OBITUARIES: Schmidt, Muir, Fithian, Peck, Dempsey, Meisner, Koll

Marion Schmidt (1945 – 2015)

CLINTON CORNERS—Marion Schmidt, 69, of Clinton Corners died at home Thursday, September 17, 2015.

For 25 years she worked as an identification specialist for the New York State Division of State Police in Poughkeepsie.

She loved cooking and gardening, shopping and the beach. And she especially loved her grandchildren.

Born September 30, 1945, in Ridgewood, she was the daughter of the late Otto and Marianna Hetzer.

Mrs. Schmidt is survived by her loving husband, Robert Schmidt of Clinton Corners; her step-mother, Frieda Hetzer of, Clinton Corners; her children, Alecia (Tom) Brophy of Germantown, Jennifer (Tim) Nordquist of Brewster, Robert (Rebecca) Schmidt of Eglin, FL, Scott (Jennifer) Schmidt of Newburgh and Jaime (Jay) Hollar of Galveston, TX; her sister, Linda Hetzer of Kingston; her 15 grandchildren, Ryan and Evan Brophy, Emily and Edward Schukal of Apollo Beach, FL, Grady, Yannah and Malcom Nordquist, Zachery and Kathlynn Schmidt, Andrew, Tyler, and Ella Schmidt and Jason, Gavin and Ella Hollar; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A son, Edward J. Schukal, III, predeceased her.

A memorial service was held Sunday, September 20 at Burnett & White Funeral Home, 7461 South Broadway, Red Hook. The Reverend William Starkweather officiated.

Memorial donations may be made to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, New York City 10065.

To sign the online guest book visit

Yvonne L. Muir (1951 – 2015)

ALBANY—Yvonne L. Muir, 63, of Hudson died Tuesday September 2, 2015 at St. Peters Hospital.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, she was the daughter of the late Sylvester and Irene Ormsby.

Ms. Muir was a home health aide for several years.

Her children, family and friends attended a graveside funeral service Wednesday September 16, 2015 in Linlithgo Cemetery. Arrangements were with Sacco-McDonald-Valenti Funeral Home, Greenport.

Douglas Fithian (1933 – 2015)

GREAT BARRINGTON, MA—Douglas Brooks Fithian of Chatham died suddenly Monday, September 14, 2015. He was 82.

After a career as a producer, writer and director of advertising and industrial films, Mr. Fithian moved to Chatham in 1972 where he built a unique home and life for himself in the woods.

From there he pursued other creative interests including photography, jewelry-making, art and game-design. From 1983 to 1995 he directed the prevocational and manufacturing program at Coarc, where he introduced a new business model that provided meaningful work and financial security for Coarc.

Prior to 1972, Mr. Fithian lived in Manhattan and Hawthorne and worked for McCann Erickson and later founded Seagull Productions. Along with the many short films and documentaries he produced, he directed Touch Me Not (1974) a psychological thriller starring Lee Remick and Michael Hinz based on his original screenplay. Earlier in his career he was director and cameraman for the Protestant TV Center in Atlanta, GA, and served as president of Circlescope Productions, a company he founded to develop his invention of a 360-degree camera and projection system.

Born in Mt. Lebanon, PA, July 5, 1933, Mr. Fithian was the only child of Chalmers Brooks Fithian, a pioneering Hollywood director, and Henrietta Helms, a professional ballerina.

He grew up primarily in Miami Beach, FL, where his parents operated Fithian Studios, a dance and drama school. He was married March 16, 1956 to Gertrude Reynolds Summers, a school teacher from Newnan, GA, and was divorced 10 years later after having three children.

He served in the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1958 as a public information officer stationed in Germany.

Mr. Fithian loved books, politics, science and nature. He had a wonderfully mischievous manner and never missed an opportunity to tell a good story, always with a sparkle in his eye.

He enjoyed a large circle of friends, and in the past year he was a resident of the Payn Home and Camphill Ghent.

He is survived by his three children, Dianne Pisarek of Winston Salem, NC, Lisa Fithian of Austin, TX, and David Fithian of Chicago, IL.

A celebration of his life will be held in October.

Cynthia Soulier Peck (1952 – 2015)

COPAKE—Cynthia Soulier Peck, born September 27, 1952, sadly passed away unexpectedly, September 6, 2015 in her home in Copake.

There will be a Celebration of Life, September 26, 2015, on Fern Lake (the narrows side) at 21 Alexander Drive, Au Sable Forks.

Call 518 728-0906 with any questions about directions. Come and share memories with her loved ones.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Elmbrook Veterinary Clinic, P.O. Box 566, Au Sable Forks 12912, note donation.

