Obituaries: Sutherland, Hejnal, Franks, Ptaszek, Kennedy, Funk

Grace B. Sutherland (1926 – 2013)

HUDSON—Grace Bedell Holsapple Sutherland, 86, of San Bernardino, CA and Kinderhook died March 30, 2013 at Columbia Memorial Hospital.

She was born May 15, 1926, the daughter of the late Gurney Emerson Bedell and Ethel Harris.

She graduated from Martin Van Buren High School and was employed by the National Savings Bank of the City of Albany and the County of San Bernardino, CA. She attended the Reformed Dutch Church of Kinderhook and was a volunteer at the Kinderhook Memorial Library.

Her sister, Doris Bedell Schiavone and brother, Robert Gurney Bedell reside in San Bernardino, CA. She is also survived by: her sons, Keith Emerson Holsapple and Kenneth Holsapple Sutherland; her daughter, Elizabeth Sutherland Koenig; seven grandchildren; two great grandchildren; a nephew and several cousins.

Funeral services and burial will be private at the convenience of the family.

There will be no calling hours.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Kinderhook Memorial Library or the Reformed Dutch Church of Kinderhook. Arrangements are with the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, Valatie.

Kenneth Lee Hejnal (1959 – 2013)

KINGSTON—Kenneth Lee Hejnal, 54, of Germantown died Thursday, March 28, 2013 at Benedictine Hospital.

Born February 14, 1959 in Kingston, he was the son of Albert and Marlene (Bowman) Hejnal of Red Hook.

Mr. Hejnal was a civil engineer who worked for New York State’s Department of Transportation for more than 25 years. He was very active in the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts of America, was a member of the Order of the Arrow, as well as the Southern Columbia Little League and was an active blood donor. He enjoyed playing Dungeons and Dragons, reading, working outdoors and coin collecting.

Survivors in addition to his parents include: his high school sweetheart, Lorrie (Kennedy) who he married July 3, 1983; three sons, Ryan of Grand Gorge, Corey of Omaha, NE, and Keith of Germantown; a daughter, LeeAnn Hejnal of Germantown; a brother, Alan Hejnal of OR; a sister, Eileen Bozzolo of Binghamton; two nephews, Andrew and Robert; three nieces, Alicia, Jennifer and Clair and three grandchildren, Abigail, Samantha and Eric.

A celebration of his life will be held Friday, April 5, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Yadack-Fox Funeral Home, Germantown, followed by memorial services at 8 p.m.

Memorial donations are requested to American Cancer Society or at Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union in memory of Mr. Hejnal for his son Keith.

S. Ann Franks (1940 – 2013)

GREENPORT—S. Ann Franks, 72, of 540 Joslen Boulevard, Greenport and formerly of 112 Hudson Avenue, Chatham, died Tuesday, March 26, 2013.

She was born in New York City, September 21, 1940 to the late Eva and Gerard Fournier.

Ms. Franks graduated from Assisium Cathedral High School in Manhattan in 1957.

After suffering a crippling stroke in 1978, she went on to defy all predictions and successfully walk, drive, hold a job and raise her only son. In 1981 she founded and became president of the Columbia County Handicapped Club. In subsequent years she would start a small business, work as a secretary for the Alternate Learning Program in Hudson and volunteer at the Independent Living Center in Hudson. Above all, however, Ms. Franks was a wonderful mother to her son, Jonathan. She will be sorely missed.

She is survived by: her son, Jonathan Franks and daughter-in-law Audrey Boan-Franks.

A memorial service will be held at the French, Gifford, Preiter and Blasl Funeral Home, Saturday, April 6 from noon to 2 p.m. All are welcome.

Donations may be made in Ms. Frank’s memory to the American Stroke Association. Online condolences may be conveyed at www.frenchblasl.com.

Joseph Ptaszek (1915 – 2013)

CLAVERACK—On a sunny Friday morning March 29th, after a long and fulfilling life, Joseph Ptaszek passed away peacefully in his sleep surrounded by family at the wonderful old age of 97.

Born in Upper Red Hook, August 11, 1915, he was the oldest son of four children born to Michael and Nellie Ptaszek.

In his early years his family moved around before settling on Atlas Lane in Hudson, where his father worked for the Atlas Cement Plant. After completing school he worked in construction as a carpenter and millwright around the east coast, including a number of important projects such as the Tappan Zee Bridge, the barracks at Fort Knox, KY, the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge, the New York State Taconic Parkway and the Pentagon. At the age of 19 in 1934, he was enrolled for 10 months in the CCC at Camp 52 out of Boston Corners, tasked with the eradication of gypsy moths.

