OBITUARIES: Reynolds, Bower, Shea, Bryant, Choros, Frank, Thompson, Smegoski, Hess, Rockefeller

Lester J. Reynolds, Jr. (1928 – 2018)

HANOVER, NH—Lester Jay Reynolds, Jr., passed away peacefully November 20, 2018 in Hanover, NH, one month shy of his 90th birthday, with his two daughters and family by his side.

He was born December 20, 1928 in Albany, the youngest of four children and son of Lester Jay Reynolds, Sr., of Greenwich, CT, and Dorothy (Mathews) Reynolds of Mount Kisco.

He grew up on the Reynolds Apple Farm in Kinderhook and worked the orchards with his three sisters and other family members. He left Kinderhook to attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in MA, where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta and graduated in 1950 with a BS in chemical engineering. Mr. Reynolds held WPI close to his heart and mind and remained an active alumnus and supporter of the university. He also received an MBA from Rutgers University in 1959.

In 1950, he met the woman who would become his best friend and the love of his life, Diane Payne, while working at Koppers Company in Oil City, PA. Years later, they were reintroduced by a childhood friend of Ms. Payne’s when Mr. Reynolds returned to Oil City, and they began dating—shortly afterwards, in 1954, he volunteered for the Army. They corresponded continuously during his service, and he often drove back to Oil City from Maryland on leave weekends. They married April 28, 1956 in Oil City, the day after he was honorably discharged. He drove through the night to return in time for the wedding. During their 58-year marriage, they lived in Bound Brook, Ramsey, and Basking Ridge, NJ, before retiring in 1990 to Old Lyme, CT. In their retirement, they also lived in Chester and Haddam, CT. Throughout Mrs. Reynold’s struggle with Alzheimer’s and through her death in 2014, Mr. Reynolds remained devoted and unwavering in his commitment to her care and comfort.

An engineer by training, trade and vocation, Mr. Reynolds worked at the American Cyanamid Company from 1956 until his retirement in 1988, including work in the Organic Chemicals Division, as well as Corporate Planning, Marketing Research and Business Development. He was especially proud to be a co-founder of the first professional association dedicated to corporate strategic planners.

He thoroughly enjoyed his career, but his primary focus was service to his family, his community and the world. He was a loving father, cheerful grandfather, avid Democrat, devoted parishioner, champion of social justice issues, storyteller and family historian, connector of people, a man of conscience and problem-solving, and a true gentleman. At both the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church and the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, he was an active member and leader, serving as church elder and in the prison ministry in Basking Ridge, and on many committees in Old Lyme, including the Interfaith Dialogue Committee, Board of Trustees, and the Adult Education Committee. He was the founder and first executive director of the Old Lyme Affordable Housing Corporation, a non-profit whose mission was building affordable single-family homes in Old Lyme. The organization merged with the HOPE Partnership, whose work continues today. In his free time, Mr. Reynolds was an avid skier, hiker, sailor, and runner, who brought his skis on business trips to a half-dozen countries and a plastic bag for picking up litter on every run. He cherished summer trips with his family to the Chautauqua Institution, crosswords and classical music, driving his ‘69 Camaro convertible, coffee after dinner, and bananas and molasses on his cereal.

He is survived by: his two treasured and devoted daughters, Pamela Reynolds Knecht of Hinsdale, IL, and Kay Payne Reynolds of Grantham, NH, and their husbands David Knecht and Daniel Ramus; two loved and loving grandsons, Jeffrey Payne Dietrich and Mark Reynolds Dietrich of Charlestown, MA; his brother-in-law, Calvin David Payne of Tucson, AZ; many nieces and nephews, and more than a dozen foster children. Mr. Reynolds was predeceased by his wife, parents, and his sisters, Mary Reynolds, Elizabeth “Betty” Price, and Dorothy “Dimpie” Davidson. There will be a service celebrating Mr. Reynolds’ life at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, CT, 2 Ferry Road, January 12, 2019 at 2 p.m. A reception and gathering will follow at the church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mr. Reynolds’ name to the HOPE Partnership at or by mail, 191 Main Street, Old Saybrook, CT 06475.

