OBITUARIES: Grunberg, Kowalski, Kiniry, Mackey, Klucsertis, Tomaso, Bradford, Hofstetter, Mullins, Massa-Castanza

Judith B. Grunberg (1933 – 2019)

ALBANY—Judith Backer Grunberg, 86, died peacefully August 30 at St. Peter’s Hospital.

She was predeceased by her parents, Theodore Backer and Mireille (Heller) Backer, and her husband of 37 years, Paul Grunberg.

Born and raised in Manhattan, she attended the Dalton School and was an amateur flutist and choral singer, and loved the Broadway theater. She studied art at Bennington College (class of ‘55). After college, she studied drawing and painting in Rome, Italy. She met and married the architect Paul Grunberg in 1960, and they moved to the Town of Chatham in 1965, where they raised their four sons. She created an extensive garden of vegetables and flowers for her family and became involved in the local art scene, becoming the first artistic director of the Columbia County Council on the Arts in 1965 and continued in that role for two decades.

In 1996, she and her husband acquired the Blue Plate restaurant in Chatham, which she has owned and operated since.

Following her husband’s death, she applied her considerable talents and boundless positive energy to further undertake a wide array of charitable and business projects around Chatham, all the while continuing to produce her own art—primarily fabrics, drawing, photography and graphic design. Among her many contributions, she was a prolific designer of logos for local businesses and nonprofits, including The Chatham Bookstore, Handcrafters art supplies, Columbia County Council on the Arts, Options clothing store in Albany, Chatham Real Food Market, and Rewraps clothing store.

In 1999, Mrs. Grunberg founded PS21 (Performance Spaces for the 21st Century), a non-profit in Chatham that recently completed the realization of her three decade-long dream—the construction of a 300-seat open air pavilion and 99-seat black box theater on the grounds of an apple orchard with sweeping views. She founded the Rewraps clothing store on Main Street to benefit PS21, and served as the president of PS21 until her death.

Mrs. Grunberg served on many local boards, including the Crandell Theatre in Chatham, Time & Space Ltd. in Hudson, the Columbia Land Conservancy, Close Encounters with Music in Great Barrington, Chatham Area Business & Arts, Chatham Real Food Market (co-founder), and WAMC Northeast Public Radio. She also founded the Options clothing store in Albany.

She had a number of shows of her work, including Close but Not Art? (sculpture and found objects and received third place in Metroland’s Top Ten Shows of the Year 1998), and retrospective Judy Grunberg: Past and Present, at Time & Space Limited in Hudson; Across the Table (line drawings) at Ralph’s Cafe, Necessary Lines gallery and other venues; and most recently, At the Feeder & On the Street (photography), at TSL in 2019.

Mrs. Grunberg is survived by: her children, John of Wanaque, NJ, Daniel and spouse Elaine of Lexington, MA, David of New York City, and Noah and spouse Janet of Shelburne Falls, MA; her lifelong dedicated assistant, Alice Witherell of Ghent; seven grandchildren, and scores of loving friends, relatives, and associates.

A memorial service in celebration of Mrs. Grunberg’s life will be held at a date to be announced.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to PS21, Inc (P.O. Box 321, Chatham 12037), the nonprofit arts center she founded and to which she devoted her final decades of life. Designate gifts to the Judith B. Grunberg Memorial Fund. Arrangements are with the French, Gifford, Preiter & Blasl Funeral Home, 25 Railroad Avenue, Chatham. Condolences may be conveyed at

Gladys L. Kowalski (1929 – 2019)

STUYVESANT—Gladys Kowalski, 90, of Stuyvesant passed away peacefully at her home, Saturday, August 31, 2019.

She was born in Kinderhook, March 1, 1929, the daughter of John B. Leiser and Leone Mildred Risch.

On April 12, 1947, she married John W. Kowalski. They celebrated more than 59 years together until he passed away in 2006.

She was employed by Albany International for more than 30 years and was a life-long member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Stuyvesant.

Mrs. Kowalski is survived by: her daughter, Linda (Jim) Tator of Little Rock, AR; sons, Bernard (Nancy) and John, Jr., (Shannon) Kowalski, both of Stuyvesant; her brother, Harold (Mary Lou) Leiser; nine grandchildren, Valerie Cohn Gehrke, Penny Muir, Sarah Helmes, Matthew Kowalski, Andrea Coons, Shalyn Uecker, Michael Kowalski, Aaron Tator and Bray Kowalski; 22 great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews. She was preceded by her parents; her husband; her brother, Warren Leiser; her sister, Helen Drumm and her grandson, Scott Kowalski.

Viewing for family and friends will be at the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, 1015 Kinderhook Street, Valatie, Thursday, September 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. Her funeral will be Friday, September 6, 11 a.m., at St. John’s Lutheran Church, County Route 26A, Stuyvesant. Burial will be immediately following the service at Firwood Cemetery. A luncheon to celebrate her 90-year life will be held at the church Fellowship Hall. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to St. John’s Lutheran Church.

The family thank all those who provided care to their mother, especially granddaughter, Sarah Helmes; friend Jenn Albert and caregiver, Paulette. Her wish was to remain at home with her cats and watch the birds outside her window. Her wish was granted as she peacefully passed away.

