Obituaries: Thompson, Potts, Palen

Windell A. Thompson

GHENT—Windell A. Thompson, 66, quietly slipped away into the night September 19, 2013 at 3:31 a.m. at the Whittier Nursing and Rehabilitation facility.

He was predeceased by his first wife, Shelvy Jean Thompson, and his parents, Miriam Reid and Cecil Thompson.

He is survived by his wife, Balbina Thompson of Hudson; three daughters, Yvonne Richardson of Poughkeepsie, Stephanie Woogman of New Haven, CT, and Jeaneen Thompson of Hudson; four sons, James Barnes of Poughkeepsie, Patrick Richardson of Mechanicville, Windell Thompson, Jr., of Hudson and Matthew Thompson of Colonie; one brother, Kenneth Thompson; 19 grandchildren and a host of relatives and friends.

Services took place at the Sacco-McDonald-Valenti Funeral Home, 700 Town Hall Drive, Greenport, Tuesday, September 24.

Mary A. Potts (1911 – 2013)

GHENT—Mary A. Potts, 102, of Ghent, formerly a 100-year resident of Hudson, died Friday, September 20 at the Whittier Adult Home.

She was born in Alife, Italy, April 18, 1911 to the late Joseph and Carmela (Bucci) Occhibove.

Her family settled in Hudson in 1912. Mrs. Potts was the Democratic deputy commissioner for the Columbia County Board of Elections for 25 years from 1949 to 1974.  She and her late husband, Joseph Potts operated the Paramount Grill in Hudson and were the first to introduce pizza to the area in 1950. Together, she and her husband later operated Ferns Restaurant and Bar.

Mrs. Potts’ long list of achievements include being delegate to President Lyndon Johnson’s inauguration in 1966, local coordinator for the Robert Kennedy, Jr., visit to Hudson in 1968, and being nominated to serve as a New York State Democratic Committee Women’s delegate.

She was invited to Hyde Park to meet with Eleanor Roosevelt in 1970, and in 1976 was appointed to serve as the first women commissioner of the Office for the Aging.

Mrs. Potts was a member and communicant of the former Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Hudson as well as president of the Ladies Sodality. She was a matron at the Columbia County Jail, and from 1985 to 1999 was clerk for the New York State Compensation Board.

She is survived by: three grandsons, Michael, Joseph and David Seider; nephews, Richard Tracy and Ronald Dinehart; niece, Edie Dinehart and four great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her husband, Joseph Potts in 1965; her daughter, Joan Seider; infant son, Joseph Potts, Jr.; sisters, Rose Dinehart, Rose Gallo, Anna Finn, Margaret Tracy and one brother, Anthony Occhibove.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Monday, September 23 at St. Joseph’s Church, Atlantic Avenue, Stottville with Fr. Frank O’Connor officiating. Burial followed in Cedar Park Cemetery, Hudson.

Arrangements were with the Sacco-McDonald-Valenti Funeral Home, 700 Town Hall Drive, Greenport.

James J. Palen, Sr. (1946 – 2013)

CLAVERACK—James J. Palen, Sr., 67, of Claverack died Monday, September 23, 2013 at his home.

He was born in Hudson, August 15, 1946 to the late James P. and Angelina (DeLuke) Palen.

He was a graduate of St. Mary’s Academy in Hudson and Albany Business College.

Mr. Palen was employed by the Department of Motor Vehicles in Albany and the Paul Montana Company in Hudson. He also worked for the Columbia County Real Property Tax Department and was the Town of Claverack assessor for 12 years. He was a life-member of the Greenport Rescue Squad, Philmont Rescue Squad and both the Mellenville and Philmont fire companies.

He will be greatly missed by his wife, Patricia A. Butler-Byles Palen; son, James J. Palen, Jr.; granddaughters, Cheyenne and Tracey Palen; grandson, Justin Palen, as well as, many cousins.

Calling hours will be Thursday, September 26, from noon until 2 p.m. at the Sacco-McDonald-Valenti Funeral Home, 700 Town Hall Drive, Greenport. Funeral services will begin at 2 p.m. at the funeral home with Fr. Winston Bath officiating. Burial follows at Mellenville Union Cemetery.

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