Obituaries: LaPorte, Losee, Burke, Blum, Bergeron, Lowe, Ward, Gustafson, Swart, O’Connell

Catherine M. LaPorte (1935 – 2014)

BOSTON, MA—Catherine M. LaPorte, formerly of Hudson, passed away August 11, 2014 after a short illness.

She was the daughter of the late Vincent and Mildred Marrone of Hudson.

Ms. LaPorte attended St. Mary’s Academy and was a 1953 graduate of Hudson High School. She worked for the New York State Bridge Authority on the Rip Van Winkle Bridge for about 20 years.

She is survived by: a sister, Judith St. Onge and a brother-in-law, Marcel St. Onge of Kinderhook; a daughter,

Karen Demino and a son-in-law, Joseph Demino of Lake Worth, Florida; a son, Richard LaPorte, Jr., of Onancock, Virginia; four grandchildren, Weston Demino and Katlyn Demino of Lake Worth, Florida and Kadrian LaPorte of Hudson and Hunter LaPorte of Onancock, Virginia.

Viewing hours will be held at Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, 1015 Kinderhook Street, Valatie, Friday, August 22, 2014 from 5 to 7 p.m.

A Celebration of Life memorial service will be held at St. Mary’s Church, 429 East Allen Street, Hudson, Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 10 a.m., followed by private burial in the family plot at the Kinderhook Reformed Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, friends and family may send contributions to the American Heart Association in Ms. LaPorte’s name.

Charles T. Losee, Jr. (1945 – 2014)

KINDERHOOK—Charles T. Losee, Jr., 69, of Kinderhook died Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at his home

Born April 3, 1945 in Stuyvesant, he was the son of the late Charles T. Losee, Sr. and Alida (Van Ommerman) Losee, who resides in Stuyvesant.

Mr. Losee was a U.S. Army veteran, who served in Vietnam. After his military service, he was employed as the supervisor of vehicle maintenance (Northeast) for Wickes Lumber in Selkirk.

Retirement not suiting him, he continued working as a property manager in Valatie. He enjoyed traveling and loved automobiles, especially Mustangs, Corvettes and fast cars in general. He won an award in the Plymouth Troubleshooting Contest of which he was very proud. Mr. Losee also had a knack for spotting a good deal and capitalizing on it. He was an avid card player and borderline pro, entering and playing in many tournaments at various casino’s worldwide.

He was a member of the Columbia Car Club and the Stuyvesant Falls VFW Post # 9593.

Besides his mother, he is survived by: one daughter, Andrea J. Losee Allard (Joseph) of Nassau; one son, Mark C. Losee (Kasa) of Albany; a sister, Lila Toniatti (Donald) of Poestenkill and a brother, Timothy Losee (Cindy) of Hannacroix; his life partner, Elizabeth Black of Kinderhook; two grandchildren, Natalie and Garrett Allard; several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by his wife, Jean (Terpening) Losee.

Funeral services were held Monday, August 18 at the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, 1015 Kinderhook Street, Valatie, with the Reverend Stark Jones officiating. Burial with military honors followed at Woodlawn Cemetery, Valatie.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Stuyvesant Falls VFW, P.O. Box 73, Stuyvesant Falls 12174. He is loved and will be missed.

Peter L. Burke (1940 – 2014)

GHENT—Peter L. Burke, 74, of Ghent died Thursday, August 14, 2014 at his home.

Born June 3, 1940 in Mineola, he was the son of the late Perrin A. and Violet P. (Haddock) Burke.

Mr. Burke was a veteran with the U.S. Marines and an installer for New York Telephone in Hudson for 27 years. He was a life member of the National Rifle Association and a member of the Ghent Rod and Gun Club, the Kinderhook Sportsmen’s Club, the Hudson Fish and Game Club and the Columbia County Sportsmen’s Federation.

He coached the 4-H shooting program for 37 years, the Columbia County Junior Olympic Shooting team since 1983 and also held a national record for shooting (prone) at the National Shooting Championships at Camp Perry, Ohio.

