OBITUARIES: Traver, Krisniski, Johnson, Shemels, Stupplebeen

George H. Traver (1918 – 1943)

BETIO, TARAWA ATOLL—PFC George Harry Traver, USMC, born May 7, 1918 was killed in action November 20, 1943 at the age of 25.

He was the son of the late Charles V. Traver and Nellie (Cramer) Traver of Chatham; brother of the late Spencer Traver of Chatham, Frank Traver of Chatham, Pauline (Traver) Bailey of Dalton, MA, and Katherine (Traver) Silliman of Chatham; and uncle to 14 nieces and nephews and their families.

He attended middle school at White Plains Public Schools, and high school at Chatham High. Prior to his enlistment, he worked as a fireman on the Harlem Line, a division of the New York Central Railroad System, alongside his father who was an engineer on the same line.

He enlisted in the Marine Corps January 22, 1942. He did his basic training in San Diego, CA, at the Second Marine Division Training Center. He was assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division. With this division he served in the South Pacific during World War II. He was wounded in action on the Soloman Islands, Guadalcanal November 13, 1942 and was killed in action November 20, 1943 in the Gilbert Islands, Betio Tarawa Atoll. His body was not recovered until February 2016.

Calling hours will be held Saturday, August 27, 2016, 3 to 7 p.m. at French, Gifford, Preiter & Blasl Funeral Home, 25 Railroad Avenue, Chatham. A religious service will be celebrated August 28, 2 p.m. at the St. James Catholic Church in Chatham followed by interment and full military honors at the Chatham Rural Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the History Flight organization, 5409 Overseas Hwy #101, Marathon, FL 33050 would be appreciated. Condolences may be conveyed at

Edward Krisniski (1926 – 2016)

HUDSON—Edward Krisniski, 90, a lifelong resident of Hudson, died Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at his home.

Born in Hudson April 6, 1926, he was the son of the late Victor and Laura (Butkus) Krisniski.

He attended St. Mary’s Academy in Hudson and later served honorably with the U.S. Navy during the D-Day Invasion in World War II. He was the widower of Florence (Plasky) Krisniski, who died in 2006.

Mr. Krisniski will be greatly missed by: his daughter and son-in-law, Bonnie and (Philip) Ferrazzi of Coppell, TX, and sisters, Alice and Helen Krisniski, both of Hudson, and Stella Allessio of Pittsfield, MA. In addition to his wife, he was predeceased by brothers, Stanley, Victor, Frank, Peter and Anthony.

Mr. Krisniski was a member of Holy Trinity Parish/ St. Mary’s Church in Hudson, Hudson Elks Lodge #787 and also was a volunteer fireman.

Visiting hours will be held Friday, August 19, 2016 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Sacco-McDonald-Valenti Funeral Home, 700 Town Hall Drive, Greenport. Hudson Elks memorial service will be at 6:15 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, August 20, 10 a.m. at Holy Trinity Parish, 429 East Allen Street, Hudson. Burial will follow in Cedar Park Cemetery. Memorial contributions are requested to Holy Trinity Parish, P.O. Box 323, Hudson 12534.

Lars C. Johnson (1921 – 2016)

VALATIE—Lars C. Johnson, 95, passed into the presence of his Lord August 19, 2016 at the Barnwell Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

He was born in Hagaman to Mary and Lars Johnson. He attended elementary and high school in Amsterdam. After graduating from Cobleskill College in 1942, Mr. Johnson married Hertha Huson of Valatie and subsequently worked on several farms in Columbia County. In 1950, the couple purchased their own farm in Valatie, where they raised chickens and produced eggs for local markets. In 1960, they ceased full-time farming when Mr. Johnson began a new career with Farm Credit, an agricultural bank focused on serving the same farming community of which he had been a part.

Mr. Johnson retired from the Farm Credit bank in 1980 and began a long and productive retirement focused on community service. He was a lifelong member of the First Presbyterian Church of Valatie; serving multiple terms as elder and trustee and actively supporting the church’s various ministries. He was a past master of Valatie Masonic Lodge 362 and was also a member of the Cyprus Shriners and Scottish Rite.

