OBITUARIES: Mayer, Riter, Fielder, Cotsonas, Silkowski

Charles I. Mayer (1925 – 2016)

GUILDERLAND—Charles I. Mayer passed away peacefully March 6, 2016 at Our Lady of Mercy Life Center.

He was born August 6, 1925 in Charlotte, NC, to Susan and Irving Mayer.

He grew up in Queens and raised his family in Monsey. Following service in the Navy, he completed an MS degree in engineering from Columbia University and was an industrial engineer for American Cyanamid his entire working life. He was predeceased by his parents; his brother, Henry; his sister, Elodie and his wife of 36 years, Mariel Day Mayer.

Surviving him are: his son, Douglas and wife Jane; his daughter, Janet; eight grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren as well as several nieces and nephews.

Mr. Mayer was most proud of being an Eagle Scout and an active scouter in all areas of scouting for more than 50 years. He was also a lay-leader and the church treasurer for many years for the Viola Methodist Church in Suffern.

He was an avid stamp collector, wood carver and in his later years a master at counted cross-stitch and jig-saw puzzles. While living at the Payn Residence in Chatham from 2003 to 2010, he became known as “the Man in the Cowboy Hat” on his almost daily walks into town.

The family is especially grateful for the care given to Mr. Mayer by Deborah Hanish-Schreyer, L.M.S.W., friend and advocate; and for the kind thoughts and prayers for Mr. Mayer and his family sent by friends and relatives.

Services are private and at the convenience of the family. Arrangements are with the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, 1015 Kinderhook Street, Valatie.

Byron W. Riter (1948 – 2016)

GERMANTOWN—Byron “Moe” W. Riter, 67, died peacefully at the home of his dear mother, February 29, 2016.

He was born November 7, 1948.

He was predeceased by his father, Michael Stephen; first wife, Laurel Murray Riter and sister, Diane Fox.

Surviving are: his daughter, Lisa Wood Snead (Jeff); two grandchildren, Tyler Wood and Zachery Snead of Virginia; his wife, Kathy of Philmont; stepsons, Jason and Nathan Kassman and their children of Virginia.

Also surviving are: his mother, Marguerite V. Riter of Germantown; brothers, Michael of Hudson and Steven of Germantown; sisters, Julie Meacher (John) and Susan Bufi (Michael), both of Germantown; along with many nieces and nephews.

Mr. Riter served in the U.S. Navy and was a graduate of RCA Institutes in New York City. He worked as a mechanic and liked to fix things. He helped many a friend and stranger with their vehicles and beyond. He was an avid hunter with many stories and enjoyed being outside in nature.

Mr. Riter was a unique individual who was full of life, loved his family and friends and was very giving to them. He will be missed and fondly remembered. A memorial service will be held at Yadack Fox Funeral Home, 209 Main Street, Germantown, Saturday, March 12 from 1 to 3 p.m. All are welcome to a celebration of his life immediately following in the Reformed Church of Germantown diningroom.

Levi Fielder (1941 – 2016)

GHENT—Levi Fielder, age 74, passed away Sunday night, March 6, 2016 at his Ghent residence. He was the loving spouse to Constance Fielder for 22 years. He was the father of Dean, Kenny, Jennifer, Fred, Dawn, Brandon, George and many other kids that he gave fatherly love to. He leaves behind several grandchildren and his sisters, Rita and Clarence Gibbs, Lee Powers, Gail and Gean Thornburn and his brother, Lyle and Mary Fielder.

Mr. Fielder spent his prime working for the Village of Philmont as the DPW foreman. When he retired he worked several years as a school bus driver for Michael S. Johnston. He was liked by many kids that he drove back and forth to school for many years. He was an expert driver in the snow, even while driving a bus full of kids. He loved his animals, and was known to bring in stray, including a baby squirrel. He enjoyed the holidays with family surrounding him. He enjoyed fishing with his family at Forrest Lake. He would try and teach some of his grandchildren how to gut a fish. He would love playing jokes. There was never a baby that he would not take and make laugh and spoil rotten.

Mr. Fielder enjoyed socializing with everyone. He loved the cookies that his grandchildren would make for him only. He had a big heart and a strong personality. He made many friends through his 74 years of life.

Calling hours will be held Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at the French, Gifford, Preiter & Blasl Funeral Home, 25 Railroad Avenue, Chatham from 4 to 7 p.m. Condolences may be conveyed at frenchblasl.com.

Paula M. Cotsonas (1947 – 2016)

CLAVERACK—Paula Marie Cotsonas, 68, of Claverack died peacefully with her family bedside her Sunday, March 6, 2016.

Born April 3, 1947 in Hudson, she is the daughter of Antoinette Stalker of Hudson and the late Paul Shallo.

Ms. Cotsonas was a beautician and florist for many years and also worked for the Afterschool Program at Hudson Middle School.

She enjoyed quilting, sewing, knitting, gardening and spending time with family.

Ms. Cotsonas was predeceased by her son, Donald Woznieski in 2008. She will be greatly missed by her son, Michael A. Cotsonas of Claverack; daughter, Tonya Woznieski of Stottville; sister, Deborah Wahl of Hudson; nieces, Kristen and Michelle Wahl; many cousins and friends including Pat Osbourne, Gloria DiPace, Darlene Concra and Stella Roberts.

A memorial service will be held March 26, 2 p.m. at the Churchtown firehouse, 2219 County Route 27. Friends are invited.

Arrangements are with the Sacco-McDonald-Valenti Funeral Home, 700 Town Hall Drive, Greenport. To leave an online condolence visit www.saccomcdonaldvalenti.com

John F. Silkowski, Jr. (1932 – 2016 )

CLERMONT—John Francis Silkowski, Jr., of Clermont died at home, February 27, 2016.

Born in the Bronx, Mr. Silkowski was a retired sheet metal worker, holding the position of shear and brake operator at Atlas Sheet metal Works and Terra Mechanical. After a long career, he and his wife, Ethel, retired to his family home in Clermont.

Mr. Silkowski was interested in farming and agriculture. A friend inscribed in his high school year book, “Just a farmer at heart.”

He enjoyed deer hunting with his sons, his John Deere tractor, mowing the lawn, growing tomatoes and especially puttering around his property.

Mr. Silkowski is survived by his devoted wife of more than 60 years, Ethel Silkowski; his sons and daughters-in-law, Eric and Pamela, John and Cynthia and Glenn and Ellen.

He was blessed with grandchildren, Raina and husband Charlie Cashdollar, Craig Silkowski and his fiancée Diandra Rosario.

He has step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren, Peter and Rose Chiavella, their son Brandon; Cherie Zeppenfeld; Amy and Stephen Holland, their daughter Liley; Kristen and Matt Michonski, their son Owen; Matthew and Natalie Zeppenfeld and their daughter Sophia, who is due March 19.

Also, his sister and brother-in-law, Marie and Richard Pawlak; his niece and husband, Candy and Calvin Ogdin, their son Ryan.

Services were held Friday, March 4 at the at the Yadack-Fox Funeral Home, 209 Main Street, Germantown followed by burial in the Red Church Cemetery in Tivoli.

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