He is survived by: his wife of 48 years, Judith F. (Godwin) Burke; a daughter, Kathy Burke of Ghent; a brother, Michael Burke of Chicago, IL, and the love of his life, his granddaughter, Hannah Burke. He was predeceased by his sister, Grace Burke.

A memorial service was held Tuesday, August 19 at the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, 1015 Kinderhook Street, Valatie, with the Reverend Stark Jones officiating.

Burial will be at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Gift Processing Administrator, 18251 Quantico Gateway Drive, Triangle, VA 22172.

Joan Blum (1951 – 2014)

KINDERHOOK—Joan E. Blum, 62, of Kinderhook died Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at her home.

Born November 5, 1951 in Poughkeepsie, she was the daughter of Mary Margaret (Holley) Wright of Rhinebeck and the late Peter John Wright.

Ms. Blum was a writer and editor for IBM in Poughkeepsie. She was a longtime resident of Rhinebeck and for the past 15 years resided in Kinderhook.

Along with her mother, she is survived by: her daughter, Anne Neville VanDerbeck of Kinderhook; five siblings, Virginia, Richard, Mary, Monica and John; two grandchildren, Sebastian and MaryClare; several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held Wednesday, August 27 at the Cathedral of All Saints, Swan Street, Albany. Burial will be at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation ( or Astor Home of Rhinebeck.

Arrangements are with the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, 1015 Kinderhook Street, Valatie.

Cindy Lou Bergeron (1959 – 2014)

ALBANY—Cindy Lou Bergeron, 55, of Hillsdale passed away Thursday, August 14, 2014 at Albany Medical Center.

Mrs. Bergeron was a graduate of Taconic Hills and worked as a postal carrier in Craryville. She served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Savannah, GA.

Mrs. Bergeron enjoyed the outdoors, gardening, golf and crafting her own jewelry.

Born February 25, 1959 in Great Barrington, MA, she was the daughter of William H. Janssen who passed away December 31, 2000; and Marylu (Carl) Janssen of Hillsdale.

Mrs. Bergeron is also survived by: her husband, Wayne Bergeron of Hillsdale; a son, Craig Bergeron of Hillsdale; a brother and sister-in-law, William C. and Joan Janssen of Middletown; and uncle and aunt, Clayton and Fern Carl of Craryville.

She was predeceased by a brother, Brian C. Janssen.

Funeral services were conducted Sunday, August 17, 2014 at the Peck & Peck Funeral Home, Route 22, Copake.

Interment was Monday, August 18 at the West Copake Cemetery.

Memorial Donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, Eastern Division 132 West 32nd St., New York, NY 10019.

Gary Lowe (1952 – 2014)

OLD CHATHAM—Gary J. Lowe passed away Thursday, August 7, 2014 surrounded by his family.

He was born in Albany in 1952, grew up in Nassau and lived in Old Chatham for the past 30 years.

He started his own business, Gary J. Lowe Construction, LLC, in 1991 and specialized in the reconstruction and renovation of old homes, primarily in Columbia County. Mr. Lowe was a master carpenter and took pride in the historic authenticity and technical perfection of his work. He was also an avid hunter and a devoted baseball fan. Survivors include: his wife of 25 years, Ann Mencke Lowe; his sons, Erich William Lowe and Ryan John Lowe; his brothers, Ernest J. Lowe and Erich S. Lowe; numerous aunts, uncles, in-laws, nieces and nephews.

A funeral Mass was held at St. Mary’s of the Nativity, Nassau, August 11.

Memorial contributions may be made to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 300 East 66th Street, New York, NY 10065 and directed for Esophageal Cancer Research.

Arrangements were with the Thomas P. Mooney Funeral Home, 11 Elm Street, Nassau.

William Donald Ward (1948 – 2014)

HUDSON—William Donald Ward, 66, of Greenport died Saturday, August 16, 2014 at Columbia Memorial Hospital.

Born April 27, 1948 in Kew Gardens, he was the oldest son of the late Donald C. Ward and Anna “Bev” (Batewell) Ward.

