Obituaries: Leccese, Styner, Gardner, Febbie

Roger Leccese, 79, construction worker, church member

HUDSON—Roger F. Leccese, 79, of Greenport, passed away Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at Columbia Memorial Hospital.

Born July 9, 1932 in Hudson, he was the son of the late Roger and Molly (Zullo) Leccese.

Mr. Leccese worked as a laborer in construction with Local 1000 in Poughkeepsie for many years.  He was a lifelong area resident and a member of St. Mary’s Church in Hudson.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 49 years, Daria (Grand) Leccese of Greenport; two devoted sons, Roger F. Leccese, Jr. and his wife Sheila, of Hudson and Joseph Leccese of Greenport; his loving granddaughter, Gina Leccese of Hudson; two sisters, Frances Amico of Rensselaer and Anna O’Conner of Florida; three nephews and a niece.

Services are private and at the convenience of the family.

Burial will be in Cedar Park Cemetery. Arrangements are with the Bates & Anderson-Redmond & Keeler Funeral Service, Hudson.

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A. Joyce Styner, 97, danced for troops, career with ACS

LEBANON SPRINGS—Alice Joyce Styner, 97, born October 17, 1914, widow of Tony Styner, died peacefully at her home in of Lebanon Springs in the small hours of Thursday February 23. She was 97.

Her familial reach went far and wide. She was the beloved aunt of Shirley Breazeale of Benson, Arizona; aunt-in-law to Lydia S. Wilson and her children George and Mary Carmin, also of Benson; cousin to Lucille Gamble of Dyersburg, Tennessee; stepmother to Maria Steiner Scott of London and step-grandmother to Maria’s children David Scott and Peter O’Connor; “Joyce oba-chan” to Peter and his wife Hideko’s Japanese children Nao and Emi Hasegawa O’Connor; and above all, a deeply valued friend to a great many people in the community of New Lebanon.

Born Joyce Breazeale, she and her sister Maxine were raised in a farming family in Dyersburg, Tennessee. A Native American Chickasaw on her father’s side, a long line of Tennessee farmers on her mother’s side, Mrs. Styner showed an astonishing aptitude for dance from an early age. By her mid-teens, she was making her own living performing at local venues. By her late teens, she was set on making her career in show business with her own niche in acrobatic dancing.  She danced her way out of Dyersburg, taking a hard road through depression America.

Mrs. Styner was appearing in shows in New York and making her way in Hollywood when war intervened and brought her into the all-girl USO Camp Show company performing in the Philippines, Shanghai and elsewhere for US forces taking back the Pacific from the Japanese enemy. At war’s end, November 5, 1945, she was reviewed in Fighter Post thrilling war-weary audiences with her “sophisticated supple-limbed swirling” as the highlight of the dance-comedy Pardon Me at the ISCOM theater on Iwo Jima. Later that year, the USO Camp Show took Pardon Me and Hellzapopping to the Ginza in occupied Japan.

The immediate post-war years took Mrs. Styner to Paris and London, where she met her future husband, Tony, whom she married in December 1949. They first settled in Dorset, England and then moved to New York, where Mr. Styner set up in business on Wall Street, with his wife working first as his secretary and later enjoying a distinguished career at the American Cancer Society.

In the early 1960s, the couple first bought a retirement home in Rockland, which they sold on to an up-and-coming comedian named Woody Allen. They then came to New Lebanon, where they moved into and refurbished their home in Lebanon Springs.

Once settled into the New Lebanon community, Mrs. Styner became an active member of the Women’s Club, president of the historical society. She volunteered at the New Lebanon Library and recorded books for the blind in Lenox. While her husband became something of a local sage in New Lebanon, Mrs. Styner became an active member of the community, and a supportive wife, enjoying the Berkshires in the long, rewarding autumn of their life together.

Mr. Styner died in 1990 at age 96. Now he has been joined by his partner of so many years. This part of New Lebanon has seen its share of sadness over the last year and during this strange, snowless winter. The passing of this lovely, loving, very wise and modest woman is a loss that will not be easily forgotten.

A private graveside service was held at the Cemetery of the Evergreens, followed by a celebration of Mrs. Styner’s life at the Triple Nickel in New Lebanon, Sunday, February 26.

Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Columbia/Greene, 47 Liberty Street, Catskill 12414. Arrangements were under the guidance of Hall & Higgins Funeral Home of Stephentown.

Charles Gardner, Jr., 83, owned insurance agency, WWII vet

HILLSDALE—Charles “Bud” K. Gardner, Jr., 83, of Hillsdale, passed away Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at his residence surrounded by his loving family.

Born August 22, 1928 in Hudson, he was the son of the late Mildred and Charles K. Gardner, Sr.

He was the owner, with his wife, Evelyn, of Gardner Insurance Agency in Hillsdale. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. Mr. and Mrs. Gardner enjoyed living and raising their family on Copake Lake, at first spending summers there and then building their home there. He was a lifelong area resident and enjoyed fly fishing, hunting and golfing.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Evelyn “Evie” D. (Goodell) Gardner; three devoted children, Charles “Buddy” K. Gardner, III, and his wife Judy of Hillsdale, Christine G. Messenger (George Czerno) of Hillsdale, and Linda Dedrick and her husband Wayne of Hillsdale; five loving grandchildren, Alicia O’Rourke Fink and Jed Fink and their children, Logan and Kaitlin of Austerlitz, Justin and Beth Gardner and their son Bennett of MA, Seth Gardner of Hillsdale, Christopher Dedrick of East Greenbush and Wayne Dedrick, Jr. of Germantown, and many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by two sisters, Betty Dreher and Edna Gardner.

Calling hours will be from 4 to 7 p.m., Monday, March 12, 2012 at the Bates & Anderson-Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home.

Graveside services will be held 1 p.m., Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at Cedar Park Cemetery.

Donations may be made to Community Hospice of Columbia-Greene, 47 Liberty Street, Catskill 12414, or to the Community Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 327, Copake 12516.

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Sandra Febbie, 71, worked for GE, bowler

PITTSFIELD, MA—Sandra Lee Febbie, 71, of Schenectady, passed away Friday, February 24, 2012 at Springside.

Born February 1, 1941 in Schenectady, she was the daughter of the late Ed and Marjorie Febbie.

Ms. Febbie is survived by: her brother, Thomas (Gina) Febbie of Greenport; her sister, Terry (Teddy) Wondell of St. Augustine, FL; her uncle, Chuck Sperbeck of Indian Lake; three nephews, Scott (Rachel) Febbie of Londonderry, VT, Mark Preble of Johnstown and Douglas Henry of Schenectady; two nieces, Suzan Ives of Florida and Patty Ford of Rochester, and many grandnieces and grandnephews.

Ms. Febbie worked at G.E. in Schenectady for 20 years as a sub-contractor. She was in on the ground floor of data input on turbine generators and nuclear reactors. She was a good athlete and bowler. She bowled against some of the best women bowlers in Schenectady like her friend, Carol Guidarelli, who was in the Hall of Fame and bowled on TV Tournament Time and the Schenectady City League.

She was fond of animals, especially her dog, Gabby, who she had since 2000. Services will be held at the convenience of the family. Arrangements are with the Bates & Anderson-Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home.

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