Obituaries: Winkler, Koepp, Tillson, Block

Carl Winkler, 55, career in the Air Force, bicyclist

SAN ANTONIO, TX—Carl Joseph Winkler passed away unexpectedly February 12, 2012, in San Antonio, Texas.

Born May 29, 1956 in Albany, he was the son of John and Dolores Heim Winkler.

He came to Ghent as a young boy and attended and graduated from Chatham High School. He then went into the Air Force. He retired in 1998. During his time in the Air Force, Mr. Winkler attended TLU where he received his bachelor’s degree.

He loved biking, running and motorcycling. He enjoyed and took part in triathlons, biathlons and the 2001 San Diego Marathon. He also enjoyed rooting for the Yankees and the Giants.

Mr. Winkler is survived by: his parents, John and Dolores of Ghent; his sons, Carl of Hudson, Michael (Sarah) of Wynantskill and Justin of Ghent; grandchildren, Aidan, Brody and Carl, Jr.; his brothers and sisters,  Paul, Ellen, John (Wilma), Suzanne, Kevin and Kristopher (Jamie)and his nephews and niece, Reggie, Tyler and Natalee.

Family will receive friends Sunday, February 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the French, Gifford, Preiter and Blasl Funeral Home, Chatham. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday, February 20, 10 a.m. at the Saint James Church. Interment will follow at the Saint James Cemetery in Ghent.

Contributions in Mr. Winkler’s name may be made to the Lance Armstrong Livestrong charity at . For directions or to send online condolences visit

Ruth Koepp, 84, foster mother to many

STEPHENTOWN—Ruth H. Avery Koepp, 84, a 70-year resident of Stephentown died Wednesday, February 15 at her residence after a long illness.

Born in Chatham, March 6, 1927, she was the daughter of the late Gilbert and Margaret Rothe Avery.

She was the loving wife of the late Kenneth G. Koepp, who died December 27, 2005. They were married May 12, 1950. Mrs. Koepp was a member of the Christian Assembly Church in Pittsfield, MA.

A 1944 graduate of New Lebanon High School, Mrs. Koepp was a devoted homemaker who cared for 25 foster children. She was a longtime member of the Lebanon Valley Senior Citizens serving as treasurer for 13 years.

Survivors include: her children, Sharon (Jerry) Adams of Simpsonville, SC, Paul (Judy) Koepp of Carrolton, TX and Jonathan Koepp of Stephentown; a brother, Gilbert H. Avery Jr. of Memphis, TN; grandchildren, Robert and David Adams, Julie Birdseye, Aaron and Joel Koepp.

She was predeceased by a sister, Blanche M. Zietz and a granddaughter, Becky Adams.

Mrs. Koepp’s family extends thanks to both Dr. Harvey Zimbler and Dr. Christopher Trancynger along with their staff of nurses and caregivers for the care and compassion given to her for the past four years.

Abiding by Mrs. Koepp’s wishes, there will be no calling hours.

A graveside service will be held in the spring in the Cemetery of the Evergreens in Lebanon Springs. Contributions in her memory may be given to the Veterans of Stephentown, c/o Hall & Higgins Funeral Home, P.O. Box 9, Stephentown 12168.

Donald Tillson, 84, auto mechanic, NASCAR fan

HUDSON—Donald J. “Duck” Tillson passed away peacefully February 16, 2012 at the Fireman’s Home, where he resided since November 2011.

He was born May 14, 1927, the son of the late John O. and Cora Ham Tillson.

He was raised on Eighth Street in Hudson and graduated from Hudson High School. He proudly served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict from 1950 to 1952. On March 29, 1952, he married Elizabeth Rocker, who predeceased him December 6, 2007. Together they made their home in Stottville. He was a self-employed auto mechanic working at the shop on Varrick Street in Hudson.

Surviving are: his children, Donald (Arlene) Jr. of Hudson and Denise (Kim Douglas) of Claverack; three step-children, John (Susan) McNamara of Virginia Beach, William (Betty Lou) McNamara of Stottville and Bonnie Huber of West Ghent; grandchildren, Todd Tillson, Ryan and Nathan Scalera, Kathleen Gorman, Kim Huber, Karen Gonzalez, Kendra Huber, James McNamara, Susan Leyes and Elizabeth McNamara; several great-grandchildren; his sister, Shirley (Earl) Jackson of Massena; his lifelong friend, Frank (Anchor) Tomaso of Hudson.

He was predeceased by his brothers, John and Gary Tillson and sister, Gloria Pearsall. Mr. Tillson was a life member of J. W. Edmonds Hose Company in Hudson, member of the Hudson Elks, American Legion, and Federation of Polish Sportsman. He was an avid NASCAR and stock car fan and at one time worked the pit crew as a mechanic for local racer Doug Garrison at Lebanon Valley Speedway.

A memorial service will be held at the Fireman’s Home, 125 Harry Howard Avenue from 3 to 5 p.m., Tuesday, February 21. According to his wishes, he will be cremated and his remains will be interred in the Tillson family plot at Cedar Park Cemetery at the convenience of the family.

He has joined Betty in the afterlife. And we know they are now planning the next annual clambake! In lieu of flowers, a donation may be sent in Mr. Tillson’s name to the Fireman’s Home to support the wonderful work done there.

Michael Block, Sr., 82, truck driver, outdoorsman

ALBANY—Michael C. “Checker” Block, Sr., 82, of Schodack Landing Road, Schodack Landing died Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at the Veterans Administration Hospital.

Born in Stuyvesant Falls, December 26, 1929, he was the son of the late Michael B. and Margaret (Navom) Block.

Mr. Block was a Korean War Veteran with the U.S. Army. He was a truck driver for Butt’s Agway in Castleton and the Town of Schodack and also worked in construction at the South Mall and the College of St. Rose.

He was an avid hunter, fisherman and trapper and a member of the Castleton VFW. He especially loved his grandchildren and horses.

He is survived by: his wife of 57 years, Barbara (Golden) Block; three children, Michael C. Block, Jr. of Saratoga Springs, Timothy Block of Schodack Landing and Shelley Epting of Jacksonville, FL; six grandchildren, Michael, Elizabeth, Benjamin and Ryan Block, Kristin and Steven Epting; and two great grandchildren, Michael and Tyler Block.

He was predeceased by a sister and brother, Evelyn Murphy and Edward Block.

Funeral services will be held Monday, February 20, 10 a.m. at the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, lnc., Route 9, Valatie. Interment will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Stuyvesant Falls. Relatives and friends may call Sunday, February 19 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Veterans Administration Hospice Unit, 113 Holland Avenue, ATTN: 9-8 Hospice Unit, Albany 12208.

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