Obituaries: Andrews, Gibbons, Merritt, Izzo

Lawrence Andrews, Jr. (1943 – 2013)

ALBANY—Lawrence James Andrews, Jr. passed away peacefully at The Inn at St. Peters’ Hospice, Saturday, August 17, 2013, surrounded by his loving family.

He was born August 14, 1943 in Chatham. He was the son of the late Lawrence James and Mildred Haigh Andrews, Sr.

On August 22, 1964, he married his childhood sweetheart, Judith Ann Leggett Andrews. They have spent the last 56 years of their lives together.

Mr. Andrews was the loving father of Leah Jeanine Andrews Prack and James Dewitt Andrews, son-in-law, Jeffrey Douglas Prack and daughter-in-law, Lisa Marie Nadeau Andrews.

He leaves behind his cherished grandchildren, Kaitlyn Ann Prack, Karalyn Elizabeth Prack, Addison Elizabeth Andrews, Jaxon Lawrence Andrews and his faithful shitzu, Lilly. He is also survived by his sister, Nancy Andrews Akin and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister, Carol Andrews Bohne. He was a special friend to many in the town of Ghent, especially his “Cape Cod” family.

Mr. Andrews graduated from Ockawamick High School in 1961. He received his bachelor’s degree in math from Brockport State in 1964. He also worked towards his masters at SUNY Albany and SUNY New Paltz.

He was a math teacher in the Taconic Hills School District for 35 years. During that time he coached junior and varsity baseball. He was also involved with the Ghent Little League and the American Legion baseball league. He was a past director of the Ghent playground summer program.

For the last 34 years, Mr. Andrews devoted himself to public service.  He served as a councilman for the town of Ghent from 1980 to 1999 and as town supervisor for the town of Ghent from 2000 until he died. He served on the Board of Supervisors from 2000 to 2013. During that time he served as deputy chairman of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors and as chairman of the Pine Haven Home committee, a place which has always been near and dear to his heart. He was a life member of the Ghent Rod and Gun Club, an honorary member of the Ghent Fire Company and a volunteer for the Ghent VFW Christmas Fund. He was a lifelong member of the West Ghent Reformed Church and a past deacon. Mr. Andrews was an avid Yankees fan, enjoyed doing carpentry and loved Cape Cod as his second home. He was able to spend his last days at the Cape with his family and friends.

Though Mr. Andrews lost his courageous battle with cancer, we all hope to live by his motto; “It is what it is.”

Because of his strong faith and love of teaching, in lieu of flowers, his family requests donations be made in his name to the West Ghent Reformed Church, 1039 County Route 22, Ghent 12075 or to the “Lawrence J. Andrews, Jr. Scholarship”, c/o of Dollars for Scholars of Taconic Hills, P.O. Box 44, Hollowville 12530.

Calling hours will be Wednesday, August 21 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Wenk Funeral Home, Chatham. The service will be Thursday, August 22, 10 a.m. at the West Ghent Reformed Church. For online condolences visit https:\

Thomas R. Gibbons, Jr. (1931 – 2013)

HUDSON—Thomas R. Gibbons, Jr., died Saturday, August 17, 2013 at the Hospice Comfort Unit at Columbia Memorial Hospital surrounded by his family. He was 82 years old.

He was born August 6, 1931 in Worcester, MA, the son of the late Gladys Gibbons and Thomas R. Gibbons, Sr.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his son, Thomas R. Gibbons, III.

Mr. Gibbons graduated from South High School, class of 1950. He attended Worcester State Teachers, where he received his master’s in education. He served his country after graduation and was stationed at Fort Richardson, Fairbanks, AK.  After being discharged he had a brief teaching career in Worcester.

Mr. Gibbons and his new bride, Ruth, moved to Philmont, where he continued his teaching career at Ockawamick School, which merged with Roeliff Jansen into Taconic Hills Central School. In 1976, Mr. Gibbons was elected town justice in the Village of Philmont. He continued to service both the Village of Philmont and the Town of Claverack as town justice until he retired his gavel.

