OBITUARIES: Berninger, McAlister, Engelke, Hilbert, Davis, Thomas

Nancy Berninger (1929 – 2019)

GHENT—Nancy Berninger, 89, a resident of Ghent, died June 10, 2019.

Mrs. Berninger spent her life caring for others. She was a loving wife and mother who raised her five children by serving as an example of strength and kindness.

Her working life was spent as a registered nurse, first at Columbia Memorial Hospital and later at Eden Park Nursing Home.

Born October 2, 1929 in Hudson, she was the daughter of Alice (Waltermire) Studley and Ralph Studley. She always remembered her Claverack youth fondly, “We had a good life and upbringing. We were poor but didn’t know it. We were a happy bunch and always had plenty to eat and warm clothes even if they weren’t new and were hand-me-downs.”

In 1946 at the age of 16, Mrs. Berninger graduated from Roeliff Jansen High School. In 1949 she was a member of the first graduating class of the Columbia Memorial School of Nursing. It was a fortunate patient who came under her care.

In spring 1955 she met John Berninger of Ghent. Years later she recalled “I’m not sure it was love at first sight, but it didn’t take long to realize we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.” On November 26, 1955, they married. At that time she moved from the longtime Studley home in Claverack to Ghent. For many years the Berninger’s flower and vegetable gardens were admired by all who passed by their home.

On the occasion of her 50th wedding anniversary, she noted “When you are united in marriage you become as one, but still retain your individuality; whatever one spouse does affects the other one. Keep this in mind and you’ll have a solid, joyful and meaningful life together. Attend church together. There you will find a much larger family to welcome you and support you through the difficult times. Treasure each day you have together, as one.”

Mr. and Mrs. Berninger were longtime members of the Ghent Reformed Church where she taught Sunday school and sang for many years in the choir.

She passed very pleased with the life she’d led.

The family gives a special thank you to the staff at Whittier Place Assisted Living Center and Community Hospice for giving her the compassionate care everyone deserves in their final days.

Mrs. Berninger is survived by: her children, Chris and Regina Berninger of Ballston Spa, John Berninger and Nancy Gardner of Slingerlands, Beth Colwell of Hudson, Glenn and Elizabeth Hamlin-Berninger of Kinderhook, Gregg and Diane Berninger of Valatie; grandchildren, Christine and Nick Jones of Macon, GA, Carolyn Berninger and Matt Klecker of St. Paul, MN, Matt Colwell of Hudson; step-grandchildren Jason Danforth of Brooklyn, Rachel Anderson of Rochester, Will Anderson of Montreal; and step-great-grandchild, Francesco Bracaglia of

Bethlehem. Additionally, Mrs. Berninger is survived by her brother, Albert Studley of Wyckoff, NJ, and sister Carol Spath of Walkill.

Her husband; siblings, Mildred, Evelyn, Velma, Edna, and Barbara; and step-grandchild Julia Bracaglia died previously.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Ghent Reformed Church, 1039 County Route 22, Ghent 12075 or The Community Hospice Foundation, 310 South Manning Boulevard, Albany 12208

Family will receive friends at the French, Gifford, Preiter and Blasl Funeral Home, 25 Railroad Avenue, Chatham, Friday, June 14 from 4 to 7 p.m. Religious services will be held at the Ghent Reformed Church, Saturday, June 15 at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at the Ghent Union Cemetery. For directions or to convey a condolence visit

Ronnie L. McAlister (1952 – 2019)

GERMANTOWN—Ronnie McAlister, age 66, of Germantown, formerly of Greenville, SC, passed away June 5, 2019.

Born December 27, 1952, he was the son of Marvin McAlister and Sara Ray, who both predeceased him.

He was a beloved father and grandfather.

Mr. McAlister owned Creative Cabinets and Remodeling and was a successful contractor for many years. His work appears in the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park and was featured on the cover of the April 2006 issue of Country Living Magazine. He loved working with his hands, building things, flying model airplanes, and doing crossword puzzles.

He had a passion for old western movies and TV crime shows that he loved to share with his wife. His deviled egg-making skills were surpassed by none.

Mr. McAlister is survived by: his wife, Bonnie McAlister; his step-son, Victor Wack; his daughter, Sara McAlister and her fiancé Matthew Higgins and their son Tyler; his granddaughter, Hailey Murry; his brother, Ricky McAlister and his wife Leigh; his sister, Debbie Beauchemin and her husband Joe, and his brother, Terry McAlister and his wife Debbie. He was predeceased by his step-son, Sean Murry. His absence will be deeply felt and his presence will be forever missed.

