OBITUARIES: von Jeetze, Tunis, Beck, Foster

Hartmut von Jeetze (1928 – 2016)

CHATHAM—Hartmut von Jeetze, 88, of Chatham passed away peacefully at home on the morning of Monday, October 17.

Born February 13, 1928, in Pilgramshain, Germany, he was the son of the late Joachim and Dorothea (nee Vierhaus) von Jeetze.

Mr. von Jeetze dedicated his life to establishing the work of Camphill Village communities for persons with disabilities, and to biodynamic and sustainable agriculture in the United States.

He is predeceased by his wife, Gerda (nee Babendererde); his brother, Eckart von Jeetze; his sister, Christine von Jeetze and his sister, Sophia Kunz.

Mr. von Jeetze is survived by: his sister, Gabriele von Jeetze of Germany; his daughters, Johanna Steinrueck of Minneapolis, Renate Varriale of Kinderhook, Barbara Paulsen of Denmark, Bridget von Jeetze of Chatham, Thea Garvie of Ghent and Frances Kane of Minneapolis; 16 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours will be at his home at 1489 State Route 203 in Chatham from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, October 18 and from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, October 19. The funeral service will take place Thursday, October 20, 11 a.m. at Camphill Village, Copake in Fountain Hall. Arrangements are with the Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson. Visit to leave condolences.

Billie Jo Tunis (1969 – 2016)

ALBANY—Billie Jo Tunis, 47, of Albany passed away unexpectedly Thursday, October 13, 2016.

She was born March 20, 1969 in Hudson to the late Theodore S. Funk and Rindy McGee Whalen, she was the daughter of the late Paul Tunis.

She grew up in Hudson and was a 1987 graduate. She had that spunk, charisma and smile that was contagious and her work-ethic was unmatchable.

She is survived by: her two children, Haleigh Tunis and MacPhearson Kilmer, who were the light of her life and her proudest achievements. In addition to her children and mother, she is survived by her seven brothers and four sisters, as well as her many nieces, nephews and cousins.

There will be a memorial service Wednesday, October 19 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the French, Gifford, Preiter & Blasl Funeral Home, 25 Railroad Avenue, Chatham. The family asks that flowers and donations be sent to the funeral home in Ms. Tunis’ name. Condolences may be conveyed at

Raymond C. Beck (1926 – 2016)

GHENT—Raymond Clemens Beck, 89, passed away October 17, 2016 surrounded by family members.

He is survived by: his loving wife of 61 years, Mary Jezyk Beck; children, Mary Ellen “Ellen” (husband Colonel Robert Gutjahr, USA (RET) of Frederick, MD, and William “Bill” (wife Jane Beck) of San Diego, CA; grandchildren, Mary P. and Laura J. Beck, Hannah and Joshua Gutjahr; many nieces and nephews and their children.

He was born October 30, 1926 in Warehouse Point, CT, the son of Clemens and Rosa Seipel Beck.

He attended East Windsor High School, where as a sprinter on the track team, he held the state record for the 100-yard event. Always interested in athletics and the outdoors, he was also a champion downhill skier, and met his wife through the Mountain Laurel Ski Club. He graduated from the University of Hartford with a mechanical engineering degree.

Mr. Beck started his career in research with the Fuller Brush Company in Hartford, CT, and is credited with several patents and manufacturing process innovations. He relocated in 1961 to Columbia County to build and open a subsidiary plastics manufacturing company in Philmont. His work as CEO of Charter Supply, Inc. and as a community leader brought new prosperity and opportunities to the area. Mr. Beck concluded his career as a division president for the Sarah Lee Corporation and positioned Charter Supply to become an independent corporation.

Mr. Beck was very active in the community, volunteering and taking leadership roles both during his career and retirement. He was appointed to the Governor’s Private Industry Council, and the Columbia County Industrial Development Agency. He was a member of the Key Bank Regional Board of Directors, Columbia Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees, Rotary Club International Governor’s Council and was a Trustee for Chatham’s Saint James Church. He was proud to have supported the mission of COARC, been active with the Hudson-Athens River Lighthouse Preservation Society and the Harlem Valley Rail Trail initiative throughout Columbia County.

He will be remembered as a consummate family man; loving husband, father and grandfather. He was passionate about the outdoors and was a lifelong fisherman, sailor and classically graceful skier. He and his wife traveled the world, seeking new adventures and collecting memories. He was known for his great sense of humor; and charming, good-natured personality. He was always generous with his time, talents and wisdom and above all is remembered as a “true gentleman”.

Mr. Beck was a devout Catholic, a Eucharistic minister and very active within the Saint James Parish where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, October 21 at 11 a.m. Visiting hours will be held at French, Gifford, Preiter & Blasl, 25 Railroad Avenue, Chatham from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, October 20. In lieu of flowers, donations in Mr. Beck’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Condolences may be conveyed at

Edward “Fritz” Foster (1932 – 2016)

GHENT—Edward “Fritz” Foster, 84, of Hillside Road, Ghent died Monday, October 17 at his residence.

Born February 2, 1932 in Hudson, he was the son of Fred and Helen (Thomas) Foster.

Mr. Foster was a longtime Stottville resident. He was a heating and plumbing contractor, and his business partner was Hermann K. Schmidt. A graduate of Hudson High School, Mr. Foster served in the U.S. Army from 1952 to 1954. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, and was an active member of the Stottville Fire Company, Ghent VFW and Ghent Rod and Gun Club.

Mr. Foster is survived by: his beloved wife of 56 years, Linda (Wilson) Foster; two daughters, Melissa Hall and Amy Williams; three grandchildren, Eliza Hall, Ashley and Evan Williams; two sisters, Gloria Bankowski and Joan Stark; several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held Friday, October 21, 11 a.m. from St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Philmont. Following the memorial service, a celebration of Mr. Foster’s life will continue with refreshment and fellowship at the Ghent Rod and Gun Club.

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

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