Obituaries: Ferrari, Conners, Hanson

Mario James Ferrari (1944 – 2013)

STOCKPORT—Mario James Ferrari, born August 2, 1944 in Brooklyn, passed away Friday, May 17, 2013 at his home with loved ones.

In 1946, his parents Umberto and Josephine (both deceased), moved Mario and his brother, Caesar (deceased), to Stockport and assumed ownership of Brookside Tavern until 1976.  In 1960, Mr. Ferrari met the love of his life, Lynne West Ferrari and they married October 7, 1967.  Soon after, the Ferraris built their home in Stockport, where they raised their two daughters, Michelle and Susanne.

Mr. Ferrari entered the United States Marine Corp in 1967, where he learned to live by honor, courage and commitment and carried these values with him throughout his life. Semper Fidelis. Mr. Ferrari worked construction all of his life; from traveling with Marshall Erdman Associates to owning Columbia Contractors.  In 1986, he became the building inspector of Stockport and held this position for 27 years. In 1996, Mr. Ferrari opened the Cigar Emporium and over the years he built more than a business, he built a strong following of friends. He was also a member of the Federation of Polish Sportmen’s Club since 1970, where he enjoyed spending time with his friends and never missed the annual Superbowl parties.

The Ferraris enjoyed many things in life.  From family parties and summer vacations with friends to walks on the beach in Florida and endless projects with nephew Michael; spending time with family and friends was always a top priority. Since the birth of their grandson, Enzo, the Ferraris enjoyed frequent visits to California, where “Grandpa” played endless games of basketball, fuss ball and chess.

Mr. Ferrari was loved by all and will be missed by his many friends and family members, especially his daily companion, Onyx.

Join his family in a celebration of his life. Calling hours will be at Bates & Anderson Funeral Home, Friday, May 24 from 4 to 7 p.m. and funeral services on Saturday, May 25 at 11 a.m.

Honored pall bearers will be: Michael C.A. Ferrari, Nicholas Ferrari, Caesar Mario Joseph Ferrari, Robert Almstead, Butch Layman, Richard Van Wie, David Van Leuven, Edward Magee and John Laurella.

James Wright Conners (1927 – 2013)

NEW CONCORD—James Wright Conners passed away Friday May 17, 2013.

Born July 4, 1927 in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, he was the son of the late James Crowell Conners and Laurene Wright Conners.

After serving in the Navy during World War II, he attended the University of Wisconsin through the GI Bill, earning a chemistry degree. He then went on to Harvard Business School earning an MBA.

Mr. Conners met and fell in love with Sumaya on a trip to Montreal, Canada. After a whirlwind courtship, convincing her not to return to her country, Egypt, they married in Chicago, Illinois, May 15, 1965. They subsequently moved to Los Angeles to raise their two daughters, Leila Ann and Nadia Carolyn. Mr. Conners worked at Unocal Oil Company in the Market Research Department there.

In 1992, Mr. Conners retired and moved his family to Columbia County to the hamlet of New Concord. He felt very much at home and participated in many community endeavors such as Master Gardener Program specializing in growing hardy roses, was an elected official as a Chatham assessor and was past president of the Society of New Concord. He loved cultivating his rose garden and opened his home to garden clubs.

Mr. Conners is survived by: his wife, Sumaya; his two daughters, Leila and Nadia; three grandsons, Aidan, Francis and Augustus; and his older sister, Virginia Yelk of Milwaukee and her extensive family. Mr. Conners will be laid to rest in New Concord’s Mountain View Cemetery following cremation. A memorial service will be held in July, details to be determined

Condolences may be conveyed at

Palma Hanson (1916 – 2013)

CHATHAM—Palma Hanson passed away peacefully May 21 with the love of family surrounding her.

Born June 18, 1916 in Dover Plains, to Ralph and Rosa Ambrosio, she died just shy of her 97th birthday.

A proud first generation Italian American, Mrs. Hanson grew up on Maiden Lane in Chatham.

She entered the first grade not speaking a word of English yet at the beginning of fourth grade had mastered the curriculum to the extent that she skipped ahead to the fifth. She continued as a promising student graduating from the eighth grade with high honors on her 14th birthday. Unfortunately her formal education ended there. Because her mother had died several years earlier, as the oldest daughter, she was needed at home to care for her four younger siblings.

In 1938, she married Thomas F. Hanson at St. James Roman Catholic Church in Chatham, where she was a communicant at the time of her death. She moved with her new husband to the Hanson homestead in Old Chatham, where together they raised eight children, he, working as a carpenter and she, as a seamstress. After his death in 1974, she became a full-time home health aide caring for many ill and elderly in the community.

Mrs. Hanson mastered many skills: she was a wonderful cook and avid gardener. She crafted dozens of afghans for patients at the VA hospital and created dozens more for new babies.

She was a news junkie and self-proclaimed “blooming liberal,” who delighted in political debate and believed in equal rights for everyone. Born before women had the right to vote, she strove to be well-informed and to never miss an election. She last voted in the Chatham Village election in March of this year filing her absentee ballot from her home in Chatham, where she had lived independently for the last 17 years. One of her proudest experiences was serving on a Federal Grand Jury.

A lifelong learner, in June 2006, on her 90th birthday, she received an honorary diploma from Chatham Central School.

Mrs. Hanson reserved her greatest passion for her family. She leaves behind: her three daughters, Ann Marie Stanton of Baltimore, MD, Rita (Ron) Van Alstyne of Spencertown and Maggie (Birge) Calhoun of Chatham; her daughter-in-law, Carol Hanson of Old Chatham; three sons, Michael Hanson (Vikki Blizzard) of Monroe, NC, Thomas (Terri) Hanson of Madison, CT, Paul Hanson and his wife, Mrs. Hanson’s closest friend and “Angel,” Sherri Hanson of Old Chatham; her beloved grandchildren, Maureen (Sean) Davis, Moira (Kevin) Tokarik, Theresa Stanton, Baron Hanson, Sarah Sullivan, Joshua (Jessie) Van Alstyne, Jacob (Kate) Van Alstyne, Amanda (Andrew Smith) Van Alstyne, Keith (Elaine) Van Alstyne, Sean (Desiree) Hanson, Erin (Andrew) Baker, Thomas (Monika) Hanson, Lyndsie (Brian Ackerly) Hanson, Ashley (John Macagnone) Hanson, Zac (Allison) Calhoun, William (Meghan) Calhoun, Hannah Calhoun and Quinn Calhoun; 20 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to her husband of 36 years, she was predeceased by two sisters, Francis (Frank) Bolinsky and Louise Ambrosio; two brothers, Louis (Margaret) and Angelo (Antoinette) Ambrosio and her beloved children, Rosemary and Ralph Hanson.

As per her request there will be no calling hours and interment will be private. A memorial celebration will be held at a later date. Donations in Mrs. Hanson’s memory may be made to Community Hospice of Columbia/Greene. Online condolences may be conveyed at




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