OBITUARIES: Hull, Kowal, Balestra, Pough, Curran, Jennings, Robichaud, Millius, Van Ness, Poole, Grace

Robert Hull (1967 – 2018)

COLUMBIAVILLE—Robert J. Hull, age 50, owner/operator of Robert Hull Towing, of Columbiaville, passed away unexpectedly February 6, 2018.

He is survived by: his wife of 30 years, Tracy (Dietter) Hull; daughters, Samantha, Amber, Ashlynn and Kimberly; nine grandchildren; siblings, Deanna, Rosie, Pauline and Dmetro, Jr.

He was predeceased by his parents, Dmetro and Barbara, and brothers, Paul and Jay.

A memorial service was held Monday, February 12 at the Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson.

Doris Kowal (1926 – 2018)

ALBANY—Doris Kowal, 91, of Hudson passed away Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at St. Peter’s Hospital.

Born June 29, 1926 in Hudson, she was the daughter of the late Willis and Elsie (Hiscox) Shook.

She attended Greenport and Hudson Schools, graduating in 1943. Her education continued at the Hudson City Hospital School of Nursing. She graduated in 1946. She worked for more than 50 years at Columbia Memorial Hospital as a maternity nurse. At age 65, Mrs. Kowal was a kidney donor for her son, James.

Survivors include: her husband, John Kowal, Sr., of Hudson; three sons, John, Jr., and wife Judy of Claverack, William “Billy” and wife Laurie of Florida, Tracy and wife Carin of Hurley; three grandchildren, Matthew Kowal of Florida and Devin and Paige Kowal of Hurley.

Mrs. Kowal was predeceased by her son, James and brother, Willis (Rusty) Shook.

Funeral services were held Monday February 12 from the Bates & Anderson Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson. Interment will be in Cedar Park Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the New York State Firemen’s Home or the Greenport Rescue Squad.

Gaetano R. Balestra (1943 – 2018)

HUDSON—Gaetano R. Balestra, 74, passed away February 8, 2018 surrounded by his family at Columbia Memorial Hospital. He was born June 20, 1943 in Brooklyn to the late Rocco and Minnie (Solomon) Balestra.

In 1960 he entered the service, completed basic training only to have the Army find out that he was not old enough to serve. He turned 18 and reenlisted in 1961, and served honorably until 1964.

He stayed in Tacoma, Washington for 8 years, he also lived in Phoenix, Arizona for a few years before returning to Columbia County to settle. He was the owner and operator of the Min-Roc on Warren Street. He also had several other small businesses in his lifetime. He enjoyed playing cards, horse races, coin collecting and fishing. He was a member of the Hudson Elks lodge for many years as well.

Mr. Balestra is survived by: his wife, Katherine; his seven children; 16 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; one great-great grandson; his siblings, Maria (Frank) Eigenbrodt, Barbara (Vernon) Doyle, Craig Balestra and Russell (Dawn) Balestra.

In addition to his parents, he was also predeceased by his daughter, Michele Balestra Reynolds; one brother, Robert Balestra and three grandsons.

In keeping with Mr. Balestra’s wishes interment was private at Cedar Park Cemetery. A memorial service celebrating his life will take place February 15, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church in Hudson.

Donations in his memory may be made to the Community Hospice of Columbia and Greene Counties.

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

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George E. Pough, Sr. (1935 – 2018)

HUDSON—George E. Pough, Sr., 82, of Ghent passed away February 9, 2018 at Columbia Memorial Hospital.

Born March 16, 1935 in Chatham, he was the son of Sherwood and Margaret (White) Pough

He is survived by: his wife, Barbara (Canape) Pough; children, Kathleen (Robert) Vining, George (Julia) Pough, Jr., Bobbi Ann (John) Reed, and Robin (JoAnn) Pough; grandchildren, Joseph Vining, Christine Rogers, Bradford and Robert Heeder and Garrett Pough; great-grandchildren, Jordan and Ari Rogers and Mikayla Heeder.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bates & Anderson-Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson. Services will be private and at the convenience of the family.

