Obituaries: Mesick, Gregory, Van Alphen, Garland, Donohue, Mortefolio, McNeil, Roberts, Bennett, Kern

Charles Deming Mesick (1915 – 2014)

LAKEWOOD, CO— Charles Deming Mesick, age 98, passed away peacefully March 11, 2014 surrounded by his loving family.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Lucille Silva Mesick; his parents, Maude and Paul Mesick and sister, Helen Rundell.


He is survived by: three children, Martin Mesick of Valatie, Deborah Baas and husband Cornelius of Lakewood, CO, Melissa Meth and husband Richard of Placitas, NM; eight grandchildren, Mark, Brent and Christopher Mesick, Joseph, Kevin and Kristie Baas, Rachel and Justin Meth and nine great-grandchildren. Mr. Mesick was a loving and dedicated husband, father and grandfather deeply devoted to his family and his community. He will be truly missed by the many whose lives he touched.

Mr. Mesick graduated from Chatham High School in 1934, attended Alfred University in New York, and Tufts Dental School in Boston. He began his dental practice in Great Barrington, Massachusetts in 1940 and served in the U.S. Army Dental Corps overseas during World War II from 1943 to 1946. When he returned from the war, he started his dental practice in Chatham in 1946 and retired in 1987.

He was a member of the Columbia County Dental Society, a life member of the New York State Dental Association and the American Dental Association, and served as the Chatham School dentist and on the Columbia County Board of Health for 30 years.

He grew up as a member of the Chatham Methodist Church and joined St. Peter’s Presbyterian Church when he moved to Spencertown, where he lived until 1970. He moved back to the Mesick family farm of his birth, where he lived until 2013, when he moved to Lakewood, CO, to live with his daughter. He was a passionate gardener and had a deep appreciation for the nature and beauty that surrounded him. He also enjoyed ballroom dancing, traveling and spending time with his family and dogs at his farm and vacation home in Maine.

His family loved him dearly and will miss him very much.

To honor and celebrate his life, a memorial service will be held in Chatham in early summer at a location and date to be announced. Private interment will be at the Kinderhook Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Peter’s Presbyterian Church, Spencertown 12165.

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Richard A. Gregory, Sr. (1938 – 2014)

HUDSON—Richard A. Gregory, Sr., 75, of Greenport died Saturday, March 15, 2014 at Columbia Memorial Hospital.

Born December 20, 1938 in Stottville, he was the son of the late Lawrence E. and Amelie (Barber) Gregory.

He was employed as a truck driver for the Columbia County Department of Public Works. He also drove for Canada Dry and Columbia Boxboard. He was a lifelong farmer on the Gregory Farm in Stottville and a life-member of the Stottville Rod and Gun Club.

Mr. Gregory is survived by: his daughter, Linda Miranda (Norman) of Hyde Park; his son, Richard “Pete” Gregory, Jr. (Wendy Escudero Gregory) of South Cairo; his brother, Lawrence Gregory of Florida; his brother-in-law, David Persons of Claverack; seven grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his wife, Gloria V. (Laraway) Gregory and his sister, Katherine Persons.

Services will be conducted at 1 p.m., Wednesday, March 19 at the Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home.  Burial will be in the West Ghent Cemetery.

Calling hours will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.

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Willis M. Van Alphen (1936 – 2014)

CLAVERACK—Willis M. Van Alphen, 77, of Claverack died at home and was reunited with his beloved wife, Judith, in Heaven, Sunday, March 16, 2014.

He was born in Stockport, June 22, 1936 to the late Willis and Kathleen (Jornov) Van Alphen.

Mr. Van Alphen was a mechanic for Ben Funk, Inc., before retiring. He also worked for Hudson Buick, EJ and R Garage and the Hudson Valley Cement Lines.

After retiring he joined his son in the construction industry. He loved woodworking and cabinetmaking. He loved his grandchildren and participated in all their hobbies and activities. He was well-known for his infectious smile.

He is survived by: his devoted children, Richard (Jill) Van Alphen of Stockport, Linda (Andy) Chernewsky of Craryville and Susan Amoroso of Oviedo, Florida; his loving grandchildren, Jessica and Jennifer Van Alphen, Nathan Chernewsky and Alyssa Amoroso; a great-grandson, Gian Amoroso and several aunts and uncles.

In addition to his wife, Judith, he was predeceased by an infant son, Willis M. Van Alphen.

A calling hour will begin at 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 19 at the Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, followed by services at 3:30 p.m. at the funeral home.

Burial will be in Cedar Park Cemetery.

