Obituaries: Maisenbacher, Rieger, Schaefer, Steward

June Maisenbacher, 70, swimmer, woodworker

PHILMONT—June Dorothy (Beecher) Maisenbacher of Philmont passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family, February 17, 2012.

Born June 19, 1941, she was the daughter of the late Stephen and Marion (Hodge) Beecher.

She was predeceased by a sister, Linda Myers, and a granddaughter, Ashlynn Marie Maisenbacher.

In her younger years, she was an avid swimmer and still holds Hudson swim team records. Mrs. Maisenbacher most enjoyed working with wood and has created many projects for the enjoyment of others, although she believed her greatest accomplishment was her family.

Survivors include: her husband of 52 years, Leo; three sons, Tim (Linda), Brian (Patti) and Kevin (Kristen); two daughters, Kim (Tony Simmons) and Karen (Nate Winch); 17 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; two sisters, Maureen Marzahl of Conway, SC, and Patti Funk of Greenport; a brother, Stephen Beecher of Crownsville, MD, as well as many nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life will be held Saturday, February 25, 2012, 1 p.m. at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witness, 391 Fairview Avenue, Greenport. All are welcome to attend. A reception will follow at the American Legion Hall in Philmont.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Community Hospice of Columbia Greene, 47 Liberty Street, Catskill 12414.

Arrangements are with the Bates and Anderson-Redmond and Keeler Funeral Service.

Joseph Rieger, Jr., 84, serviceman, church communicant

STEPHENTOWN—Joseph Rieger, Jr., 84, of Garfield Road died Saturday, February 18 at his residence.

Born in Brooklyn, February 9, 1928, he was the son of the late Joseph and Anna Liedecker Rieger.

He was the loving husband of the former Ruth M. Sweener, whom he married August 30, 1952 at the Immaculate Conception Church in New Lebanon. They have lived in the Stephentown area since 1953.

Mr. Rieger attended schools in Brooklyn and Baldwin, Long Island. He joined the Merchant Marines in 1944 and enlisted in the United States Army in 1946. He was honorably discharged with the rank of corporal before serving in the Army Reserves. He was employed for many years at Pittsfield Supply. He attended Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, where he studied refrigeration. Mr. Rieger was employed by Sears, Roebuck and Co. in Pittsfield as a serviceman, retiring in 1991. He was a communicant of the Immaculate Conception Church in New Lebanon, where he was also a member of the church choir. Mr. Rieger belonged to many organizations including American Legion Post #1236 in New Lebanon since 1953. He was a 54-year member of the Stephentown Volunteer Fire Department, serving as fire commissioner and on the fire police; 35-year member of the Stephentown Boy Scout Troop #518, serving as scoutmaster; Stephentown Historical Society; Knights of Columbus #9639 of New Lebanon and the Veterans of the Stephentown area.

Survivors include: his wife of 59 years Ruth; children, Joseph A. (Pam) Rieger of Canaan, Lorraine M. (Donald) Vincent of New Lebanon, Stephanie A.  (Donald) DiCarlo and Michael (Heather) Rieger all of Stephentown, Matthew (Rosa) Rieger of Austin, TX, Ruth Ann Frambach of New Lebanon, Maria (Ed) Overcash of Ft. Mill, SC; a brother, Francis Rieger of Bayonet Point, FL; 14 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by siblings, Rose Kehoe, Audrey Hager and Joan B. Sweener.

A Liturgy of Christian Death and Burial will be celebrated by the Reverend John Close, Thursday, February 23, 11 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Church, 732 Route 20, New Lebanon. Burial will follow in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Stephentown.

Relatives and friends are invited to the Hall & Higgins Funeral Home, 457 Route 43, Stephentown, Wednesday, February 22 from 4 to 7 p.m. for visitation.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Parkinsons Disease and Movement Disorder Center, ATTN: Dr. Eric Molho, 47 New Scotland Avenue, MC 70, Physicians Pavilion, 1st Floor, Albany 12208 or to the charity of one’s choice in loving memory of Mr. Rieger.

Allen Schaefer, 71, publicist, KNGG president

ALBANY—Allen A. Schaefer died at Albany Memorial Hospital, January 10.  An affable and charming man, few realized the daily suffering he experienced in his life. As noted in the New England Journal of Medicine he was the youngest person ever to be diagnosed with Chrone’s Disease.  From the age of 13 to his mid-20s, a third of his intestines were removed, which meant a lifetime of internal problems. The daily regimen of powerful medications eventually led to kidney failure, tendon disintegration and the inability of his body to produce normal blood.

Mr. Schaefer was born in Hartford, CT, April 27, 1940. As a teenager he created a dance program on Connecticut TV and seemed destined for a career in theater. But the need for constant medical attention led him to seek steady employment in order to afford adequate health insurance.

He worked for British Airways until his retirement at the end of 1999, when he moved to Kinderhook with his partner, composer Robert Baksa.  In Columbia County, he was publicist for the Pleshakov Music Center in Hudson and also worked as an antiques dealer.

A promising career in real estate was cut short because of his medical problems. He co-founded Kinderhook Neighbors for Good Growth and served as its first president. His acquaintances knew they could count on daily emails from him about current social issues.

He is survived by his partner, Robert Baksa; his brothers, Donald and Carl of Connecticut and Paul of Georgia and his sister, Elenore of Florida.  A memorial concert will be held in early May at the Kinderhook Reformed Church on Broad Street.

Wallace Steward, 83, owned bakery, golfer

HUDSON—Wallace J. Steward, “Papa”, 83, of Ghent passed away February 17, 2012 at Columbia Memorial Hospital with his wife of 62 years, Shirley and his loving family by his side.

He was born in Kingston, December 27, 1928 to Raymond H. and Mary (Setera) Steward.

He came to Chatham in 1958, where he and Shirley opened and operated the Chatham Bakery and Coffee Shoppe, first on Main Street and then at the corner of Route 66 and 203 in 1972. He retired from the Chatham Bakery in 1994 to join his wife Shirley in the operation of Rainbow Acres, a miniature horse farm in Ghent.

Mr. Steward took good care of his lawn; was an avid bowler and golfer and was a member of the hole in one club. He took pride in the raising of his family.

He was a life member of the Chatham Fire Department and a past member of the Chatham Rescue Squad.

Besides his wife Shirley (Bail) Steward of Ghent, Mr. Steward is survived by: two sons, Jeffrey A. and wife Coleen Steward of Valatie, Joel T. Steward and wife Dawn of Ghent; daughter, Vicki and her husband Donald Akin of Ghent; grandchildren, Jeremy and his wife Janette Steward, Amberly Steward, Jessica and her husband Brent Rowe, Josh Akin, David and his wife Lauren Steward, Greg Cross, Timothy Steward, Carly Cross and Alexandria Steward; great grandchildren, Adam Steward, Annabel Steward and Lylah Rowe.

Funeral services were held Monday, February 20 from the Wenk Funeral Home, Chatham. Memorials may be made to the Chatham Rescue Squad P.O. Box 55, Chatham 12037. For on-line condolences visit


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