Dorothy Bower (1941 – 2018)

HUDSON—Dorothy Bower died of cancer at Columbia Memorial Hospital November 27, 2018 after a hard fought battle.

She was the daughter of Leo and Vera Bower, born June 20, 1941.

She lived most of her life in Columbia County, graduating from Germantown Central School and Columbia-Greene Community College. She worked most of her life in nursing, entered the Carmelite Order in Germantown and served as Sister Mary Frances Jude for a number of years. After leaving the order, she continued to work in homes and nursing homes in the area until her retirement in her seventies.

She brought comfort and laughter to many while enjoying her cats, crafts, friends, family and faith.

She is survived by: a sister, Ruth Kinville of New Hampshire; nieces, Vera Bedell, Pamela Caruso and Joan Marshman; nephews, Philip, Lawrence, Leo, Thomas, Robert and Daniel Bower; several cousins and her cat.

She was predeceased by her parents; sisters, Doris Bower, Mildred Swartout; brothers, Leo, Philip, Ernest, Thomas and Robert Bower; niece, Jean Swartout and nephew, David Bower.

A private celebration of her life followed cremation.

Kelly A. Shea (1972 – 2018)

ALBANY—Kelly A. Shea, 46, of Niverville died suddenly Thursday, November 29, 2018 at Albany Medical Center.

Born August 29, 1972 in Hudson, she was the daughter of Jeffrey Richards and the late Eileen (Duff) Richards.

She was a 1990 graduate of Ichabod Crane High School. She loved baking and taking care of her grandson, Levi.

She is survived by: her husband, Lester Shea, IV, of Stephentown; her son, Lester “Billy” Shea, V, of Niverville; a brother, Scott Richards of Schodack and a grandson, Levi Richards of Niverville. She was predeceased by her son, Andrew John “AJ” Richards.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday, December 5, 7:30 p.m. at the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, 1015 Kinderhook Street, Valatie. Calling hours will be Wednesday, December 5 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.

Kathleen M. Bryant (1931 – 2018)

GHENT—Kathleen “Kay” M. (Corbett) Bryant, 87, a lifelong Ancram resident, passed away Sunday, December 2, 2018 at the Whittier Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.

She was born July 13, 1931 in Sharon, CT, the daughter of Aubrey and Mae (Hall) Corbett.

She, along with her husband and sons, Terry and Thomas were owners and operators of the Cy Bryant Dairy Farm in Ancram.

She was a long-time member of the Ancram Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary and was also was a member of the Monday night bowling league in Ancram.

On November 5, 1949 in Philmont, she married Milton L. “Cy” Bryant. He predeceased her April 23, 2008.

Survivors include: her daughter, Patricia and her husband Sheldon Waldorf of Ancram; four sons, Gary Michael and his wife Juanita Bryant of Hudson, Terry and his wife Deborah Bryant of Ancram, Thomas Bryant of Ancram and James and Joanna Bryant of Charleston, SC; two brothers, Patrick and Peter Corbett; 10 grandchildren, Jason, Michael John, Luke, Alyson, Jon, Scott, Valerie, Renea, Steven, Joel; 12 great-grandchildren, Kane, Nolan, Katelyn, Connor, Cole, Emma, Elizabeth, Isabella, Brody, Gavin, Carter, Charlotte; several nieces and nephews.

She was also predeceased by a brother, James Corbett.

Calling hours are Thursday, December 6, 2018 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Peck and Peck Funeral Home, 7749 South Main Street, Pine Plains.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, December 7, 2018, 10 a.m. from the Parish of Our Lady of Hope, 8074 Route 22 Copake Falls, with the Reverend George Brennan officiating.

Interment will follow in Evergreen Cemetery, Pine Plains. A reception will follow at the Ancram Fire Company.