Mr. Gibbons was a devout Catholic. He and his family attended the Sacred Heart Church in Philmont for many years. He and his family continued their Catholic ties with the Holy Family in Stottville, St. Mary’s in Hudson and Pius X in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Spending time with his grandchildren was Mr. Gibbons’ favorite pastime. He shared his love of reading with them and would discuss and share his favorite books. He loved hearing about their lives, their activities and took an active role in their college and career decisions. Second to his grandchildren, was his love of golf. Mr. and Mrs. Gibbons were snowbirds and he was able to extend his golf season by spending six months a year in Fort Lauderdale.  Coming home every May, Mr. Gibbons was an active member of Columbia Golf and Country Club. As a member, his favorite times were playing with the “11:00 clocker’s league,” until his illness prohibited him from swinging his clubs.

In addition to his loving wife of more than 57 years, Ruth, Mr. Gibbons is survived by: three daughters and two sons-in-law; Bonnie and her husband Gregg Ublacker of Belchertown, MA, Ruth Ann Barto of Kingston and Mary Margaret and her husband William Gerlach of Claverack; three sons and two daughters-in-law, Mark Gibbons and his wife Veronica of Flowery Branch, GA, Luke Gibbons of Hudson and John Gibbons and his wife Kathleen of Suwanee, GA.  Mr. Gibbons was “Poppie” to 10 surviving grandchildren, Sean Ublacker, Brian Ublacker, Scott Ublacker, Patrick Cranna, Colin Cranna, Nicholas Barto, Geoffrey Gibbons, Grant Gibbons and Chloe Ruth and Raina Bonnie Gibbons. He is also survived by a brother and sister-in-law, William and Patricia Gibbons, as well as many nieces and nephews and countless friends.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at the Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, August 22, 2013 at St. Mary’s Church in Hudson. Mr. Gibbons will be interred with his son, “Tiger” at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Columbia-Greene Hospice Association, 47 Liberty Street, Catskill 12414.

Visit www.batesanderson.con to leave condolences.

Herbert S. Merritt (1928 – 2013)

VALATIE—Herbert S. Merritt, 85, of Valatie, passed away Sunday, August 18, 2013 at Barnwell Nursing and Rehab Center in Valatie.

Born April 24, 1928 in Keene, NH, he was the son of the late Morris and Fannie Merritt.  He grew up in New Hampshire.

Mr. Merritt served in the U.S. Army from 1949 to 1951 in Austria. He received his BS from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in engineering and math, and his masters in school administration. He taught high school math and later became a school administrator. Mr. Merritt served as principal of Hudson High School from 1971 to 1991. He began his tenure at HHS the year the new high school opened.

Mr. Merritt was predeceased by his adored wife, Katherine Merritt, to whom he was married 28 years.

He is survived by: his loving stepdaughters, their husbands, and the many grandchildren to whom he was “Grandpa Herb”:  Kathy and Robin Steiner and their daughters, Leigh (husband Feargal) and Allison, Mary Edith and Timothy Keeler and their sons, Seth and Eric, Julia and Stephen Graziano and their children, Elliott and MacKennan, Heather and Michael Schopp and their children, Brooke (husband Andrew), Fred, Ben, Colleen Michael and Greyson, and Maureen and Gregg Kronau, and their daughters, Emily, Abigail and Lillian.

Mr. Merritt is also survived by his brothers, Syd and Carl and their wives.

He was active in the Masonic Lodge, served as the president of the Patroon Conference and was active in the Hudson Kiwanis. Mr. Merritt spent a year in Australia as an exchange educator. He enjoyed golf; travel to Australia, South America, Japan and cross country travel with his wife.

Services will be conducted at 11 a.m., Wednesday, August 21 at the Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home.

Interment will be in St. John’s Cemetery in Valatie.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to HHS Dollars for Scholars, P.O. Box 1048, Hudson 12534. Special thanks to Dr. Brian Daggett for his exceptional care.

Visit to leave condolences for the family.

Eric E. Izzo (1962 – 2013)

STUYVESANT FALLS—A memorial service for Eric E. Izzo, 51, of Philmont, who died unexpectedly August 8, 2013, will be held at at the Church of St. Joseph, 1820 U.S. Route 9, Thursday August 22 at 4 p.m. with the Reverend Frank O’Connor officiating.

Donations may be made to the Philmont Food Pantry in memory of Mr. Izzo. Arrangements are with the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, Valatie. A complete obituary appeared in the August 15 issue.




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