Jean N. Curran (1932 – 2018)

CHURCHTOWN—Jean Shirley Niver Curran, 85, of Churchtown passed away February 10, 2018.

She was predeceased by: her parents, Harold and Myra (Leach) Niver; her brothers, Kermit Niver and Keith Niver; her sister, Linda Niver Hanlon and her son, Brian L. Curran.

Mrs. Curran is survived by: her husband, Leo L. Curran, Jr.; her brother, Kervin Niver; her daughters, Linda Curran (Shawn Shea), Annmarie Malysz (Marshall Malysz), Janelle C. Pozza (Nicholas Pozza) and Virginia Curran; grandsons, Brian L. Curran, Jr., and Eamonn Curran; and great-grandchildren, Brian Leo Curran and Morgan Curran.

She grew up on the Niver family farm in Ancram. She graduated from high school at the age of 16, entering nurse’s training at Columbia Memorial Hospital in Hudson shortly thereafter. She returned to nursing when the eldest of her five children became a teenager. It is a testament to her determination that she passed the state nursing exams despite the passage of 13 years of advances in medicine, healthcare and technology. She worked as an RN at the hospital in Catskill. Her pride and joy was her blue 1969 Ford Mustang with a V-8 engine that she put to good use coming home at 1 a.m. after doing patient charts. Mrs. Curran was ahead of her time. After working in the hospital setting for several years, she transitioned to provide in-home hospice care (before the word “hospice” even existed) with her referrals coming by word-of-mouth.

Mrs. Curran also participated in the original Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, a key long-term study on women’s health started in 1976.

Mr. and Mrs. Curran would have celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary, April 24, 2018.

She departed in the way that she lived her life: on her own terms. She requested that there be no extraordinary measures to prolong her life and no services.

Audrey M. Jennings (1931 – 2018)

VALATIE—Audrey M. Jennings, 86, of Columbiaville died February 11, 2018 at The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Barnwell.

Born October 16, 1931 in Hudson, she was the daughter of Fred and Myrtle (Heap) Vandenburgh.

For many years she worked beside her husband as secretary of Jerry Jennings Electrical Contractors, Inc. She was devoted to her family and was a very active member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Stockport.

She is survived by: her beloved husband of 62 years, Gerald Jennings; her children, William (Jennifer E.) Jennings, Barbara (Mark) Lazzara, Timothy (Sylvia) Jennings, Louis (Jennifer A.) Jennings, Betty J. (Sam) Buffa and Gerald (Becky) Jennings, Jr.; grandchildren, Alex, Amanda, Nick, Christopher, Dana, Ryan, Matthew, Tanner, Jenna and Gerald Jennings, III, Melissa Sopris, Jeremy Lazzara and Tricia Buffa; great-grandchildren, Andrew Sopris and Holly Mae Buffa; brother, Paul Vandenburgh; sister, Viola Williams; several nieces and nephews. Mrs. Jennings was predeceased by her siblings, Margaret, Marie, Sylvester and Ralph.

Funeral services will be held Friday February 16, 11 a.m. from the Bates & Anderson-Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson. Visitation hours at the funeral home are Thursday, February 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. Donations in memory of Mrs. Jennings may be made to a charity of one’s choice.

Linus J. Robichaud (1942 – 2018)

RHINEBECK—Linus J. Robichaud, 75, a longtime Rhinebeck area resident, passed away Sunday, February 11, 2018 at the Thompson House.

Born September 23, 1942, in Aldouane, New Brunswick, Canada, he was the son of the late Emile and Anne (Daigle) Robichaud.

He married Helen Pollard, June 20, 1970 at Good Shepherd Church in Rhinebeck. She survives at home in Rhinebeck.

Throughout his career, Mr. Robichaud worked as a mechanic with Staats Dairy in Clinton Corners and for Mack Trucks and HO Penn.

