OBITUARIES: Brown, Smith, Dodge, Besemer

Robert Brown (1929 – 2018)

SOUTH BEND, IN—Brother Robert Joseph Brown, CSC, a Brother of Holy Cross, passed away February 14, 2018 at Dujarie House, South Bend, IN.

Born in Waterbury, CT, August 28, 1929, he was the fifth of the eight children of Edward G. Brown and his wife, Roseline A. Caroline.

He received his educational foundation in his home town at St. Francis Xavier School and at Sacred Heart High School. Br. Brown felt a call to serve as a religious brother in Holy Cross schools, and received a BA degree from St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX. He began his ministry teaching at Holy Cross School, New Orleans and then five years at Notre Dame High School, West Haven, CT. Br. Brown went on to teach at secondary schools in Warwick, RI; Flushing; and Waterbury, CT. While he was stationed at Holy Cross High School, Flushing, he established a Fine Arts Club that provided the opportunity for students and teachers from the school to enjoy fine art events in the Big Apple. While teaching social studies, he also coordinated a retreat program for hundreds of students at Shelter Rock, Long Island.

A funeral Mass will be said for Br. Brown, Saturday, February 24. He will be buried at the Brother’s Cemetery at St. Joseph Center in Valatie. “May he rest in peace.”

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

Jeremy M.S. Smith (1939 – 2018)

GERMANTOWN—Jeremy Michael Stanley Smith was born to Olive and Eric “Sticky” Smith, March 9, 1939 in Sidcup (UK), just months before the start of World War II.

During the war, he was evacuated to a farm in the north of England with his “Mum,” but later experienced the horror of “buzz bombs” after returning to London, thinking it was safe. Following the war, his mother and father ran a pub in Zeals, Wiltshire. He grew up in the smoke and hubbub of this atmosphere, and forever after he was most at home when immersed in the company of friends and family, and a couple of pints didn’t hurt either…

He married Liane in 1961 and in 1965 she began sailing with him after he made first mate. He progressed to earning his Masters ticket but decided to come ashore in 1967 following the birth of their daughter, Anna. Mr. Smith started work with the British Chamber of Shipping as one of the first tanker-men in the organization. This period marked an eventful time for the tanker sector. Super tankers were new and following the loss of the Torrey Canyon with its devastating pollution, his knowledge was much in demand in addressing questions about the safety of these giants. He was closely involved in the work to make these ships safer and to mitigate operational pollution through the work of the IMO.

In 1969, his son, Daniel was born, and then in 1972, the family moved to Whitstable in Kent. Mr. Smith still loved sailing, and joined the local yacht club, built a mirror dinghy named “Bertha,” and taught his kids to sail in her. Following the end of his marriage, Mr. Smith continued work with the British Chamber of Shipping in London, visiting his children in Whitstable whenever possible.

In 1978 he was approached by the Liberian Shipowners Council to take the role of secretary general and set up an office in New York City. The decision to move to the U.S. was a major change to the course of his life. He loved New York and its energy, and eventually bought a house slightly north of the city. In the early 1980s family friends from England were staying in Germantown on a teacher exchange program. During a trip to visit them, he took Daniel with him, who joined a class at the school for the day. When Mr. Smith picked Daniel up at the end of the day, he met his teacher, Cindy, which marked the start of the next significant phase of his life. In 1985, Mr. Smith married Cindy and moved into their much loved property on Sharp’s Landing Road in Germantown, with room for their now combined family.

Mr. Smith continued to work for the LSC, and then for the Liberian International Ship and Corporate Registry until his retirement in 2004. Following retirement, he and his wife took up many projects in town, traveled around the world and enjoyed the company of their children, eight grandchildren and a myriad of friends. He served on the town board and played an active role in the school board, work that was close to his wife’s heart. In 2011 he had a near death experience due to a hip replacement complication, which marked the start of his deteriorating health.

Sadly, in 2013 his wife passed away, a desperate loss for him, from which he never really recovered. His physical health continued to deteriorate but he battled on with jovial effort with the aid of his many friends and family. He passed away peacefully, with dignity and grace, surrounded by loved ones.

He is survived by and will be much missed by his brother and sister-in-law, Simon and Ruth; his children, Anna and Daniel; his stepchildren, John, Melinda and Ronnie and their partners; his grandchildren, Isabelle, Chai, Meredith, Liam, William, Eli, Nicholas and Alistair; and, his many friends, who will hoist many a glass in his honor.

A celebration of his life will be held Thursday, February 22, 5 to 8 p.m. at the Yadack-Fox Funeral Home, 209 Main Street, Germantown. In lieu of flowers donations may be made at, and organization which provides resources to classroom teachers in low income schools.

Condolences may be expressed at

Douglas M. Dodge (1932 – 2018)

ALBANY—Douglas M. Dodge, one of Germantown’s favorite “good ol’ boys,” passed away at Albany Medical Center, February 19, 2018.

His parting was peaceful and joyous, as befits a man so well-loved. Born February 17, 1932 to Gretchen and W. Dayton Dodge in Toronto Canada, he came to Germantown at age 5, and proceeded to make it his own, raising his family here and being actively involved in his community.

He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, worked as a truck driver for Bonded Cement for 25 years as a claims examiner for the New York State Department of Labor, and was owner of the Taconic Driving School of Hudson and Kingston.

In his retirement, he made a lot of new friends, working at the Germantown Transfer Station.

He loved fishing, wood working, shooting the breeze with friends, but mostly, time spent with family.

He is survived by: his loving wife, Sally; sons, Gary and Timothy (Megan) Dodge; daughters, Linda (Bill) Coons and Elizabeth (Steven) Bathrick; grandchildren, Bonnie (John) Querrazzi, Kyle and Kelsey Dodge, Bryan and Kathryn Bathrick, Madelynn and Jacob Dodge, and great-grandson Ashton Querrazzi.

He will be greatly missed, but his presence will be felt for many years to come. A celebration of his life will be held Sunday, February 25, noon to 2 p.m. at the Yadack-Fox Funeral Home, 209 Main Street, Germantown.

Services will be at 2 p.m. at the funeral home.

Condolences may be expressed at

Daisy A. Besemer (1929 – 2018)

ALBANY—Daisy A. Besemer, 89, of West Lebanon passed away at St. Peter’s Hospital February 16, 2018.

Born in Albany, she was the daughter of the late John F. Sr. and Almyra Ames.

Ms. Besemer was a member of the former Brainard Methodist Church where she was the organist. She had a love for local history and could trace her ancestry back to some of the original settlers of Chatham. She was also a former member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Floyd Carlton American Legion Post #1236 in New Lebanon and was retired from the First Agricultural Bank in Pittsfield. She was a loving family woman and will be deeply missed.

She is survived by: her sons, Gene R. (Michele) Kohrs of Brainard, Frank E. Kohrs of Chatham and James P. (Christina) Besemer of East Chatham; seven grandchildren; two great grandchildren; several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her daughter, Sean Ora Besemer and brother, John F. Ames, Jr.

Funeral services are from the Thomas P. Mooney Funeral Home, 11 Elm Street, Nassau, Thursday, February 22 at noon. Relatives and friends are invited to call at the funeral home prior to the service from 10 a.m. to noon. Interment will be in the Cemetery of the Maples, East Chatham. In lieu of flowers donations in Ms. Besemer’s memory may be made to Save The Brainard Bell Inc., P.O. Box 71, Brainard 12024. Online condolences may be offered at

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