Obituraries: Okurily, Cranna
Maria Okurily, 88, walked around Hudson daily
HAVERHILL, MA—Maria Okurily, formerly of Clinton Street, Hudson died Friday, January 28, 2011 at Merrimack Valley Hospital. She was 88.
Born in the Ukraine, December 10, 1922, she was the daughter of the late Michael and Katerina (Gontaruk) Smyczuk.
Mrs. Okurily was a sewing machine operator at the Kadin Bros. Pocketbook Factory in Hudson. She was a communicant of St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church in Hudson and a member of the Hudson Golden Agers. She was well known for taking daily exercise walks around the City of Hudson. Mrs. Okurily is survived by one son, Michael and (Katherine) Okurily of Tucson, AZ; one daughter, Oksana “Sandy” Paone of Newton, NH; three sisters from the Ukraine; and four grandchildren, Eric and Robin Paone, Kyle and Alexis Okurily. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband, Stefan Okurily, April 6, 1986.
Calling hours will be Sunday, February 6 at the McDonald-Valenti-Richards Funeral Home, 700 Town Hall Drive, Greenport from 4 to 6 p.m. with Panakhyda prayers offered at 5:30 p.m.
Funeral Mass will be Monday, February 7, 11 a.m. at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church with Fr. John Jedrychowski officiating. Burial will follow in Cedar Park Cemetery, Hudson. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church, 206 Union Street, Hudson 12534.
William F. Cranna, 65, teacher, attorney, judge, writer
GHENT—The Honorable William F. Cranna, a renaissance man of great wit, wisdom and charm passed away January 29, 2011.
He was born in the Bronx in 1945, to the late James P. Cranna and Mary Anne Cranna, his mother, who survives.
Mr. Cranna’s parents ventured to Columbia County in 1953 and he began a life that would profoundly touch his family and community.
He was educated and graduated from St. Mary’s Academy, Siena College and Pace Law School. His professional career touched many people from every walk of life. In the late 1960s, he was hired to teach math in the Hudson City School District, thankfully he taught history. In the 1970s, Mr. Cranna was instrumental in creating the Alternative Learning Program, an accomplishment he was especially proud of for it changed the lives of many young people who went on to enjoy successful careers.
Throughout his life, Mr. Cranna pursued his passion of writing the great American novel that would be forthcoming upon his death. There is none, but that did not stop him from trying to become the next Ernest Hemingway, his literary hero and mentor. He wrote for his pleasure and became a prolific writer of letters. His letters were a special treat to family, friends and to anyone who celebrated a special occasion. He loved to find the humor in a situation as he exposed the irony.
Mr. Cranna was an active member of the Hudson Area Library for many years. He believed that a community can only be as successful as its library. He was also a board member and treasurer for Historic Hudson.
After graduating from Pace Law School, Mr. Cranna began a long association with the law firm of Koweek, Cranna and McEvoy. With law degree in hand, Mr. Cranna worked diligently for his community. He held positions in the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office as well as the Columbia County Attorney’s Office.
In 1994, Mr. Cranna was appointed Hudson City Court Judge. He relished and excelled in his long tenure as judge. Some have said, he used the position to combine teaching and discipline without ever being condescending. All who appeared before him were treated with respect and the respect was returned. Mr. Cranna celebrated the culmination of his legal career as court attorney for Columbia County Court Judge, the Honorable Paul Czajka.
But most of all, Mr. Cranna loved his family. He was predeceased by his son Liam, and survived by his children, Brendan and McCaily (Abigail Thompson); his wife Pamela Mixa-Cranna; his four brothers, Donald (Melissa), Kenneth, Thomas and Robert; in-laws, Bernice Pugliese, Patricia and Myron Cohen, Paula Rickborn and Peter and Karen Mixa; as well as, nieces and nephews, Amy Clark, Serenella Randolph, Bryan, Patrick, Colin and Austin Cranna, Seth Florio, Spencer Rickborn, and Kaila and Kirstyn Mixa.
In lieu of flowers and other gifts, donations may be sent to the Hudson Area Library or The Community Hospice of Columbia/Greene. A memorial service will take place at the St. Mary’s School, Saturday, February 5 at 2 p.m.
Arrangements are with the Bates & Anderson—Redmond & Keeler Funeral Service, Hudson.