The family extends special thanks to all the staff of Whittier and Community Hospice. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to charity of one’s choice. To sign the online register visit

Margaret Jane Choros (1920 – 2018)

VALATIE—Margaret Jane “Janie” Choros, 98, formerly of Stuyvesant Falls, died Monday, December 3, 2018 at The Grand at Barnwell.

Born November 10, 1920 in Hudson, she was the daughter of the late John and Margaret (Laughlan) Stevens.

She and her late husband were the owners of Janie’s Grocery in Stuyvesant Falls for 25 years. She was a charter member of the Stuyvesant Falls Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary, a communicant of the Church of St. Joseph and former member of their Ladies Guild.

She is survived by: her son, Paul Michael Choros of Middletown; two grandsons, Michael John and Mitchell James Choros; several nieces, nephews and cousins. She was predeceased by her husband, Paul John Choros and five siblings, Marie Bryfonski (Louis), Helen Stevens, Daniel Stevens (Sylvia), John Stevens and Thomas Stevens (Margaret).

A Memorial Mass will be held Saturday, December 8, 11 a.m. at the Church of St. Joseph, Stuyvesant Falls with the Reverend Gary Gelfenbein officiating. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery. There will be no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Church of St. Joseph, Stuyvesant Falls 12174 or the Stuyvesant Falls Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary. The family thanks the staff at The Grand at Barnwell for their kind and compassionate care of Mrs. Choros while she was there.

Arthur A. Frank (1924 – 2018)

ELIZAVILLE—Arthur A. Frank, 94, of Elizaville passed away November 28, 2018 at his residence.

Born November 17, 1924 in Yonkers, he was the son of Emil and Charlotte (Sunderhoff) Frank.

Mr. Frank was a draftsman for Gifford-Wood in Hudson, and also a resident engineer for Charlie Barrows Engineering in Hudson. He also worked in construction, spending three years in Saudi Arabia, and several years at the Empire State Plaza and Museum. He was a very active member of St. Matthew’s and St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Hudson, serving as president at both. He was also on several church committees and was a vital part of its youth groups and Sunday school programs. Mr. Frank enjoyed woodworking and carving. Several of his items are currently used at St. Mark’s services. He served in the United States Marine Corp during the end of World War II, and during the Korean War. He is also a former member of the Gallatin Town Board.

Mr. Frank is survived by: his wife, Elizabeth (Kleis) Frank; children, Arthur F. Frank (Barbara), Robert A. Frank (Lois), John E. Frank (Cathy), Paul H. Frank (Helen), Elizabeth C. Frank and Barbara Collins; six grandchildren, Caryn, Amber, Andrew, Zachary, Scott and Mackenzie; five great-grandchildren; a sister, Olga Kleis and a brother-in-law, John Kleis.

Funeral services from the Bates & Anderson-Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson were December 1. Interment was in St. John’s Manorton Cemetery.

Hildegard S. Thompson (1935 – 2018)

CLAVERACK—Hildegard Sievers Thompson died peacefully at her home in Claverack, December 2 after a brief illness.

She was born August 22, 1935 in Boston, MA, to Hans Frederick Sievers and Martha (Glueck) Sievers, and grew up in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston. She was a graduate of Boston Girls’ Latin School and the Massachusetts School of Physical Therapy. In her youth, Mrs. Thompson was an accomplished pianist and violinist, having performed at Jordan Hall with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra. As a young woman, she moved to Hudson to begin a career in physical therapy at Columbia Memorial Hospital, but soon found herself better suited as a laboratory technician there. She worked in that capacity at CMH for 57 years. She was a member of the boards of the Home for the Aged and the Claverack Free Library, and was a past president of the Junior Service League of Hudson. She was also a chaperone for the Claverack Youth Ski Program for nearly 40 years, and a Cub Scout den mother. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband, Gustave Whyte Thompson; a son, Frederick Sievers Thompson and brothers, Gerhard R. Sievers and Werner E. Sievers. Mrs. Thompson is survived by: sons, Stanley (Molly) Thompson of New Boston, NH, William (Amy) Thompson of Groton, MA, and Karl (Karen) Thompson of Amenia; seven grandchildren; one great-grandson; a brother, Herbert H. Sievers of Louisville, KY; many nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Thompson was an avid skier, gardener and theater lover, and enjoyed traveling the world with her husband of 59 years. She was loved and will be missed by all.

