OBITUARIES: Keogh, Thompson, Smith, Nack, Whelpley, Profeta, Potrzeba

Gerry Keogh (1934 – 2017)

STAFFORD, VA—Gerry Keogh, 83, died Monday, October 2 2017 in Stafford, Virginia. He passed peacefully, surrounded by his “Darling Wife,” children and grandchildren.

Mr. Keogh leaves his wife of 60 years, Jean (Kirwan) Keogh; his daughter, Carol Anderson and son-in-law, Jay Anderson; his daughter, Jean Palucci and son-in-law, John Palucci; his son, Tom Keogh and daughter-in-law, Jill Keogh; eight grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; his sister, Maura (Dolly) Donaghue and many close friends.

Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, the son of Michael and Josephine Keogh, he grew up a proud and strong Irish Catholic man. His faith in God and pride in Ireland were unwavering; yet dwarfed by his love for his wife, Jean.

His father Michael was a member of the Irish Uprising in 1916 and served in the British Army during World War II. His mother, Josephine taught him the importance of humor, honesty, compassion and hard work. These traits he lived by until his last breath.

Mr. Keogh was educated by the Irish Christian Brothers at what he affectionately referred to as the “Slaughterhouse.” The Christian Brothers taught him not only the fundamentals of reading, writing and arithmetic, but more importantly Irish pride through language (Gaelic), history and religion.

Mr. Keogh met his soulmate and wife, Jean, in 1954 while still in Ireland. They were married in St. Nicholas of Myra Church June 3, 1957. According to Mr. Keogh, he and Jean never had a cross word. Jean was his darling, gem and truly the center of his universe.

After marrying in 1957, they emigrated from Ireland to Thunder Bay, Canada. In 1959 they immigrated to Long Island via St. Louis. During that time, Mr. Keogh worked for the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority until he retired in 1983. Upon retiring, he and his wife moved to Columbia County; a land he frequently referred to as, “God’s Country.” For more than 30 years, Mr. Keogh was an icon at the Winding Brook Country Club where he spent his time working the carts, chipping golf balls and busting chops.

He was a great man who had a soft heart for animals, children, the elderly, the underdog and anyone who was down on their luck. His one liners and Irish sayings were legendary. Mr. Keogh was always quick with a smile and a firm hand shake. He never lost his sense of humor and love for his wife Jean. He will be sorely missed.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Saturday, October 7 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Valatie. Interment was in the church’s cemetery. A reception to help the family celebrate Mr. Keogh’s life followed at LaBella’s in Valatie.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation ( in Mr. Keogh’s name. Arrangements were with the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, 1015 Kinderhook Street, Valatie.

Walter E. Thompson (1930 – 2017)

TAGHKANIC—Walter Thompson of Taghkanic passed away in the early morning of October 3, 2017. He went peacefully at home with his wife, Joyce at his side.

He is remembered by all as an extraordinary presence, who always made one feel comfortable and accepted, while also inspiring an intelligent humor and thoughtful curiosity in whatever situation he found himself.

A celebration of Mr. Thompson’s life will be held Saturday, October 14 at the Taghkanic Volunteer Fire Company Hall from 2 to 4 p.m. for friends of the community to come together to remember this unassuming and remarkable man.

Donations to a charity of one’s choice in Mr. Thompson’s name are welcome.

Condolences may be sent to Joyce Thompson and family, P.O. Box 135, Craryville 12521

Elizabeth J. M. Smith (1923 – 2017)

POUGHKEEPSIE—Elizabeth Jean Miller Smith, 94, of Poughkeepsie died at home October 3, 2017.

She was born in Poughkeepsie, September 20, 1923 to the late Barton and Lillian (Dittus) Miller.

She attended Poughkeepsie schools and graduated from Poughkeepsie High School and Tusculum College (1945) in Tennessee. She worked for Pan American Airways in New York City and Luckey Platt and Co. in Poughkeepsie. She also managed Rosemarie’s, a dress shop on Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie.

On November 27, 1964, she married David DeGarmo Smith. He predeceased her in 1967.

She is survived by: her cousin, Thomas Miller of Ancramdale; relatives by marriage and bonds of affection, Anne and Gerald Smith of Dresden, ME, and Emeline and Richard Homonoff of Boston, MA; and by her faithful caregivers, Hyacinth Curtis and Carol Reichert.

Thanks to Patricia LaRose and all the folks at the Hudson Valley Hospice, as well as her other caregivers.

There will be no calling hours, and a memorial service will be held later in the fall. Arrangements are under the direction of Parmele, Auchmoody and Schoonmaker Funeral Home, 110 Fulton Avenue, Poughkeepsie. Memorial donations may be made to Adriance Memorial Library and Hudson Valley Hospice.

Arthur F. Nack, Jr. (1932 – 2017)

CATSKILL—Arthur F. “Skip” Nack, Jr., 85, of Livingston died Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at The Pines at Catskill.

Born January 5, 1932 in Hudson, he was the son of the late Arthur F. Nack, Sr., and Gladys (Cole) Nack.

