Obituaries: Stack, Pazera, Carter, Van Alstyne

James Edmund Stack (1925 – 2014)

GHENT—James Edmund Stack, 88, of Claverack passed away in his sleep at The Whittier Center, February 27, 2014.

Known to all as “Eddie” when he was a youngster, and then “Jim,” Mr. Stack is survived by his wife, Ingeborg Ruhe Stack.

There are no calling hours or formal funeral arrangements. A private ceremony is planned.

Born July 31, 1925 in New Haven, Connecticut, he was the youngest of six children, all now deceased, born to Garrett M. Stack and Lois R. Cleveland of Guilford, Connecticut.

Raised in Guilford, Mr. Stack joined the U.S. Army and fought in Germany in World War II. He was awarded the Purple Heart after sustaining bullet wounds to his arm and back. Following the war he worked for Cooley Chevrolet in New Haven as an automobile mechanic and soon was offered a more lucrative position at Manhattan Pontiac.

His wife, Shirley (Mason), and his two sons, James E. Stack, Jr., and Garrett L. Stack, relocated to New York City as a result.

Building a reputation as a master mechanic, Mr. Stack was offered the first Austin Healy authorized service center in the United States, which he started on Manhattan’s west side in 1952. In New York, he was approached by Elia Kazan, director of the 1954 Oscar-winning film “On the Waterfront,” who asked Mr. Stack if he could cut a taxicab in half giving the appearance of men talking and riding in a cab. Mr. Stack obliged. The famous taxicab scene, with Rod Steiger and Marlon Brando saying “I could’ve been a contender,” was filmed in Mr. Stack’s shop complete with he and others gently rocking the cab making it appear to be in motion.

In the mid 1950s, he left New York and returned to Connecticut where he was employed as a master mechanic by Frank McDonald Volkswagen—at the beginning of the “beetle” invasion. He remarried and his new blended family included Ingeborg’s two daughters, Danuta and Loretta, as well as his two sons.

After earning his bachelor’s degree from Central Connecticut State College, Mr. Stack took a position in the state’s Vocational Education System and taught automobile mechanics and coached the rifle team at Henry Abbott Technical School in Danbury from 1959 to 1977. During this period he continued to work after school for local automobile repair facilities as a troubleshooter where he was called on to diagnose and solve seemingly unsolvable repair issues.

In 1966, Mr. Stack joined the U.S. Navy Reserve. After retiring from the State Vocational School System, he joined the Navy full-time, relocated to Newport, Rhode Island and was in charge of teaching and curriculum-writing for ship engine maintenance and repair. With the rank of master chief, he retired from the Navy in 1985 and soon settled in Columbia County, where he lived out the rest of his years as an active member in the Hudson VFW.

In retirement, Mr. Stack developed his passion for working with wood and created many items for friends and family.

Mr. Stack is also survived by: his son, Garrett L. Stack (John Anderson) of Woodbridge, CT; daughters, Danuta Jarvis (Stephen Jarvis) of Shelton, CT and Loretta Jones (David Jones) of East Aurora. He was predeceased by his third wife, Catherine Kilbride of Newtown, CT. During the 1970s he and Catherine made their home in Sandy Hook, Connecticut with Catherine’s children, Christine, Cathy, Edward, Charlene, John and Francis McGrath. He is also survived by grandchildren, Suzanne Stack Paul (Stephen Paul) of Shelton, CT, James G. Stack of Harwinton, CT, Kodi-Lee Stack Closson (Jeremy Closson) of Hillsdale; and great-grandchildren, Stephen Paul, Jr., and Karlie, Mackenzie and Sawyer Closson.

A man who never held a grudge, a brilliant mechanic, a master teacher, an exceptional craftsman, an outdoorsman, his warmth, kindness and compassion will be missed by all who knew him.

Arrangements are with the Yadack-Fox Funeral Home, Germantown.

Joseph Andrew Pazera (1931 – 2014)

HUDSON—Joseph “Sonny” A. Pazera passed away peacefully Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Columbia Memorial Hospital.

A native of Hudson/Greenport, he was born in Hudson, June 11, 1931, the son of Joseph C. Pazera and Helen Toth Pazera.

