EAA.  He loved airplanes, art, writing, tinkering and travel, geocaching under the name of Papa 4kids.  He also loved flying all over the world on his computerized flight simulator.

Besides his wife, he is survived by his three daughters, Lorraine Smith and husband Richard of Blain, PA, Dawn Holloman and husband William of Easton, PA, and Christine Bradley and husband John III of Stanley; a son, Brian Van Tassel and wife Joanne of New Cumberland; 13 grandchildren; a great-granddaughter; a sister, Clara Snyder and husband Charles of Rochester; and several nieces and nephews.

Following cremation, a graveside memorial service takes place at 1 p.m. Sunday, July 1 in the Potter Hollow Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish may contribute in Les’s memory to either Mt. Airy United Methodist Church Building Fund, 2020 Pinetown Road, Wellsville, PA 17365 or Pinnacle Hospice, 3705 Elmwood Drive, Harrisburg, PA.

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