Obituaries: Dragan, Miller, Duff, Keil, Scannell

Helen Ptaszek Dragan (1920 – 2013)

HUDSON—Helen Ptaszek Dragan, 92, of Greenport, passed away Thursday, January 10, 2013 at Columbia Memorial Hospital.

Born March 21, 1920 in Port Ewen, she was the daughter of the late Michael and Anastasia Ptaszek.


Mrs. Dragan worked at the pocketbook factory in Hudson for many years and was a member of St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Hudson. She was an avid golfer, loved to travel and was a great cook.

She was predeceased by her beloved husband of 64 years, Denny Dragan, in 2001; two brothers, Walter and John Ptaszek; two sisters-in-law, Nellie and Lois Ptaszek.

She is survived by: her brother, Joseph Ptaszek of Claverack; her sister-in-law, Betty Ptaszek of Hudson; two nieces, Paula Ptaszek of Claverack and Mary Ann Nowak of Hillsdale; two nephews, John Ptaszek of North Carolina and Edward Ptaszek of Florida; a great-niece, Nellie Rustick of Claverack; and a great-nephew, Joseph Rustick of Nashville, TN.

There will be no calling hours.

Services are private and at the convenience of the family.

Arrangements are with the Bates and Anderson-Redmond and Keeler Funeral Home, Hudson.

Visit to leave a message for the family.

Helen M. Miller (1920 – 2013)

GT. BARRINGTON, MA—Helen M. Ham Miller, 92, formerly of West Street, New Lebanon died on Thursday evening, January 10 at Fairview Commons in Great Barrington, MA where she resided for four years.

Born in Philmont, January 13, 1920, she was the daughter of the late Arthur D. and Bertha Proper Ham.

She was the loving wife of the late George B. Miller, who died September 11, 2000. They were married in the Mellenville Dutch Reformed Church in Mellenville, June 25, 1938. Mrs. Miller had been a resident of New Lebanon since 1942.

Helen was raised and educated in Philmont. She was a homemaker in her early years and was very active in the New Lebanon Congregational Church. She worked in the office of Larabee Fuel in New Lebanon retiring in 1981. She loved traveling with her late husband and wintered in North Carolina. Her hobbies included cooking and baking. She loved feeding the “whole neighborhood”. Besides her parents and husband, she was predeceased by a son, Craig B. Miller and sisters, Mildred June and Leona Mortefolio.

Survivors include: her children, John D. Miller of Texas, Susan C. (Malcolm) Larabee of New Lebanon, Bruce K. Miller of Texas, Paul A. (Darleen) Miller of East Nassau; brother, Arthur Hamm and sister, Marjorie Garry, both of Philmont; along with 10 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.

There will be no services per Mrs. Miller’s wishes. She and her husband’s cremated remains will be buried next to her son in the West Taghkanic Cemetery in the spring.

Arrangements are under the direction of Hall & Higgins Funeral Home of Stephentown.

John Vincent Duff, Sr. (1927 – 2013)

NEWPORT, NC—John Vincent Duff, Sr., 85, of Newport, NC, and formerly of Kinderhook, died Friday, January 11, 2013.

Born December 4, 1927 in Flushing, he was the son of the late Charles B. and Helen R. (Kelly) Duff.

Mr. Duff served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was a clerical supervisor for General Electric, Schaeffer Brewery and the New York Prison System and was a former master with the John J. Curran Council Knights of Columbus in Valatie and a former member of the Kinderhook Elks Lodge.

He is survived by: two sons, Patrick J. Duff of Newport, NC, and John V. Duff Jr. of Leesburg, FL; three grandchildren, Kelly Shea, Scott Richards and Jennifer Duff and four great-grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his wife, June Keating Duff and his daughter, Eileen Richards.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held 11 a.m., Wednesday, January 16 at St. John the Baptist Church, Route 9, Valatie. Burial will follow in St. John the Baptist Cemetery. Calling hours will be Tuesday, January 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, Route 9, Valatie. Memorial contributions may be made to The Community Hospice of Columbia/Greene, 47 Liberty Street, Catskill 12414.