In 1943 upon volunteering for the Army, he was deployed at Fort Banks in Boston Harbor, MA, where he served as an MP and later a gunnery technician fourth grade (rank of sergeant) at the Headquarters Battery for the Harbor Defense of Boston. During his tenure with the Army, in collaboration with scientists from MIT, he trained the first gunnery crew to use radar-assisted artillery for the United States. After receiving an Honorable Discharge 1946, he remained in the Navy Reserves for 10 years, first as an active-duty reservist for two years then in inactive duty for the following eight.

Following his service in Boston, he moved back home to Hudson, to continue his work in construction, when he was married Nellie Jenowich of Taghkanic, June 1, 1952. They remained happily married for 54 years until her death in 2007.

Mr. Ptaszek was a force in the local community. In his early years he was a baseball player for the local Columbia Country Ukrainian team, enjoying the game for his entire life. He was a life-member of Greenport Fire Company #1, having joined in 1954. He belonged to the Hudson Carpenters Local for 40 years, including a time as president. A life-member of 67 years in the Polish Sportsman’s Club since 1946, Mr. Ptaszek was also one of the earliest members of the Old Time Power Association Engine Club, having belonged for more than 36 years. Mr. Ptaszek was an avid hunter and fisherman with a great love for the outdoors. He especially enjoyed trout fishing and duck and pheasant hunting in New York and Massachusetts with his trusty German Shorthair Pointer and taking family members on long hikes through the countryside.

Shortly after marriage, Mr. Ptaszek and his wife built and opened the Jo-Nel Trailer Park on Joslen Boulevard in Greenport. While operating the trailer park, their only child and daughter, Paula was born December 4, 1953.

During this time, Mrs. Ptaszek, with her husband’s help, began a small antique business, which quickly grew beyond its humble beginnings and subsequently outgrew the modest space available at the trailer park. Realizing a dilemma, the couple began the second phase of their professional careers by moving to Claverack and purchasing the Red Mill to be opened as their own antique shop. As antique dealers the Ptaszeks worked tirelessly across the Northeast and Canada, transforming their small shop into a thriving business that spanned decades. They retired when Mrs. Ptaszek became unable to continue a year before she passed in 2006. Mr. Ptaszek continued to enjoy life to the fullest at his residence in Claverack with his daughter, grandson and granddaughter until the day of his passing.

Mr. Ptaszek is survived by: his daughter, Paula Ptaszek of Claverack; his two loving grandchildren, Joseph and Nellie; nephews, John Ptaszek and Edward Ptaszek and a niece, Mary Ann Nowak. He is predeceased by his wife, Nellie Ptaszek; two brothers, John and Walt Ptaszek and his sister, Helen Dragon.

Funeral services will be held 10 a.m., Friday, April 5 at the St. James Parish in Chatham, with Father Gary Gelfenbien officiating. Burial will follow at the Cedar Park Cemetery in Hudson. Calling hours will be Thursday, April 4, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home.

James E. Kennedy (1930 – 2013)

STEPHENTOWN—James E. Kennedy, 82, of Sutherland Road passed away March 19, 2013, after a two-year illness under the care of Community Hospice of Rensselaer County.

He was born October 4, 1930 in Beulaville, NC, the son of the late John and Katie Kennedy.

Educated and raised in North Carolina, Mr. Kennedy enlisted in the United States Army and served in Korea. He was a member of the Disabled American Veterans and a life-member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Before moving to New York, Mr. Kennedy resided in Scituate, MA, where he worked for the Department of Public Works for many years. He enjoyed gardening, tending to his lawns as well as hunting and fishing. Up until four years ago, he wintered in Florida.

He leaves: his wife, Audrey; daughter, Kathleen of Averill Park; a stepson, Michael Martin; his son and daughter-in-law, Stephen and Mary Schnyer; daughter and son-in-law, Arlene and Joseph Longo, all of Stephentown; daughter, Cathy Provenzano of Holbrook, MA; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; two sisters; a brother-in-law and a sister-in-law; and many nieces and nephews in North Carolina.

Following Mr. Kennedy’s wishes, services were private Friday, March 29 with burial and full military honors at the Gerald B. H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville.

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

June E. Funk (1946 – 2013)

ALBANY—June E. Funk, 66, of Claverack died Saturday, March 30 at St. Peter’s Hospital.

Born June 26, 1946 in Albany, she was the daughter of the late Louis and Alda (Eisner) Constanzo.

Prior to her retirement, she was employed as the director of income maintenance with Columbia County Department of Social Services.

She was a loving wife and mother who enjoyed traveling.

Survivors include: her husband of 45 years, Dale Funk; a son, Bryan Funk of Hudson and daughter, Melinda Funk of Stottville.

There are no calling hours.

Memorial services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 6 at the Yadack-Fox Funeral Home, Germantown.

Memorial donations are requested to the Greenport Rescue Squad, 3 Newman Road, Hudson 12534.

 

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