OBITUARIES: Durkee, Konow, Howard, Neese

Ellen C. Durkee (1922 – 2016)

GUILDERLAND—Ellen Claire Durkee passed away peacefully June 27, 2016 at Our Lady of Mercy Life Center.

She was born in Hudson, March 10, 1922 to the late Harry and Ellen Propst and lived most of her life in Hudson.

She was a registered nurse, graduating from Allentown School of Nursing in Allentown, PA, and worked at Columbia Memorial Hospital in Hudson for many years until her retirement. After retirement she moved to Niskayuna to live with her daughter.

She was predeceased by her husband, William D. Durkee of Hudson and her brother, Kenneth Propst of Syracuse.

She is survived by: her sister, Muriel Harms of Middlebury, VT; a son, William D. Durkee, Jr., (Alana) of Titusville, FL; two daughters, Christine (John) Witowski of Niskayuna and Ellen (James) Norman of Tyler, TX; six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.

There will be no calling hours and services will be private at the convenience of the family.

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

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Edward W. Konow, III (1961 – 2016)

GERMANTOWN—The family of Edward William Konow, III, (November 13, 1961- June 29, 2016) sadly announces his passing.

In keeping with his wishes there will be no calling hours and a private memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family.

Arrangements are with the Yadack-Fox Funeral Home, 209 Main Street, Germantown. Condolences may be expressed at

John J. Howard (1942 – 2016)

CHATHAM—John J. Howard, 74, died June 29, 2016 at his home in Chatham.

He was born February 16, 1942 in Tulsa, OK, to Joseph B. and Mary (Crimmins) Howard.

From his very earliest years with his parents, right through mid-life, he was an avid adventurer, living, traveling and eventually working worldwide.

Mr. Howard is survived by his soul-mate and wife of 39 years, Phyllis (Card) Howard; a brother, Joseph B. Howard, Jr., of California; his father-in-law, Robert Card of Philmont; many cherished cousins and his four-legged fur-babies, Sugar and Smokey.

He attended the University of Arizona in Tucson and earned his BA in history from Siena College in 1965. He continued his graduate education at the University of Rhode Island. His career as a history teacher and administrator primarily in overseas private schools fostered and perpetuated his intense interest in the world, geo-politics, current events and the human condition.

His favorite and most memorable professional posts abroad included the American Schools in Beirut, Lebanon and Madrid, Spain and The Antilles School in St. Thomas and the St. Croix Country Day School, both in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The three times he taught stateside were at the Sea Pines Academy in Hilton Head Island, SC, the Millbrook School and one year at the Chatham Middle School, where he met his bride.

Mr. Howard was a man of strong feelings and opinions, which he was always eager to share. He knew what he liked and was adept at avoiding that which he didn’t. Those whose life he touched or path he crossed deeply appreciated his rapid-fire and incredible wit, which more often than not bordered on the irreverent.

Many enjoyed and looked forward to his endless stories and affectionately referred to him as “the Old Philosopher.”

An avid and voracious reader, he leaves his wife to ponder just what to do with his vast hardcover and Kindle library collections. He’s disappointed for sure that he left the latest Arturo Perez-Reverte novel half finished and didn’t live long enough for the pending Daniel Silva release or the opening of the new Bakery Café in the Bartlett House in Ghent, both scheduled in early July. The family is concerned that the revenue stream for some of his favorite fine-dining establishments in the region will take a hit with his departure.

Visitation will take place at the French, Gifford, Preiter and Blasl Funeral Home, 25 Railroad Avenue, Chatham, Friday, July 8, 2016 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. with a Memorial Service to be held immediately following at 11:30 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to one of Mr. Howard’s favorite organizations: The Austerlitz Historical Society, P.O. Box 144, Austerlitz 12017 or WAMC/Northeast Public Radio, P.O. Box 66600, Albany 12206.

Condolences may be conveyed at

Geoffrey M. Neese (1948 – 2016)

RHINEBECK–Geoffrey M. Neese, 68, of Tivoli passed away Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at the Northern Dutchess Hospital after a courageous battle with cancer with his family by his side.

Born June 25, 1948 in Rhinebeck, he was the son of the late Edward A. Neese, Sr., and Evaline D. (Stickle) Neese.

He attended Tivoli Union Free School and was a graduate of Red Hook Central Schools. He earned his associate’s degree from Dutchess County Community College.

Mr. Neese married Linda Mead. She survives at home in Tivoli.

He served in the United States Army Infantry during the Vietnam War and was a longtime member of the Harris Smith Post 524 American Legion in Tivoli.

Mr. Neese worked at IBM in both Kingston and Poughkeepsie as a computer analyst for more than 45 years and was a member of their Quarter Century Club.

In addition to his loving wife of 49 years, he is survived by: his four loving daughters, Lisa (Scott) Dockstader of Red Hook, Laura Neese of Red Hook, Suzanne (Brian) Neese of Hudson and Christine (James) Pool of Poughkeepsie; his five loving grandchildren, Rachel, Scotty, Caroline and Maggie Dockstader and Elle Howe; his siblings, Beverly L. Mann, Edward A. Neese, Jr., Darrell L. Neese and Iris S. Mead; along with numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

His greatest love was his family. He also loved vintage cars, Elvis, history, gardening and architectural design.

Friends may call at the Burnett & White Funeral Homes, 7461 South Broadway, Red Hook, Thursday, July 7, 2016 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Harris Smith Post #524 American Legion will conduct services at 7 p.m.

A memorial service will be held Friday, July 8, 2016, 11 a.m. at the funeral home. Interment with military honors will be held at Red Church Cemetery, Tivoli.

Donations may be made in Mr. Neese’s memory to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718.

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