Arrangements are with the Peck and Peck Funeral Home, 8063 Route 22, Copake. To send and online condolence visit

Kevin J. Dempsey (1966 – 2015)

KINDERHOOK—Kevin Joseph Dempsey of Brooklyn and Kinderhook passed away suddenly, September 15, 2015. He was 48.

He recently retired from a 20-year career in public service. This included serving as the associate director of the New York State Board of Racing and Wagering; director of New York City Community Affairs for Governor George Pataki and community affairs specialist and assistant for New York City Assemblyman John Ravitz.

In particular, Mr. Dempsey was proud of his time spent as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tunisia after his graduation from the State University of New York at Albany in 1988.   Beyond these accomplishments, he would wish to be remembered for the two lovely daughters he helped to rear with his wife, Marni. Sarah Quinn (18) and Lily (15) “stand as a lasting and loving testament to the too brief a time Kevin was with us.”

Before his untimely death, Mr. Dempsey was looking forward to traveling. He had already spent a very happy few weeks with his sister, Katherine in Israel, and planned to spend an extended period of time with his other sister, Anna in Massachusetts. Needless to say, New York City and his brothers, John and Brian, also beckoned him. His heart, however, would always remain with his daughters Sarah Quinn and Lily.

He was born October 18, 1966 in the Bronx to Carrie and Jack Dempsey, immigrants from Ireland—a heritage that meant a great deal to him.

He grew up in Westbury, Long Island, where he was an avid golfer and baseball player. After his graduation from Albany and time in the Peace Corps, he moved to Brooklyn, began a family, and took up running and bicycling—and Republican politics. In 2002, Mr. Dempsey and his family moved to upstate New York, where he joined the Kinderhook Runners Club and completed a half-marathon and many other races. He truly loved the outdoors and spent many happy days hiking and playing basketball with family members. “He will be forever with us whenever we take a walk or run in the verdant countryside.”

His family held a memorial service for Mr. Dempsey, September 19 at the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, 1015 Kinderhook Street, Valatie. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the United States Peace Corps.

Rosalyn Meisner (1925 – 2015)

CLAVERACK—Rosalyn Meisner, 89, of Claverack passed away Thursday night, September 17, 2015.

She was a devoted and beloved daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt and friend to many.

Born December 16, 1925 in Hebron, CT, she was the daughter of the late Morris and Sadie (Epstein) Rachmilowitz.

After graduating high school, she attended New York State College for Teachers at SUNY Albany majoring in history and English. While attending college, she worked for the New York State Department of Audit and Control.

She left Albany to marry Milton Meisner, who was her husband of 55 years. She stayed at home raising her family before re-entering the workforce as office manager for Milton Meisner Realty for 15 years.

She was a member of Congregation Anshe Emeth, Sisterhood and Hadassah. She served as Girl Scout cookie chairwoman and was active in the Girl Scout organization for many years. She assisted many local charities including the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, and the American Heart Association, where she served as chairwoman. She was passionate about politics, exercise, and organics and holistic approaches before they became mainstream.

Mrs. Meisner is survived by: her daughters, Hedda (Randy) Rosen of Stillwater and Reta (Christy) Tiano of Hudson; four loving grandchildren, Jennifer Jones, Christopher Ball and Christy and Drew Tiano.

In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband, Milton Meisner; her daughter, Melinda Jones, and her sister, Metilda Rachmilowitz.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Indian College Fund, 8333 Greenwood Boulevard, Denver CO 80221 or to WAMC, 318 Central Avenue, Albany 12206.

Graveside services were conducted Monday, September 21 in Cedar Park Cemetery, Hudson. Visit to leave condolences for the family.

Katharine Koll (1923 – 2015)

GHENT—Katharine Mae Koll, 92, of Greenport passed away Friday, September 18, 2015 at Whittier Skilled Nursing Center.

Born in Hudson, March 2, 1923, she was the daughter of the late Horace and Florence (Horton) Fletcher.

Mrs. Koll was a lifelong resident of Greenport and enjoyed maintaining her own home. She was employed as a sales clerk at Woolworth Department Store in Hudson.

She was predeceased by her husband, Thomas L. Koll and her brother, Horace C. Fletcher.

Mrs. Koll is survived by her niece, Sandra Gorman of Castleton and her nephew, Gary Fletcher of Castleton.

Services will be conducted Tuesday, September 22, 11 a.m. at the Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson.

Interment will follow in Cedar Park Cemetery, Hudson.

Visit to leave condolences for the family.

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