Daniel E. Keil (1915 – 2013)

STUYVESANT FALLS—Daniel E. Keil, 97, a lifelong resident of Stuyvesant Falls passed away peacefully at his home, Friday, January 11, 2013 surrounded by his loving wife Margaret Turner Keil and their children.

He was born in Stuyvesant Falls, July 8, 1915, the son of the late George P. and Elizabeth (Schroeder) Keil.

Mr. Keil was an equipment operator for Keil Contracting, Peckham Industries and F.H. Stickles and Son, from where he retired.

A World War II veteran, Mr. Keil served three years in the U.S. Army with the 26th Infantry enlisting in 1934 at the age of 18. He re-enlisted in the Army Air Force, 243rd AAF Base Unit as a radio operator in 1942. He was a charter member of the Stuyvesant/Stockport Senior Citizens, a charter member of the Stuyvesant Falls VFW Post #9593, having served as both past commander and chaplain. He was also a charter member of the Emanuel Lutheran Church in Stuyvesant Falls, having served on the Church Council, and for many, many years as their senior usher.

He is survived by: his wife of 70 years, Margaret (Turner) Keil: daughters, Joyce Hoffer of Eustis, FL, Linda Frick and her husband Richard of Stuyvesant Falls and Gayl Scheriff and her partner, Jim Everett of Kinderhook; grandchildren, Stephen Frick (Michelle) of Orchard Park, Brian Frick (Susan Clancy) of Kinderhook, David Frick of Albany, Tara Panetta (Franco) of Schenectady and Robyn Smith of Kinderhook; great-grandchildren, Adam and Alexandra Frick of Orchard Park, Jared and Aidan Frick of Kinderhook, Lydia and Preston Frick and Madeline Ortiz-Frick of Albany and Cristina and Daniela Panetta of Schenectady.

He is also survived by his brother-in-law, Walter Turner of Churchtown, a sister-in-law, Elsie Turner of Kansas and many, many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his brothers, Henry, Gotlieb, David, Al and Ed and sisters, Elizabeth Keil, Lydia Frick, Molly Giller, Dorothy Stenger and Edith Folmsbee.

Funeral services will be held 11 a.m., Thursday, January 17 at Emanuel Lutheran Church, Stuyvesant Falls, with the Reverend James Slater officiating. Burial will follow in Stuyvesant Falls Cemetery. Calling hours will be Wednesday, January 16 from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Valatie. Memorial contributions may be made to the Emanuel Lutheran Church. Arrangements are with the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, Valatie.

Thomas J. Scannell (1921 – 2013)

PHILMONT–Thomas J. Scannell, musician and World War II pilot, died January 12 after an extended illness. He was 91.

Born in Montclair, NJ in 1921, he was the son of Helen and Ignatus Scannell.

He graduated from Stuyvesant High School in New York City and attended New York University before entering the Army Air Force as a cadet. Mr. Scannell was an Air Force captain and pilot of a B-24. He flew 43 missions over the islands of the Pacific.

After the war, Mr. Scannell moved to his family’s farm in Ghent, where he lived for many years. He met and fell in love with Gloria Walker and the couple wed in 1948. He worked for the State of New York, retiring as grounds supervisor of the Empire State Plaza. For 38 years he played trumpet in Skip Parsons River Boat Jazz Band.

Mr. Scannell is survived by: his loving wife of 63 years; seven children, Michael (Joan) Scannell, Mary Anna Scannell, Jeanne Scannell, Nessa Warner, Patrick (Phyllis) Scannell, Althea Bilodeau and Helen (Brett) Mongillo; sister, Margaret McGrath; brothers, Bob and Bill (Marcia) Scannell; 12 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. Mr. Scannell was predeceased by two brothers, James and John.

A private service will be held for the family. Contributions in Mr. Scannell’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation.

Arrangements are with the French, Gifford, Preiter & Blasl Funeral Home, Chatham. Online condolences may be sent to



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