OBITUARIES: Van Deusen, Bemiss, Bourassa, Skoda, Doerfer, Schwarze

Ann M. Van Deusen (1932 – 2018)

VALATIE—Ann Louise Miller Van Deusen, 86, passed away peacefully Monday November 26, 2018 at the Grand at Barnwell.

She was born November 1, 1932 to William and Mabel Young Miller in Hudson.

She was predeceased by her two sisters, Alice Smith and Edna Deitz, and her two brothers, William Miller and Bradley Miller.

She is survived by and was the devoted and loving wife of 66 years to Arnold G. Van Deusen. She is also survived by her brother, Roland Miller of Copake.

Mrs. Van Deusen graduated from Roeliff Jansen High School in 1950. She was the school’s school girl queen contestant that year at the Columbia County Fair. She worked for Copake Telephone Company as a switchboard operator, at the Hudson City Savings Bank as a teller and as a cafeteria server for the Claverack Union Free School/Hudson City School District.

She was a member of the A.B. Shaw Ladies Auxiliary as well as an election clerk for many years. Mrs. Van Deusen volunteered many hours with the Reformed Dutch Church in Claverack, especially as a chairman of the church bazaar.

She was the mother of William C. Van Deusen (Joan) of Claverack, Robert A. Van Deusen (Caroline) of Frederick, MD, and Peggy A. Barber (Clifford) of Kinderhook. She is also survived by eight grandchildren, Tom Van Deusen, Brian Van Deusen (Amber), Kimberly Steiner (Marc), Nicole Dorsey (Justin), Elizabeth Melino (Bryan), Colleen Staiger (Paul), Jonathan Barber, Katherine Van Iderstine (Richard); eight great-grandchildren, Bradley and Hannah Van Deusen, Jackson, Davis and Olivia Steiner, Landon Dorsey, Christian Melino and Richard Van Iderstine, V.

She will be remembered for spending time at the Copake Lake house with her children and grandchildren. She enjoyed water skiing, swimming and digging for fishing worms and ice skating in the winter months. Mrs. Van Deusen continued to make homemade grape jelly every fall. She looked forward to hosting Thanksgiving dinner for all of her nieces and nephews and their families over the years. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her.

Her family thanks and acknowledges the many caregivers who showed understanding and kindness.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Reformed Dutch Church, Drawer K, Claverack 12513.

Calling hours will be held at the Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson, Thursday November 29, 2018 from 4 to 7 p.m.

Funeral services will be Friday, November 30, 2018, 11 a.m. at the Reformed Dutch Church of Claverack, 88 State Route 9H, with the internment to follow.

Timothy Bemiss (1960 – 2018)

CHATHAM—Timothy “Bo” Bemiss, 58, passed away peacefully with his daughter by his side November 23, 2018.

He was born July 29, 1960, the son of Howard “Shorty” and Carolyn (Amsler) Bemiss.

He grew up and lived in Chatham. He was an avid sportsman his whole life and enjoyed hunting and fishing every season.

He is survived by: his daughter, Rachel; granddaughter, Isabella and sister, Sherry Dapello.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, James Bemiss; his sister, Terry Bemiss and his nephew, Joshua Welch.

Contributions may be made in Mr. Bemiss’ memory to the Columbia Land Conservancy.

A celebration of Mr. Bemiss’ life takes place at Jackson’s Old Chatham House, December 1, 2018 at 1 p.m.

Arrangements are with the Wenk Funeral Home, 21 Payn Avenue, Chatham. To send online condolences visit

Sharon N. Bourassa (1940 – 2018)

ALBANY—Sharon N. Bourassa, 78, of Germantown passed away Monday, November 26, 2018 at the Albany Medical Center after a short but fierce battle with cancer.

Born October 31, 1940 in Ottawa, IL, she was the daughter of the late Walter and Nona (McKibbin) Thorsen.

She served as a personnel specialist with the United States Army from 1961 to 1963.

Throughout her life, Mrs. Bourassa’s devotion was to her family as a homemaker. She also worked as a nurse’s aide.

She and her husband, Bob Bourassa, lived in Florida for 16 years and were avid square dancers. She moved back to the area in 2014. Mrs. Bourassa had many close and loving friends and she will be greatly missed.