Mr. Ward is survived by: his wife of 42 years, Patricia (Reamer) Ward of Greenport; his son, Michael Ward and his wife Kimberly of Chatham; his daughter, Mindy Moore, and her husband Terry of Columbus, Georgia; three granddaughters, Mandy (age 13), Kali (age 7) and Allie (age 3); two brothers, Gary Ward and his wife Genie of Salt Point and his youngest brother, Donald Ward and his wife Ann of Greenport; several nieces and nephews.

Mr. Ward moved to Hopewell Junction in 1959 and then Greenport in 1990, where he proudly operated 923 Auto Parts from 1991 to 2001, and was co-owner of Ward’s Auto Sales, Inc. He retired in 2012.

Mr. Ward was an honored veteran, serving in the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1970 and received an honorable discharge and a rank of E4. He was also an active community member in his younger years. He served as a cub scout and boy scout leader, a member of the Mid-County Improvement Association from 1970 to 1990, and a member of the Hopewell Junction Elks Lodge. He will be loved and missed by many.

Calling hours were Wednesday, August 20 at the Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson. Visit to leave condolences.

Richard W. Gustafson (1933 – 2014)

HUDSON—Richard W. Gustafson passed away August 17, 2014 at Columbia Memorial Hospital.

Born February 5, 1933 in Chatham, he was the son of the late Frank R. and Beatrice Wheeler Gustafson.

Mr. Gustafson graduated from Chatham High School in 1950 and joined the Marine Corps during the Korean War. He worked for the railroad and later as a tower boss at Columbia Box Board.

He loved his time with his daughter up at the horse barns at the fairgrounds. Mr. Gustafson also enjoyed football, especially the Giants. He was a member of the Ghent VFW and the Chatham American Legion. He was a private man with a huge heart that loved his time with family the most.

Mr. Gustafson is survived by: his loving wife of 50 years, Florence; daughter, Holly (Daniel Brackett) Gustafson; step-sons, Richard and Ronald Blanchard; granddaughters, Rachel (Brian) Duggan, Rebekah O’Rourke and Bridget Brackett; great grandchildren, Callan and Rory Duggan; his sister, Frances (Jack) Mesick; several nieces and nephews.

Services are private and have been entrusted to the care of the French, Gifford, Preiter & Blasl Funeral Home. Contributions in Mr. Gustafson’s memory may be made to a charity of one’s choice. To convey an online condolence visit

Thomas J. Swart (1941 – 2014)

VALATIE—Thomas J. Swart, 73, of Claverack passed away at Barnwell Nursing Home with his family and staff caring for him, Sunday, August 17, 2014.

Born February 4, 1941 in Saugerties, he was the son of late Thomas J. and Bertha (Blankacken) Swart.

He was predeceased by his brother, Donald David Swart.

Mr. Swart was employed by Merritt Construction in Saugerties as an equipment operator. He will always be remembered as a hard-working employee in all that he did throughout his life. He was a longtime resident of Glasco and Saugerties.

Mr. Swart was a devoted husband to Linda “Lynn” Swart, whom he married May 4, 1968. They enjoyed 46 years of marriage. He was also devoted to his many friends who survive him.

A graveside service will be held Monday, September 15, 2014, 2 p.m. at Mt. Marion Cemetery in Saugerties.

Arrangements are with the Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson.

Lillian O’Connell (1939 – 2014)

KINGSTON—Lillian O’Connell, 75, of Livingston passed peacefully Monday, August 18 at the Health Alliance Hospital Broadway Campus.

Born May 7, 1939 in Rhinebeck, she was the daughter of the late Valentine and Esther (Spencer) Tyler.

Ms. O’Connell worked in the laundry department of Northern Dutchess Hospital for many years. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Rhinebeck.

Surviving are: three daughters, Carrie Hill of Germantown, Susan Lawson of Cairo and Cynthia O’Connell of Livingston; four sons, Thomas of Clermont, Paul of New Paltz, John of West Ghent and Daniel of Poughkeepsie; two brothers, Buster Tyler and Duey Tyler; one sister, Nancy DeShane; 17 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by a grandson, Brandon O’Connell.

Calling hours will be Thursday, August 21, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Yadack-Fox Funeral Home, 209 Main Street, Germantown. Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Friday, August 22 at the funeral home.

Burial will follow in the Livingston Cemetery.

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