Mr. Johnson was known for his wise counsel, kind and gentle manner. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends. He is survived by: his wife of 73 years, Hertha; his son, Eric (Rosalie) Johnson; daughters, Nadean (William) Behrens and Hertha (George) Matuszek; grandsons, Andrew, Timothy and Kevin Johnson and Aaron and Neil Behrens.

He was predeceased by his sisters, Mary Yerkes, Anna Marie Wood and Anna Kirstina Somerville and by his brother, Jens Johnson.

A service to celebrate Mr. Johnson’s life will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 3212 Church Street, Valatie, Wednesday, August 24, 2016 at 11 a.m. with interment immediately following at the Woodlawn Cemetery, Valatie.

Mr. Johnson’s family wishes to extend their gratitude to the staff at the Barnwell Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and to the Columbia Greene Hospice for the loving care they provided. “Your kindness and professionalism is greatly appreciated.”

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 267, Valatie 12184; to the Columbia Greene Hospice, 47 Liberty Street, Catskill 12414; or to the Capital District Masonic Charities, Inc., c/o William Martin, 197 Fordham Road, Valatie 12184.

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

Jessie F. Shemels (1918 – 2016)

GHENT—Jessie F. Shemels, 98, of Claverack died Saturday, August 20, 2016 at Whittier Skilled Nursing Center.

Born March 15, 1918 in Hudson, she was the daughter of Joseph and Adella (Koscusk) Latosenska.

Mrs. Shemels was an accomplished artist at the Whittier Home where she won many awards for her talent. She worked for many years in the service departments at Columbia Memorial Hospital. Upon her retirement, Mrs. Shemels was a homemaker and devoted her life to caring for her husband, John until his passing in 1996.

Family was her number one priority. She also loved nature, animals and her beloved dog, Holly. Mrs. Shemels enjoyed socializing and sharing her witty personality and sense of humor with her many cherished friends at Whittier Home and the Home for the Aged.

Mrs. Shemels is survived by: her daughter, Kathleen Schrader; son, John Shemels and his wife Jean Moore; grandchildren, Keith (Kelly) Schrader, Aaron (Ann) Schrader, Ashley (Eric) Koziol, Jessica (John) Barnes and Seth Simpson; great-grandchildren, Allyssa, Christopher John, Aaron, Jr., and Charlie Schrader, Max and McKenna Barnes, Tyrus Scott and Jimmy Boniface; a niece, Eleanor Whitbeck and nephew, John Yaroschuck.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, August 24, 10 a.m. from St. Mary’s Church in Hudson. Interment will be in Cedar Park Cemetery.

There are no calling hours.

Memorial contributions in Mrs. Shemels’ name may be made to Community Hospice of Columbia Greene, 47 Liberty Street, Catskill 12414.

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

John F. Stupplebeen (1934 – 2016)

ALBANY—John F. Stupplebeen, 82, of County Route 27, Ancram passed away Monday, August 15, 2016 at the Samuel S. Stratton Veterans Administration Medical Center.

He was the son of the late Pearl and Seymour Stupplebeen, Sr., born March 27, 1934 at his parents’ home in Craryville.

A lifetime local resident, Mr. Stupplebeen attended Roeliff Jansen Central School. He was a carpenter by trade; a member of the West Copake Reformed Church and served on its Consistory. He also served with the United States Army from 1952 to 1956.

Mr. Stupplebeen was predeceased by his wife, Ann (Michael) Stupplebeen in 2006.

Survivors include: his daughter and son-in-law, Janet and Donnie Hay of Taloga, OK; son and daughter-in-law, Kevin and Tara Stupplebeen of Spencertown; his grandchildren, Sara and Kara Hay and Patrick and Dustan Wade; and great-grandchildren, Allison Hay, Alex Wade, Landon Wade and Abbie Wade. In addition, he leaves a brother, Richard Stupplebeen of Craryville and three sisters, Ruth Miller of Ancram, Joan Roth of Chatham and Edna Mixa of Livingston.

Graveside funeral services will be held Saturday, October 22, 2106, 11 a.m. in the West Copake Cemetery.

Friends are invited and may call Friday, October 21, 2016 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Peck and Peck Funeral Home, 8063 Route 22 in Copake.

Memorial contributions may be made to the West Copake Reformed Church. To send an online condolence visit

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