Calling hours will be Wednesday, June 12, 2019 from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Reformed Church of Germantown, 20 Church Avenue. A brief service takes place at 6 p.m. with a fellowship gathering afterward. Cremation inurnment will be in the Reformed Church Cemetery of Germantown.

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

Visit to leave condolences.

George H. Engelke (1932 – 2019)

HUDSON—George H. Engelke, 87, of Hudson passed away June 6, 2019.

Born February 20, 1932 in Hudson, he was the son of Fredrick and Mary (Cripps) Engelke. After graduating from Hudson High School, he served his country in the Korean War.

For many years he worked at McGuire’s in Hudson as a machine operator.

Mr. Engelke was a communicant of St. Mary’s Church and a member of the American Legion #184, and the VFW post #1314. He along with his companion, Joan were avid Bingo players.

He is survived by: his daughter, Priscilla Moore; son, Timothy Brennan, Sr.; grandchildren, Dondi Moore, Michele Conrad, and Timothy Brennan, Jr., along with his companion Joan Surrano; great-grandson, Joseph Brennan; nephew, Thomas Moore, Jr., and his wife Deanna.

Mr. Engelke was predeceased by his wife, Lois (Fiero) Engelke, and brother, Fred Engelke.

Visitation hours will be held at Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson, Wednesday, June 12 from 5 to 8 p.m., followed by a funeral service at 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Holy Trinity St. Mary’s Parish.

Laura T. Hilbert (1949 – 2019)

CLERMONT—Laura T. Hilbert, 69, died Thursday, June 6, 2019 at her longtime home in Clermont after battling cancer.

Born October 2, 1949 in Long Island City, she was the daughter of Frank Camarata and Josephine Patella.

She married her beloved husband, Kevin Hilbert, October 12, 1974 in Hudson. He survives at home.

She is also survived by: a brother, David Camarata; a sister, Mary Tobin. She was predeceased by her parents and a brother, Frank Camarata.

She was a proud member of the Girl Scouts and was happy to have attended the Girl Scout Roundup in Coeur d’Alene, ID, in 1965.

Mrs. Hilbert earned her degree at SUNY New Paltz and taught English for many years, starting at Hudson Middle School in 1973, then in Kingston, primarily at Kingston High School. She retired in 2002.

She was always a dog lover, and won a prize at the Dutchess County Fair for a photograph of her Labrador retriever, Tina. She enjoyed traveling; some of her favorite destinations were Saint Petersburg, Russia; the Pyramids at Giza; a photographic safari in Kenya and Tanzania; and her grandparents’ birthplace in Corleone, Sicily. She also traveled extensively through the United States. She loved the outdoors and deer hunting, once taking an eight-point buck.

Everyone knew Mrs. Hilbert as an avid gardener of vegetables and flowers. She enjoyed sharing the excess of her bounty with family and friends.

Friends called at the Burnett & White Funeral Homes, 7461 South Broadway, Red Hook, June 9, 2019

A celebration of her life took place that afternoon.

In lieu of flowers, make a donation to an animal shelter or a dog rescue organization.

Eddie Davis (1931 – 2019)

GREENPORT—Eddie Davis, 87, of Greenport died peacefully at home Friday June 7, 2019.

Born in Goldsboro, NC, August 8, 1931, he was the son of the late Milton Gould and Daisy Davis.

Mr. Davis was a heavy equipment operator for New York State Department of Transportation until his retirement.

He was the loving husband of Betty J. (Summers) Davis at home.

A visiting hour will be held Friday, June 21, 2019 from 11 a.m. to noon at the Shiloh Baptist Church, 14 Warren Street, Hudson. Services will begin at 1 p.m. and burial will follow in Cedar Park Cemetery, Hudson. Arrangements are with the Sacco-McDonald-Valenti Funeral Home, 700 Town Hall Drive, Greenport. To leave online condolences visit

Diana Thomas

NEW LEBANON—Diana Thomas, 72, of New Lebanon passed away May 31, 2019 at home.

She was born in California and was one of eight siblings.

She had worked as a home health aide while residing in the area.

Ms. Thomas had a great sense of humor, was a loving mother and grandmother and was always willing to help anyone in need, even strangers. She enjoyed murder mystery movies, dancing and watching Eagles and Stealers football.

She is survived by: her son, Michael Thomas (Sarah); daughters, Gloria Spohn and Kristina (Jason) VanSteen; four grandchildren; three great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Relatives and friends called at the Thomas P. Mooney Funeral Home, 11 Elm Street, Nassau, June 7.

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