Donations may be made to Community Hospice of Columbia-Greene, 47 Liberty Street, Catskill 12414.  The family gives special thanks to hospice caregivers, Marjorie and Agnes.

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Theresa A. Garland (1962 – 2014)

EAST GREENBUSH—Theresa A. (Smith) Garland, 51, of Miller Road, East Greenbush died Sunday, March 16, 2014 at her home surrounded by her family.

Born May 27, 1962 in Brooklyn, she was the daughter of the late Fergus Smith and Anne (McCauley) Smith of Valatie.

Mrs. Garland was a graduate of Ichabod Crane High School and worked for the New York State Department of Higher Education in Albany as a program analyst. She enjoyed spending time with her family and friends. She is loved by many and will be forever missed.

Besides her mother, she is survived by: her husband, Thomas G. Garland; four children, Elizabeth White (Chris), Brian Garland, Kayla Marr and Sarah Eggelhoefer (Glen), all of East Greenbush; six siblings, Brian Smith of East Greenbush, Christopher Smith (Christine) of Schodack, Timothy Smith (Lisa) of Kinderhook, Bernadette Carman (James) of Schodack, Kathleen Frances (Mark) of Valatie and Jennifer Desmonie (Stephen) of Nassau; two grandchildren, Madison Marr and Desmond White; many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and very close friends.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11 a.m., Thursday, March 20 at St. John the Baptist Church, Route 9, Valatie.  Burial will be in St. John the Baptist Cemetery in the spring. Visitation hours will be Wednesday, March 19 from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, 1015 Kinderhook Street, Valatie. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge, 132 West 32nd Street, New York, NY 10001,

Constance Marie Donohue (1927 – 2014)

LOCKPORT—Constance Marie Donohue of Chatham passed away March 16, 2014 at her daughter’s home in Lockport.

Born January 31, 1927 in Jersey Shore, PA, she was the daughter of the late Helen and Bruce Bowes.

She came to Chatham as a young child graduating from Chatham High School in 1945. After school she worked at the telephone company until she married Edward, January 8, 1949.

Mrs. Donohue spent her time home raising her family. She enjoyed sports, playing golf and cards. She was involved in all family activities.

She was also a member and past president of the Chatham American Legion Auxiliary. Mrs. Donohue was a devoted mother, grandmother and sister.

She was predeceased by her husband, Edward T. Donohue and younger brother, Lee M. Bowes.

She is survived by: daughter, Lynne (Chris) Rutschmann of Lockport; son, Robert (Susan) Donohue of Niverville; brother, Robert E. Bowes of Philmont; six grandchildren, Ashley (Tommy) Brigham, Matt Rutschmann, Melissa (Adam) Vooris, Meghan (Greg) Sherwood, Dustin Donohue and Mary Donohue; six great-grandchildren, Charlie, Ava, Lila, John Brigham, Delaney More and Bryson Vooris; several nieces and nephews.

Family will receive friends at the French, Gifford, Preiter & Blasl Funeral Home, Chatham, Thursday, March 20 from 4 to 7 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, March 21 at Saint James Church at 9 a.m., interment will follow at St. James Cemetery.

Contributions in Mrs. Donohue’s memory may be made to the Chatham American Legion Auxiliary. For directions or to send an online condolence visit

Stephen Mortefolio (1921 – 2014)

HUDSON—Stephen Mortefolio, 92, of Greenport passed away Tuesday, March 18, 2014.

He was born October 1, 1921 to the late Matthew and Antoinette Mortefolio.

Mr. Mortefolio was employed by Merle Oil for more than 50 years and enjoyed talking with his customers. He was an avid Yankee Fan and loved spending time with his dog, Shania and his family.

He is survived by: his children, Stephen (Pam) Mortefolio and Keith (Laura) Mortefolio; his loving grandchildren, Stephen (Melanie) Mortefolio, Monica (Luke) Nicholson, Ashley (Timothy) Stever and Chad Mortefolio; four great-granddaughters, Leah and Sophia Nicholson and Abigail and Bailey Stever; two sisters, Bernice Richards and Mary Hall, and his brother, Matthew Mortefolio

In addition to his wife Margaret (Midge), he was predeceased by five siblings, Peter Mortefolio, Joseph Mortefolio, Rose Felter, Anna Yakman and Sylvia Novack.

Calling hours are 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 19 at the Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home.  Services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 20 at the funeral home. Burial will be in Cedar Park Cemetery.

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William McNeill (1947 – 2014)

ALBANY—William “Dan” McNeill, 66, of Harlemville died Sunday, March 16, 2014 at St. Peter’s Hospice after a long courageous battle with cancer.

