Laura Jean Yorck Ribley (1932 – 2014)
HUDSON—Laura Jean Yorck Ribley of Claverack passed away Sunday, November 9, 2014 at Columbia Memorial Hospital, in the loving embrace of her granddaughter, after spending days surrounded and supported by those who love her.
Born January 21, 1932 in Stone Cliff, West Virginia, she was the daughter of Joseph Claud Robinson and Lorena May (Clements) Robinson.
She moved to Hudson during high school and lived in Columbia County for the rest of her life.
She preferred being called Jean since northerners could not pronounce Laura in the familiar, southern style.
She married her high school sweetheart, Harold William Yorck of Hudson in September 1951, and they made their home in Claverack. In 1963 Mr. Yorck died of cancer, leaving her a 31-year-old widow with four little ones. She learned to drive, went to work at Sterling Winthrop Laboratories in Rensselaer, and worked hard to raise her children.
In 1974 she became reacquainted with another Hudson High School graduate, Royal Ribley, and romance soon followed. The two were wed March 15, 1975 in Stottville and made their home at the Ribley farm homestead on Gahbauer Road in Claverack until his death in 1993. It was a gathering place for family and friends where at any time one could be called upon to help with the farm chores—anything from haying to calving.
Mrs. Ribley was a member of both the West Ghent Fire Company Auxiliary and Mellenville Grange No. 1255, and was a card and board game aficionado. She was renowned for her ability to turn an average pinochle hand into a power house or gain maximum triple score points with two letter words on the Scrabble board. She dealt with life with a bright smile and sparkling eyes, something she never lost through her Alzheimer’s struggle.
In recent years, she lived with her son, Brian Yorck, and his wife, Diane (Boice) at their Claverack home. As her Alzheimer’s progressed, she moved to Pine Haven Nursing facility in Philmont, where nurses and staff provided a safe, comforting home.
In addition to her son and daughter-in-law, Mrs. Ribley is survived by: a daughter, Jean Yorck of South Glens Falls; a son and daughter-in-law, Michael Yorck and Eve-Lynn (Walker) of Colchester, VT; six grandchildren: Jennifer, Amanda and Elizabeth Yorck and Eric, David and Ryan Nichols; and three-great grandchildren, Asia Rippy and Warren and Sylvia Mosher. She was predeceased by her son, Harold Yorck, Jr., and a grandson, Shawn Devin Nichols.
Mrs. Ribley also leaves behind two dear, long-time friends, Hank and Babs Croteau of Claverack, and a special sister-in-law, Lillian Willis of Gansevoort.
Calling hours will be at Bates and Anderson Funeral home on 110 Green Street, Hudson, Wednesday, November 12 from 4 to 7 p.m., with a celebration of Mrs. Ribley’s life Thursday, November 13, 11 a.m. at the funeral home, followed by interment in the Cedar Park Cemetery in Hudson. A luncheon at the West Ghent firehouse, 74 Bender Boulevard, will follow. Those wishing to make memorial contributions may do so to the charity of their choice.