Evelyn Edwards (1913 – 2013)
TROY—Evelyn Edwards passed away peacefully at Samaritan Hospital, April 2, 2013. Her time on earth exemplified the lives of so many women who encountered all the hardships and progress of the century with dignity and strength.
Evelyn Lyons was born December 30, 1913 in Ravena to William and Rose (Hartmann) Lyons and was the fifth of eight children. Her father’s work with the railroad caused the family to move many times in her formative years, but they eventually settled back in the area of her birth.
Her education was permanently interrupted in her early teens when the demands of raising a large family became overwhelming for her mother, and she was called on for assistance. Nevertheless, her enthusiasm for reading and for learning as much as she could about practically anything continued throughout her life and passed along to subsequent generations.
She met Mack Edwards in 1929 and they married October 18, 1931. Their 63-year union produced four sons, 18 grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren. Together, they made the family their priority and Mrs. Edwards in particular always enjoyed spirited conversations on all manner of subjects with the different generations. She was a lifelong partner with her husband, and in their later years, they traveled extensively through the United States and Canada. Mr. Edwards predeceased her in November 1994.
In 1942, her husband’s work for Railway Express brought them to Chatham, and this is where Mrs. Edwards found home. Two of her four children were born there, the Chatham Rug Company was founded and she and her husband renovated two homes, including the farmhouse on Valatie Road, which the family to this day considers its homestead.
Mrs. Edwards acquired a host of skills throughout her life, including sewing, gardening, cooking, canning, refinishing furniture and hanging wallpaper. It was not unusual for a visitor to encounter her performing several of these tasks at the same time. She also became something of an authority on birds and wildflowers. But it was her skill in painting that attracted the most attention in the region. A number of her oils and water colors adorn the walls of numerous homes throughout the Hudson River Valley from New York City to the Capital District. She exhibited throughout the region and in 2008 her paintings were selected for a touring exhibit. In 2009 she was recognized for a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Mrs. Edwards also volunteered in a number of community organizations, including the Chatham public schools, the PTA and the hospital auxiliary. But her greatest service to the community was in the volunteer work she performed at St. James Roman Catholic Church. Her faith was the single most important influence in her life, and she worked diligently to meet its requirements.
One way in which she did this was through the time she spent giving back to her parish. She served for years with the Catholic Daughters and the Altar Rosary Society. She sang in the choir, and was a Sunday school teacher. She designed and constructed a number of liturgical banners and restored the statuary in the church’s Nativity scene. She gave herself wholeheartedly to her parish and to her fellow parishioners. In her 60-plus years as a member of St. James, there was very little that went on in the church in which Mrs. Edwards did not play a part.
In addition to her husband, Mrs. Edwards was predeceased by her four brothers, William, Francis, Walter and Vincent Lyons; three sisters, Elizabeth Lyons, Helen Hackett and infant and three grandchildren.
She is survived by: her sons, John M. (Peg) of Castleton, Michael of St. Meinrad, Indiana, Rick (Donna) of Chatham and Paul (Julia) of Gunnison, Colorado, and, as already noted, a community of grandchildren and great grandchildren.
She will undoubtedly be remembered by everyone who had the privilege of meeting her as a woman of faith, will, intellect and incredible stamina.
Her family thanks the staff of the Terrace at the Eddy, and to all on the sixth floor and ICU of Samaritan Hospital.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, April 8 at 11 a.m. in St. James Church, Chatham. Interment will follow at St. James Cemetery in Ghent.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Catholic Charities or the Rosemary Cummins Edwards Trust at the Academy of the Holy Names in Albany. To send an online condolence visit www.frenchblasl.com.
Carl Miller Relyea (1912 – 2012)
CINCINNATI, OH—On December 28, 2012, Carl Miller Relyea passed away two hours before his 100th birthday. Mr. Relyea led a full life following his passionate interest in music, meteorology, hydrology and travel.
The son of Charles Miller Croswell Relyea and Edna Pulver Relyea, he was born on the family farm in Claverack, December 29, 1912. His mother attended Claverack College and his father attended the Hudson River Institute in Claverack.
Mr. Relyea started his education in a one-room schoolhouse where the two Misses Sagendorf taught. In winter the students, of all ages, gathered around the pot-bellied stove to do their lessons and warm their lunches.