Born August 2, 1947 in Hudson, he was the son of the late William E. and Nellie (Shufelt) McNeill.

Mr. McNeil was a graduate of the Ockawamick Central School and Hudson Valley Community College. He then went on to serve eight years with the New York Army National Guard.  He worked at Taconic DDSO in Wassaic for 30 years as a supervisor and was a life-member of the National Rifle Association and North American Hunt Club.  Mr. McNeil was a member of the West Copake Reformed Church, enjoyed Monday night “Men Under Construction” gatherings and sang in the choir.

He was a beloved husband and avid sportsman who enjoyed a passion for stock car racing, hunting, fishing, camping and had a genuine love of nature.                                                                                            Mr. McNeil is survived by: his loving wife, Linda (Harder) McNeil; brother, Paul and (Diane) McNeill; nephew, Joshua McNeill and several cousins.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 11 a.m. at the West Copake Reformed Church, 2692 County Route 7, Copake, with the Reverend David Tipple officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choice.

Arrangements are with the Sacco-McDonald-Valenti Funeral Home, Greenport.

Frank Joseph Roberts (1969 – 2014)

VALATIE—Frank Joseph Roberts, Jr., 45, passed away suddenly Saturday, March 15, at his home in Valatie.

He was a graduate of Hudson High School and Columbia-Greene Community College, and was employed with United Parcel Service for more than 20 years.

In his free time, he enjoyed playing the guitar, riding motorcycles and being in the company of family and friends.

He was predeceased by his father, Frank Roberts, Sr., and is survived by: his mother, Stella of Claverack; sister, Michele (and Wayne Williams) of Hudson; brother, Michael of Albany; and niece, Brinn.

Calling hours will be Thursday, March 20 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Sacco-McDonald-Valenti Funeral Home, 700 Town Hall Drive, Greenport. Funeral services will be Friday March 21, 11 a.m. at the funeral home with Father Winston Bath officiating.

Burial will follow in Cedar Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Valatie Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 242, Valatie 12184.

Nancy L. Bennett (1938 – 2014)

HUDSON—Nancy L. Bennett, 76, of Hudson died Sunday, March 16, 2014 at Columbia Memorial Hospital.

Born in Brooklyn, February 24, 1938, she was the daughter of the late Edgar and Jean (Schmidt) Sirles.

Mrs. Bennett was a legal secretary for several local attorneys and was an examiner for the Columbia County Department of Social Services for more than 13 years. Mrs. Bennett was a member of Christ Church Episcopal in Hudson, and was a member of the Greenport Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary.

She was predeceased by her loving husband, Marcus “Skip” Bennett in 2005.

She will be greatly missed by: her daughters, Dawn (Robert, Jr.) Banks of Hudson, Sandra (Daniel) Hickey of Hudson, and Vallarie (Christopher) Rice of Philmont; grandchildren, Kathylene, Jennifer, Robert, III, Daniel, Jr., Marcus, Megan and Sarah; and 12 great-grandchildren.

Calling hours will be Tuesday evening, March 18 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Sacco-McDonald-Valenti Funeral Home, 700 Town Hall Drive, Greenport. Funeral services and burial time at Cedar Park Cemetery in Hudson are incomplete. Memorial contributions in her memory are requested to the Columbia-Greene Humane Society, 124 Humane Society Road, Hudson 12534.

Florence Kern (1921 – 2014)

GHENT—Florence Kern, of Ghent passed away March 14, 2014 at Whittier Nursing Home.

She was born February 28, 1921 in Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia.

She traveled from Nova Scotia to Boston and finally settled here in Chatham as a young girl.

Mrs. Kern worked as an inspector at the Reilly Mills and Chester Mills. She married Edmund Holley and after his passing she later married Floyd Kern, who predeceased her in the 1970s.

She was a member of Chatham Fire Department Auxiliary since 1952, Hudson Valley Auxiliary, Hudson Mohawk Auxiliary and a 50-year member of the Columbia County Volunteer Firefighters Association Auxiliary.

Mrs. Kern was also a member of Chatham American Legion Post 42 Ladies Auxiliary, the Ghent-Chatham Seniors and the Doers Club. She loved to entertain.

She is survived by: her brother, William A. Wood of Chatham and several nieces and nephews.

Family will receive friends at the French, Gifford, Preiter & Blasl Funeral Home Chatham, Sunday, March 23 from 2 to 4 and 6-8 p.m. Services will be conducted at the funeral home on Monday, March 24 at 10 a.m. Attendees should gather at 9:30 a.m. Interment will follow at Chatham Rural Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Mrs. Kern’s name may be made to a charity of one’s choice. For directions or to convey a condolence visit


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