In addition to his loving wife, he is survived by: his three children, Corina (Jay) Skidmore of Livingston, Jamie (Erin) Robichaud of Norton, MA, and Mark Robichaud of Earlton; his siblings, Lucie-Anne MacDonald of Kouchibouguac, New Brunswick, Canada, Anne Robichaud of Richibucto, New Brunswick, Canada, Louis Robichaud of Lemorges, Ontario, Canada, Gerard Robichaud of Aldouane, New Brunswick, Canada, and Norbert Robichaud of Aldouane, New Brunswick, Canada; his grandchildren, Jake, Liam, Matthew, Jillian and Brendan Robichaud; numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

Two brothers, Leonard and Gregoire Robichaud predeceased him.

Friends may call at the Burnett & White Funeral Homes, 91 East Market Street, Rhinebeck, Friday, February 16, 2018 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, February 17, 2018, 10:30 a.m. at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Rhinebeck. Fr. Douglas Y. Crawford will officiate. Interment will be held in the spring at Rhinebeck Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to the Friends and Family Adult Day Program, P.O. Box 287, Poughkeepsie 12602.

For directions or to sign the online guest book visit

Catherine M. Millius (1941 – 2018)

POUGHKEEPSIE—Catherine Mae Millius, 76, a longtime resident of Pine Plains, most recently of Millerton, died peacefully Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at Vassar Brothers Medical Center.

Born December 5, 1941 in Sharon, CT, she was the daughter of the late Lester and Dorothy (Way) Chapman.

Mrs. Millius attended schools locally and married Millard Millius May 5, 1956. Mr. Millius died August 4, 2009.

She enjoyed gardening, knitting, shopping, taking long walks and spending time with her loving family. She was a longtime elder and member of the Pine Plains United Methodist Church as well.

Mrs. Millius is survived by: four children, John Millius and his wife Jackie of Wappingers Falls, Mary Millius of Hyde Park, Susan Millius of Germantown and James Millius and his wife Kelli of Pine Plains; seven grandchildren, Jennifer, Jayson, Casandra, Jessie, Amy, Aaron and Rebecca Millius; two great-grandchildren, Donavin Millius and Jenilee Millius-Chapman; several nieces and nephews and many friends.

Funeral services were Monday, February 12, 2018 at the Scott D. Conklin Funeral Home, 37 Park Avenue, Millerton. Pastor Greg Higgins officiated. Burial will take place at Evergreen Cemetery in Pine Plains. Memorial contributions may be made to the Pine Plains United Methodist Church, 3023 Church Street, Pine Plains 12657. To send an online condolence visit

Selma Van Ness

HUDSON—Selma Van Ness, who spent several years in Los Angeles and Rensselaer counties as a court clerk before her retirement, died peacefully at the age of 94 at Columbia Memorial Hospital, February 10, 2018.

She was recently predeceased by her beloved husband, William Van Ness. She, like him, leaves her body to Albany Medical College for further study of the elderly.

Mrs. Van Ness was also predeceased by her son, Calvin Gray, twin Thelma, who died at infancy, and nine other siblings, Arthur, Jr., Grover, Lester, Chester, Levinie, Naomi Ruth and Louise, born to her parents, the late Arthur and Maude Whiteside, who settled in the Hudson area in the late 1800s.

Mrs. Van Ness leaves to mourn: her last sibling, Rose Marie Whiteside-Dunham of Chatham; sister-in-law, Mary Whiteside of Hudson; oldest niece, Karen Allen, nephew, Floyd Elliot Whiteside, both of New York City; countless nieces, nephews, cousins, grandchildren, community friends, Whittier residence friends and the exceptionally faithful staff at her residence Whittier Place Adult Care Home.

Memorial service and repast will be held at Payne AME Church, 6 High Street, Chatham, Saturday, February 17, 2018 at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Whittier Recreation Fund, 30 Whittier Way, Ghent 12075. Emails of condolence may be sent to .

Nancy M. Poole (1933 – 2018)

CATSKILL—Nancy Minnie Poole, age 84, passed away peacefully, while surrounded by family February 12, 2018 at Greene Meadows Nursing Home.