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Himmel Pazera; three children, Kim Pazera of Boston, MA, Joseph (Ann) of Springfield, MO, and Juliet of New Orleans, LA; two loving grandchildren, Emily Rose and Sofia Elizabeth, as well as many nieces, nephews and in-laws.

He was predeceased by his sisters, Beverly Carey of Stottville and Eve Retz of Tucson, AZ.

He attended Hudson schools and graduated from Hudson High in 1949. A high-honor student and an acclaimed athlete, he played football, basketball, baseball and track. He attended Ithaca College and Kansas State College prior to enlisting in the Air Force in 1951. He was a veteran of the Korean War, discharged in 1955.

He joined IBM Corporation in 1955 and was employed with IBM for 38 years. He taught system’s applications and managed several engineering departments. He worked on the early space program with NASA on Gemini, Apollo and the B-70 Bomber and Ballistic Missile Early Warning System.

His job with IBM gave him the fortunate opportunity to travel extensively all over the continental United States as well as France, Germany, Scotland, England, Japan and the Netherlands.

He was a member of St. Mary’s Parish in Hudson and president of the Pastoral Council for more than 14 years. He was a life-member of the Polish Sportsmen’s Club and American Legion Post #184, serving as vice commander and adjutant. An avid fisherman, he loved exploring ponds and streams in New York and Canada, as well as going to the “Secret Pond” with his fishing buddies.

The family welcomes all to join them to celebrate Mr. Pazera’s life, Monday, March 10 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Bates and Anderson’s Funeral Home, Hudson, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mary’s Church in Hudson. Interment will be at the Pazera family plot in Cedar Park Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, kindly make donations to St. Mary’s Church or the Wounded Warriors.

Deborah A. Carter (1954 – 2014)

VALATIE—Deborah A. Carter, 59, of Valatie died Thursday, February 27, 2014 at her home.

Born October 3, 1954 in Hudson, she was the daughter of the late Arnold and Frances (Cramer) Hamm.

Mrs. Carter was a homemaker and was active in the Vietnam Vets/Legacy Vets MC.

She is survived by: her husband, James A. Carter, Sr.; a daughter, Lynnette Brogan of Valatie; a son, Denny Hover of Valatie; two sisters, Charlene Davis and Bonnie VanSteenburg, both of Valatie; a brother, Fred Hamm of Kinderhook; six grandchildren, Austin Newcomb, Jeremy Hover, Alaina, Marissa, Sean-Michael and Rebecca Brogan; several nieces and nephews.

A celebration of her life will be held Thursday, March 6 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Kinderhook Elks Lodge. Arrangements are with the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, Inc., Valatie.

Robert L. Van Alstyne (1921 – 2014)

STUYVESANT—Robert Lewis Van Alstyne, aged 92, passed away peacefully at his Stuyvesant home, March 1, 2014.

Born November 26, 1921 in Kinderhook, he was the son of Lewis J. and Imogene (Wagner) Van Alstyne and lived his entire life in Kinderhook and Stuyvesant.

After retiring from farming in 1969, he was worked for the Town of Stuyvesant, subsequently retiring in 1985.

During his retirement, Mr. Van Alstyne enjoyed watching nature, taking walks and car rides. He loved talking to people and made friends everywhere he went. He was kind-hearted and a gentleman.

He is survived by: his wife of 69 years, Dorothy Rose Gibbons; a daughter, Patricia (Judith Schwartz) of Troy; a son, Richard (Debra) Van Alstyne of Potomac, Maryland; three grandchildren, Robert J. (Judith Mendel), Christopher J. and Melissa K., all of Potomac, Maryland, and a sister, Doris Van Alstyne Peller of Valparaiso, Indiana. He was predeceased by a sister, Beatrice Van Alstyne Shufelt of Dover Plains.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m., Thursday, March 6 at the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, Inc., Valatie, with the Reverend Edward VanKampen officiating. Burial will follow in Kinderhook Cemetery.

Calling hours will be Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Valatie Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 242, Valatie 12184. The family thanks Bev, Bonnie, Beth, Jenniffer, Stephanie, Terry, Karen, Dawn, Laurie, Jenn and all the other caregivers who brightened Mr. Van Alstyne’s life.

 

 

 

 

 

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