Visitation hours at the Bates & Anderson-Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson are Thursday, December 20 from 3 to 5 p.m. followed by a Memorial Service at 5 p.m.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Ronald McDonald House Charities, or to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Patricia Smegoski (1929 – 2018)

GREENPORT—Patricia Smegoski, 89, of Greenport passed away December 3, 2018 with her dear friends Jeanne Miller and Jeffrey and Cheryl Fonda at her side.

Born July 13, 1929 in Hudson, she is the daughter of Leo and Julia (VanValkenburgh) Colwell.

Mrs. Smegoski was a telephone operator for New York Telephone for many years. She was a communicant of St. Mary’s Church in Hudson, and a member of the Altar Guild. She was also a member of the Catholic Daughters of America Court #248.

Mrs. Smegoski is survived by: her lifelong friends, Jeanne Miller, Jeffrey and Cheryl Fonda; brother-in-law, Kenneth Clark; nephew, Michael Clark and cousin, Joan VanValkenburgh. She was predeceased by her husband, Frank Smegoski; brothers, William and Leo Colwell and Albert Wilcox.

Visitation time at the Bates & Anderson-Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson will be Monday, December 10 from 9 to 9:30 a.m. Immediately following visitation, a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated from Holy Trinity St. Mary’s Parish at 10 a.m. Interment will be in St. James Cemetery.

Agnes Hess (1928 – 2018)

PHILMONT—Agnes Hess, 90, of Claverack passed away Monday, December 3 in Philmont.

Born October 15, 1928 in Mamaroneck, she was the daughter of Raymond and Agnes (McMahon) McGeough.

She was a registered nurse at Columbia Memorial Hospital for many years. She was also a social worker for Columbia County and she retired as the administrator of Pine Haven Nursing Home.

She is survived by: her daughter, Maureen Hess of Claverack and her sister, Anna Enright of Rhinebeck.

Mrs. Hess was predeceased by her husband, John H. Hess, former chairman of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors; son, Michael Hess; daughter, Sharon Hess and sister, Kathleen Healy.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, December 7, 11 a.m. from Holy Trinity/St. Mary’s Parish. Interment will be in Cedar Park Cemetery. There are no visitation hours.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Mrs. Hess’ name may be made to the Columbia-Greene Humane Society, 111 Humane Society Road, Hudson 12534. Arrangements are with the Bates and Anderson-Redmond and Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson.

Joyce M. Rockefeller (1930 – 2018)

TUPPER LAKE—Joyce M. Rockefeller, age 88, of Germantown died Saturday, December 1 in Tupper Lake.

She was born June 19, 1930 in Bayshore, Long Island, the daughter of the late Joseph and Elizabeth (Chapman) Minor.

Mrs. Rockefeller was a beloved and well-respected teacher and coach at the Germantown Central School District prior to her retirement. She was a member of the Christ Lutheran Church and Church Council.

She was predeceased by her husband, Bernard H. Rockefeller, November 20, 1999.

Mrs. Rockefeller is survived by: two children, Harold Rockefeller of Clermont and Connie Rockefeller of Saranac Lake; a sister, Jo Andrews of Lindenhurst; two grandsons, Cody and Jackson Rockefeller; two great-grandchildren; and four nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends may call Thursday, December 6, 4 to 8 p.m. at Traver & McCurry Funeral Home, 234 Jefferson Heights, Catskill. Funeral services will be held Friday, December 7, 10 a.m. at Christ Lutheran Church in Germantown. Interment will follow at Viewmont Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Tri-Lakes Humane Society, 255 George LaPan Memorial Highway, Saranac, Lake 12983 or Animalkind Inc., 721 Warren Street, Hudson 12534.

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