She was the cherished daughter of Harry and Catherine Thorne of Kinderhook and the loving and devoted wife of the late George Poole of Catskill, who passed away February 8, 2005.

Mr. and Mrs. Poole were married for 52 years.

She is survived by: her children, Daniel Poole and Suzanne of Valrico, FL, David Poole and Annie of Catskill, Denise Jangrow and Robert of Catskill and Darryl Poole of Mustang, OK.

She was adored by: her 14 grandchildren, Nancy, Aimee, Rebecca, Michael, Elisabeth, Sarah, David, Melanie, Bobbi Jean, Bridgette, Brittni, Brandyn, Andrea, Audra; her 23 great-grandchildren, Briana, Zachary, Gabriella, Hannah, Aubrey, Hailey, Zoey, Lexie, Modesta, Marianna, Monica, Elijah, Jaelynn, Amaya, Alex, Henry, Harley, Peyton, Carson, Kambryn, Colton, Caleb, Reece and her great-great grandchild, Eli. She was predeceased by her loving and devoted sister, Judy Powell, of Kinderhook, in 2017.

Mrs. Poole was a selfless and wholly-devoted nurse who retired from Catskill Memorial Hospital after receiving her registered nursing degree from Kingston Hospital, in Kingston.

Her wishes were to be cremated, without service, at Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, 1015 Kinderhook Street, Valatie. A private, graveside service for immediate family only will be held at a later date. Donations may be made, in her name, to Saint Luke’s Episcopal Parish, 52 William Street, Catskill 12414 or to Columbia-Greene Humane Society, 111 Humane Society Road, Hudson 12534. Online remembrances may be made at

Elisabeth Grace (1934 – 2018)

Elisabeth Grace was born in London, England, on April 28, 1934, the only child of Maurice Augustin Grace and Anne Watson Macdonald Grace.

Growing up during World War Il, her early history and education were interrupted by the exigencies of war and she lived in the homes of different friends of her parents until 1942, when she returned to live with her parents and to complete her high school education at James Allen’s Girls’ School in Dulwich. Elisabeth earned a B.A. Honors degree in English at Westfield College, London University and post-graduate diplomas in social work at the London School of Economics.

Elisabeth began her social work career in London until moving to Edinburgh, Scotland, the country of her mother’s birth, at the age of 24, where she pioneered the concept of intensive work with high-risk families. After working for many years in public and private child and family welfare agencies, teaching social work and heading the social work department at Dingleton Hospital, a therapeutic community in Melrose, Scotland, she moved to Philadelphia in 1972.

Elisabeth was employed by the Children’s Aid Society of Pennsylvania until moving to Old Chatham, NY, in 1975, with her partner Kate Dunham, with whom she shared a home until Kate’s death in 2006.

Elisabeth served as supervisor of the family counseling program at Family and Children’s Service of Albany from 1979 to 1989, and later worked for Parsons Child and Family Center in Albany from 1994 to 1999. Concurrently and since that time she was affiliated with several private practices in the Albany area, where she worked as a clinical therapist.

Elisabeth joined the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in 1958, and held memberships in the National Association of Social Workers and other professional organizations, the Alan Devoe Bird Club of Chatham which she served in many capacities, the Columbia Land Conservancy, and many other organizations which reflected her interests in the outdoors, and in many other activities. She was a writer and storyteller, and since 1979 had shared authorship of The Birders’ Comer in the Chatham Courier with Kate Dunham, and later with several other writers.

She was predeceased by her parents, by her beloved companion of 33 years, Kate Dunham, and by several much-loved pets. She trained her Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Cole, as a therapy dog, and made many visits with him to medical facilities and schools.

Elisabeth is survived by her stepdaughter Anne Ledbetter Mollere and her son Roland, and by countless friends in Britain and America.

Memorial gifts in Elisabeth’s name may be made to the Columbia Land Conservancy, Chatham. A memorial meeting for worship after the manner of the Society of Friends (Quakers) will be held at a later date.

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