Obituaries: Baker, Cook, Matteis, Ambrosio

Philip Baker, Sr. (1937 – 2014)

VALATIE—Philip Baker died April 12, 2014 at Barnwell Nursing Home after a brave 22-year battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was 77 years old.

He was born in Ghent and lived his whole life in Chatham. After graduating from Chatham High School, he went into the Army. He completed two years of enlisted service and then began a career at Chatham Plastics where he was employed for more than 30 years.


Mr. Baker was a devoted husband and father. He was an avid fixer and enjoyed repairing things. He also enjoyed motorcycles and took great pride in his shiny cars.

He is survived by: his wife, Sandra (Swift) of 47 years; his four children, Darcie (Doug) Colwell, Sherri (Johnny) Baker, Lisa (Michael) Lewis and Philip, Jr., (Krystyna) Baker; his five grandchildren, Racheal, Alexandra, Zachary, Sierra and Savannah and his beloved dog Lucy. In addition, he leaves behind his brother, James (Esther) Baker and two sisters, Margaret (Carl) Law and Linda (Edward) Nesbitt.

Calling hours will be Thursday, April 17 at the French, Gifford, Preiter & Blasl Funeral Home, Chatham, 10 a.m. to noon. Funeral services will follow at noon in the funeral home, interment will follow at the Chatham Rural Cemetery.

For directions or to convey a condolence visit

Leon F. Cook, Jr. (1923 – 2014)

HUDSON—Leon F. Cook, Jr., 90, passed away Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at Columbia Memorial Hospital.

He was born October 8, 1923 and was the eldest son of Marion and Leon Cook, Sr., of Claverack.

He married Eleanor Chamberlin, February 24, 1945 and they were together for 66 years, until her death in 2011.

In addition to his wife, he was predeceased by his parents; his sister, Dorothy (Van Deusen); and two brothers, Calvin and Alan Cook.

Mr. Cook is survived by his children, Dr. William “Bill” Cook, Wendell “Wendy” Cook (Kay) and Lesley Sherman (Mark); seven grandchildren, Marieke Cook, Nicolette Cook, Erin Cook Bornt, Amanda Weaver, Michael Weaver, Melissa Pollack and Michael Pollack and two great-grandsons, Jeremy Bornt and Christopher Pollack.

He was born and raised in Claverack. He attended Hudson High School and college in Cobleskill. He enlisted in the Army in 1945. He “slipped away” from his post in New York City and returned to Claverack to marry, two days before shipping out to Germany.

After the war, he returned to Claverack and soon went into business for himself. He owned and operated Leon F. Cook, Jr., Inc. for more than 60 years, doing plumbing, heating and electrical work.

He served as scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 121 for more than 20 years, where he educated, guided and mentored countless scouts, many of whom maintained contact with him over the years.

Mr. Cook was a member of the Masonic Lodge #7 in Hudson, the A.B. Shaw Fire Company in Claverack (where he was past chief) and a 75-year member of the Reformed Dutch Church of Claverack.

Visiting hours will be 4 to 8 p.m., Friday, April 18 at the Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, Hudson. Services will be conducted at 11 a.m., Saturday, April 19 at the Reformed Dutch Church of Claverack.

Memorial contributions to the Reformed Dutch Church of Claverack and the A.B. Shaw Fire Company are welcome.

Visit to leave condolences.

Jerry Joseph Matteis (1953 – 2014)

SCHENECTADY—Jerry Joseph Matteis, 61, of Schenectady and formerly of Hudson died Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at his home.

Born in Hudson, February 24, 1953, he was the son of Anna (Harpis) Matteis of Hudson and the late Jerry J. Mattteis.

Mr. Matteis worked as an assistant manager for the former Jamesway in Hudson. He was a life member of Greenport Pumper Company #1, and was an usher at the former Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Hudson.

In addition to his mother, Anna, he is survived by a brother, Jack J. and (Vanessa) Matteis of Hudson.

Calling hours will be Wednesday, April 16 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Sacco-McDonald-Valenti Funeral Home, 700 Town Hall Drive, Greenport. Panakhyda prayers will be at 6:45 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered Thursday morning, April 17, 11 a.m. at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church, 206 Union Street, Hudson with Fr. John Jedrychowski officiating.

Burial follows in Cedar Park Cemetery. To leave an online condolence visit

Frank F. Ambrosio (1938 – 2014)

CANAAN—Frank F. Ambrosio died at home April 14, 2014 surrounded by his family.

He was born in Brooklyn, March 13, 1938, the son of Anthony and Filomena “Fannie” (Ferraro) Ambrosio.

He attended St. Rita’s Catholic School and Brooklyn Technical High School before going to college at Pratt Institute and then graduating from Brooklyn College in 1962.

While at Brooklyn College, he met the love of his life, Judith A. Jacobus. They were married December 21, 1963, following Mr. Ambrosio’s graduation from the Army’s Officer Candidate School and several months at a geological station in the Arctic Circle.  After Mr. Ambrosio served as an Army Engineer in Europe, the couple eventually settled in East Chatham in 1968.  Mr. Ambrosio worked as a professional land surveyor, starting his own business.  He loved his work, especially the intellectual and outdoor components of being a land surveyor. He also served as the assessor for the Town of Canaan for many years.  Mr. Ambrosio enjoyed traveling and visited many places, including Bonaire, Prince Edward Island, Portugal, Morocco, Egypt and Hawaii.

He is survived by: his daughters, Jennifer R. Ambrosio and her husband, Thomas C. Daly, of Pittsfield, MA, and Katherine E. Ambrosio of East Chatham; his sister, Mary Ann Bruno (Lawrence) of Delmar. They, along with Mr. Ambrosio’s cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends, will always remember how wonderful it was to be around him and how he was always ready to make everyone laugh.

Mr. Ambrosio was predeceased by his wife, Judy, the most perfect person he ever knew.

Funeral services will be held at the Canaan Congregational Church, Saturday, April 19 at 11 a.m. Calling hours will be from 5 to 8 p.m., Friday, April 18 at Wenk Funeral Home in Chatham.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Peter’s Hospital Foundation, 319 South Manning Boulevard, Albany 12208 or to The Community Hospice of Columbia-Greene, 47 Liberty Street, Catskill 12414. The family is grateful for all of the support and assistance provided by the staff of both of these organizations. For online condolences visit


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