She is survived by: her children, Lester (Emi) Olsson of Germantown, Wendy (Louis) Post of Poughkeepsie; her grandchildren, Scott (Valerie) Borden, Michael (Ashley Bickford) Borden, Mina and Kian Olsson; along with numerous extended family and friends.

Her husband, Bob Bourassa, and a brother, Thomas Thorsen, predeceased her.

Friends may call at the Burnett & White Funeral Homes, 7461 South Broadway, Red Hook, Saturday, December 1, 2018 from 3 to 5 p.m. Interment will be private.

Donations in Mrs. Bourassa’s memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718,

For directions or to sign the online guest book visit

Rudolph J. Skoda (1929 – 2018)

HUDSON—Rudolph “Rudy” John Skoda of Claverack entered into eternal life November 26, 2018 at Columbia Memorial Hospital.

He was born June 13, 1929, the son of the late John and Theresia (Berskovics) Skoda. He was a graduate of St. Mary’s Academy in Hudson and was employed with several oil service companies in the area until he retired from Agway Energy in 1991. He was a communicant of St. Mary’s Church in Hudson and a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 316 of Hudson for 62 years. He also was a member of the Taghkanic Fire Company and a life-member with the A.B. Shaw Fire Company in Claverack.

Mr. Skoda was married to his beloved wife, the late Ellen Marie (Hover) Skoda for 53 years. He is survived by: his children, Mary Pat Yandik and her husband, Paul R. James Skoda and his companion Jodie Smith, and Peter Skoda and his wife Erin.

Mr. Skoda loved being called “Papa” by his three grandchildren, Kaitlin Yandik, James Skoda and Nathan Skoda. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brothers and sisters; John Skoda, Joseph Skoda, Mary Deane, Margaret Alvarez and Elizabeth Proper. The family thanks the nurses and staff at the Firemen’s Home for the great loving care and support they provided to Mr. Skoda during his stay at the home.

Calling hours will be Thursday, November 29 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Firemen’s Home, 125 Harry Howard Avenue, Hudson. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, November 30, 10 a.m. at Holy Trinity Parish, 429 East Allen Street, Hudson. Interment will follow at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Greenport. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests memorials to be made to: Holy Trinity Parish, P.O. Box 323, Hudson 12534 or to the Firemen’s Home, 125 Harry Howard Avenue, Hudson 12534.

Arrangements are with the Sacco-McDonald-Valenti Funeral Home, 700 Town Hall Drive, Greenport. To leave online condolences visit

Frederick P. Doerfer (1949 – 2018)

HUDSON—Frederick P. Doerfer, 69, of West Shokan passed away peacefully after a long illness, November 26, 2018.

Born January 27, 1949 in Brooklyn, to the late Frederick R. and Veronica (Spatz) Doerfer, he is survived by: his loving sister and brother-in-law, Carol Doerfer and James O’Neill and his much-loved nephew and godson, Conor Doerfer O’Neill, all of Hudson. He is also survived by many cousins, including Edmond Hodgens of Coxsackie and Frederick Hodgens of Albany.

Retired from the City of Kingston, Mr. Doerfer enjoyed music, art, fishing, photography and reading. From his teen years to more recently, he played the drums in a number of bands.

According to his wishes, he will be cremated and there will be no calling hours.

To honor his memory during this “red kettle season,” donations may be made to the Hudson Salvation Army, 40 South Third Street, Hudson or to the charity of one’s choice. Arrangements are with the Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson. To leave a message of condolence visit

Raymond J. Schwarze (1948 – 2018)

CLAVERACK—Raymond J. Schwarze, 70, of Claverack passed away November 22, 2018 at home.

He was born October 14, 1948 in Pine Plains. He lived most of his life in Hudson with the love of his life, Dorothy. They were married 47 years and had one son, Robert (Tonya).

Mr. Schwarze drove truck for many years and racked up two million accident free miles. He owned his own plumbing company after leaving the road. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, making maple syrup and sitting on the front porch with family and friends.

Mr. Schwarze lost his fight with stage 4 cancer at home with family.

He leaves behind: seven grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; several other family members including, cousins and in-laws who will miss him terribly.

Graveside funeral services will be held Wednesday, November 28, 2018, 1 p.m. in Linlithgo Cemetery. Written condolences may be sent to 190 Gahbauer Road, Lot 13, Hudson 12534.

Arrangements are with the Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson. To leave an online message of condolence visit

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