Mr. Relyea’s love of music started in early childhood with piano lessons from his Aunt Jennie Relyea, an accomplished pianist, and Harold Rivenburg. When he was 11, he learned to play the pipe organ at Claverack’s Dutch Reformed Church, where his parents attended and his father was a member of the Consistory. At age 16 he was simultaneously named as organist for two churches: morning services at Hudson’s First Presbyterian Church and evensong at Trinity Episcopal Church in Claverack. Mr. Relyea was the glee club pianist at Hudson High School and later for his college glee club. He graduated from the Institute of Musical Arts, now known as Juilliard, and Columbia University in New York City, from which he received his Master of Arts in Music in 1938. He was then named as organist and choir director for Morrow Memorial Church in Maplewood, New Jersey.
Music was Mr. Relyea’s life until World War II. On the advice of family friend Colonel Mesick, instead of waiting to be drafted, Mr. Relyea enlisted in the Army. The Army, in its wisdom, sent him to MIT to study meteorology. He served as theater weather officer for the secret Canadian Theater air bases that supplied warplanes for Europe. Later Captain Relyea served in the Pacific/Asian Theater in Nome, Alaska where he briefed Russian pilots who flew USA made planes across Siberia to the Russian Front. On his military assignments, Mr. Relyea always managed to find a church organ or piano on which to practice or entertain the troops.
Upon demobilization Mr. Relyea married Harriet Watson of Maplewood, New Jersey. They then lived in Bermuda, where Mr. Relyea was the civilian weather forecaster for both the U.S. Air Force and Pan American Airlines. He also substituted as organist at St. John’s Anglican Church. Upon return with his growing family to the U.S. in 1949, Mr. Relyea joined the first weather forecast staff at Idlewild Airport, later JFK International Airport. In 1950, he accepted a position as a hydrologist in the Cincinnati, Ohio office of the U.S Weather Bureau, now NOAA.
Since the Ohio River’s floodwaters do not observe the Sabbath nor crest upon command, Mr. Relyea could not accept any permanent position as organist in Cincinnati. For 12 years he substituted when he could for organists at area churches. However in 1962, Highland Methodist Church was determined to name him as organist and made a generous offer: they would hire a substitute whenever (not if) Ohio River floodwaters required him to miss playing Sunday services. He accepted, and his music ministry touched many lives for 37 years, even though the river did assert its demand for his 24-hour attention at the Ohio River Forecast Center during floods.
Later when the Northeast River Forecast Center was established, Mr. Relyea was invited by NOAA to Albany to assist with forecasting procedure development for New England rivers, the Hudson River and its tributaries. In 1965, NOAA named Mr. Relyea as hydrologist-in-charge of the Ohio River Forecast Center from which he retired in 1977. But he grew restless with retirement and accepted a position as deputy director of the Ohio Hamilton County Emergency Management Agency. He truly retired in 2000 and traveled to Europe with a primary focus on visiting and playing noteworthy organs. In his last years, Mr. Relyea wrote his autobiography and with great fervor researched family genealogy and Hudson River history.
He was a member Phi Kappa Psi, the New York Academy of Sciences, the Columbia University Club of New York City, Cincinnati Kiwanis Club and Retired Engineers and Scientists of Cincinnati.
His wife, Harriet predeceased him in 1982. He is survived by: his son, Richard and daughter-in-law Pam; daughters, Deborah and Cornelia; granddaughters, Kesi and Kristin; sister, Gretchen (Relyea) Hannan and her sons Robert, Alan and William Hannan. Mr. Relyea’s memorial service was held last January at Christ Church Cathedral in Cincinnati, OH. His spring burial will be on Saturday, April 27 at 11 a.m. at the Dutch Reformed Church Cemetery, 88 New York 9H, Claverack. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made in his memory to the Dutch Reformed Church, at above address, or to the Edna Pulver Relyea Scholarship Fund at Barnard College, Office of Development, 3009 Broadway, New York, NY 10027.
Taimi Maki (1912 – 2013)
GHENT—Taimi Maki, 100, of Greenport, passed away Saturday, March 30, 2013 at Whittier Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center.
Born September 2, 1912 in Duluth, MN, she was the daughter of the late John and Marie Niemi.
Mrs. Maki worked in New York City before moving to Columbia County to be near her family. She enjoyed going to the casinos with her family, playing bingo and visiting her friends. She was a member of the Greenport Senior Citizens.
She was predeceased by her beloved husband, Ray Maki.
Surviving are: her devoted nieces and nephew, Kathleen Corbett and Joan Papa, both of Hudson, and Ronald Poynte of Virginia Beach; nine grand-nieces and two grand-nephews.
Services are private and at the convenience of the family.
Visit www.batesanderson.com to leave a message for the family.