He served in the U.S. Navy from March 1952 to March 1956. Along with his brother, William; he owned and operated Nack Brother’s Garage in Hudson for more than 20 years.

He was a member of the Mount Pleasant Reformed Church. He served as supervisor of the Mount Pleasant Rural Cemetery for many years. He was commodore of the Roe Jan Creek Boat Club and past master of Widow’s Son Lodge #7 F&AM in Livingston. Mr. Nack was a craftsman who enjoyed building toys and furniture.

Survivors include: his brother, William and sister-in-law Claudia Nack of Livingston; grandchildren, Christopher, Shianne, Amanda and Michelle; sisters-in-law, Pamela Glasser of Claverack and Edith Bryant of CT; as well as several nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his wife, Karol and daughter, Lori.

Services were Saturday, October 7 at the Yadack-Fox Funeral Home, 209 Main Street, Germantown.

Members of Widow’s Son Lodge #7 will conducted services earlier at the funeral home.

Memorial donations are requested to the Mount Pleasant Reformed Church, 110 Church Road, Hudson 12534.

Condolences may be expressed at

Richard D. Whelpley (1944 – 2017)

LINCOLNTON, NC—Richard D. Whelpley, formerly of Nassau, passed away September 23, 2017.

He was born October 4, 1944.

He was predeceased by his wife, Kathryn Whelpley and his son, Richard Whelpley.

Mr. Whelpley is survived by: three sons and a daughter-in-law, Mathew Whelpley, Pat Whelpley, Billy Whelpley and Tammy Whelpley; six grandchildren, Kim Morrill, Stephanie Whelpley, Billy Whelpley, Cara Whelpley, Carolyn Whelpley and Kathryn Whelpley; and a great-granddaughter, Brooklyn Morrill.

A celebration of Mr. Whelpley’s life will be held at the Nassau Sportsmen’s Club, 370 Boyce Road, October 13 at 2 p.m.

Mary Profeta (1922 – 2017)

HUDSON—Mary Profeta, 94, of Germantown died Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at Columbia Memorial Hospital after a long illness.

Born November 19, 1922 in Lackawana County, PA, she was the daughter of the late Charles and Eduarda (Carolo) Greco.

Mrs. Profeta was a member of the Reformed Church of Germantown and the Red Hat Society and had been a volunteer at Columbia Memorial Hospital.

Survivors include: her children, Carl Profeta, James Profeta, Sylvia Alvino, Frances Papa; five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her husband, Lawrence Profeta, who died March 15, 1983.

Services were held Friday, October 6 at the Yadack-Fox Funeral Home, 209 Main Street, Germantown.

Burial followed in the Reformed Church Cemetery in Germantown.

Catherine P.Z. Potrzeba (1923-2017)

CANAAN, CT—Catherine Pauline Zimmerer Potrzeba passed away October 2, 2017 at Geer Nursing and Rehabilitation Center following complications after a fall.

Born in Nutley, NJ, July 19, 1923, she was the daughter of Walter Zimmerer and Catherine Helmstetter Zimmerer. She was predeceased by her sister, Miriam Madigan; brothers, Edmund and Walter Zimmerer, and her husband, John Potrzeba.

Survivors include: her brother, Carl Zimmerer; her four children, Patricia Jakubowski (Cyril), Robert Potrzeba (Margo), Jean Potrzeba and James Potrzeba (Joann); grandchildren, Karen Cohen, Christopher Jakubowski, Julia Jakubowski, Erica Potrzeba, Jacob Potrzeba, Luke Potrzeba, Jonathon Potrzeba, and Emily Potrzeba; and great-grandchildren, Claire, Zachary and Valerie Cohen and Evelyn and Carly Potrzeba. She also leaves behind several nieces and nephews, and dear friend, Katie Zimmerer.

She spent her childhood in Nutley, NJ, graduating from Nutley High School in 1940. After attending secretarial school, she enlisted in the Navy, was stationed in San Francisco, and served as secretary to the admiral in charge of the western fleet. It was there that she met and married her husband, John. They settled in Nutley in 1946, and moved to Bernardsville, NJ, in 1960, where Mrs. Potrzeba was active in school, church and community affairs.

Besides being a homemaker, she helped out at the Madigan family greenhouses in Florham Park, NJ, served as librarian at St. Elizabeth’s school, as secretary at the Gill St. Bernard’s School, and served the invaluable role of “puzzle piece counter” for the VNA Sale in Far Hills, NJ, for many years. Mrs. Potrzeba also volunteered at the Lyons VA hospital.

In 2009 she moved to the Payn Home in Chatham and from there to Geer Village in Canaan, CT, in 2011.

She loved spending time with her family and friends, and was an accomplished seamstress, gardener, and bridge player. She enjoyed reading, traveling, and visiting museums, and took up tap dancing and bowling as a senior citizen. She was loving, caring and generous, and had an adventurous spirit. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Services will be held at the convenience of the family at the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Memorial Cemetery in Wrightstown, NJ.

Donations in Mrs. Potrzeba’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association,

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