Brother Richard Kiniry, CSC (1933 – 2019)

VALATIE—Richard Aloysius Kiniry died August 13, 2019.

He was born June 13, 1933, in Johnstown, PA, the fifth child of James Kiniry and Margaret Suttmiller.

He spent his youth in Johnstown, in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. He was baptized at St. Columba Church in Johnstown and completed his Catholic elementary education at the parish school before moving on to Johnstown Catholic High School.

He claimed he thought about religious life in high school and it was very clear to him from the first time a question about a vocation was asked that he was called to be Brother.

He graduated from Johnstown Catholic High School in 1951 went to work on the Conemaugh and Black Lick Railroad before joining the U.S. Navy. The Navy sent him to electronic training school in Memphis, TN. He served in the Korean War and was honorably discharged in September 1955. It was then that he began his journey to his religious vocation.

He was accepted into the Brothers of Holy Cross entering the juniorate program at Valatie, October 1956. He entered St. Joseph Novitiate in Rolling Prairie, IN, the following year and made his first profession of vows there January 26, 1958. He made his perpetual profession of vows in August of 1961.

In the early 1960s, his parents were named the Catholic Family of the Year as four of his siblings entered the priesthood or religious life.

After his novitiate year, Brother Richard was assigned to study at St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree there in 1961. Eventually he earned a masters from the Catholic University of America in 1968.

His career in education began at Bishop Hendricken High School in Warwick, RI. He then went to Mackin High School in Washington, DC, as a teacher before moving to Notre Dame High School in West Haven, CT as a teacher and dean. He was a gifted and demanding physics and mathematics teacher. At a point in the mid-60s when both he and his brother James were assigned to Notre Dame High School in West Haven. Both taught math. Brother Richard was eventually named principal and superior at Monsignor Coyle High School in Taunton, MA, a position he held until 1971. He was principal at Mackin High School in Washington, DC, from 1972 through 1976. Br. Kiniry served on the Provincial Council from 1972 through 1982, with six of those years being the assistant provincial. After that experience, he decided to move from education to pastoral health care.

In 2013, he moved to St. Joseph Center in Valatie, where he kept busy with various volunteer projects.

Br. Kiniry had an engaging sense of humor and was appreciated and valued in the Holy Cross community. He could be practical to a fault, was known for holding on tightly to a nickel, but was always caring and concerned, supportive and encouraging to those who needed it. He took his role as director of retirement seriously and encouraged many brothers to broaden their horizons and to try new volunteer ministries in their later years.

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated for the repose of the soul of Br. Kiniry, Saturday, September 7, 2019, 11 a.m. at St. Joseph Center in Valatie. Br. Kiniry donated his body for scientific study so there will be no funeral at this time. A funeral Mass and burial will be held at the time his body is returned.

Thomas G. Mackey (1951 – 2019)

GHENT—Thomas G. Mackey died Monday, September 2 after a courageous battle with cancer at his home.

He was born in Brooklyn, November 6, 1951, the son of the late George P. and Estelle (Penock) Mackey.

He graduated from Chatham High School in 1969 and attended Cobleskill and Columbia-Greene community

colleges. He ran the family farm in Ghent for many years. He married Elaine Goodwin in 1973 and settled on the family farm. They celebrated 46 wonderful years of marriage in March. Mr. Mackey was a member of the men’s league at Chatham Bowl for many years. He was a diehard fan of the New York Yankees and Giants.

In addition to his wife Elaine, he is survived by: beloved aunt and uncle, Eugena and Lee Kolesnikoff of Clifton Park; cousins, Amanda Flo of Owing Mills, MD, and Joseph

(Rebecca) Kolesnikoff of Clifton Park; brothers-in-law, Michael (Anne) Goodwin of Laurens and Bud (Patty) Goodwin of Valatie; sisters-in-law, Cathy Goodwin of Chatham and Karen (Bryan) Southard of Niverville; many nieces and nephews. Calling hours will be held Friday, September 6 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Wenk Funeral Home, 21 Payn Avenue, Chatham. A funeral service of remembrance will be held Saturday, September 7, 11 a.m. from the funeral home. Interment will be in the Ghent Union Cemetery. Donations in Mr. Mackey’s memory may be made to the Community Hospice Foundation

Gift Processing Center, 310 South Manning Boulevard, Albany 12208 or the Valatie Rescue Squad, 35 State Route 9H, Valatie 12184. For online condolences visit

Frank J. Klucsertis (1937 – 2019)

PHILMONT—Frank J. Klucserits, 82, of Greenport died Sunday, August 25, 2019 at Pine Haven Nursing Home.

Born January 13, 1937 in Hudson, he was the son of the late John and Minnie Klucserits of Stockport.

Mr. Klucserits served in the United States Army from 1959 to 1961, returned home with his new bride, Dorothy Cole, from Washington state and settled in Greenport.

He worked for the Universal Atlas Cement plant until its closing and then worked for the Columbia County Highway Department.

They had a son, Joseph, who died in 2009. Mr. and Mrs. Klucserits were married for 53 years until her passing in 2014.

Mr. Klucserits is survived by: his sister, Mildred Nicholson; two grandchildren, Joseph, Jr., and Brittany; along with nieces and nephews.

Funeral arrangements, with the Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson, are private and at the convenience of the family.

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James F. Tomaso (1952 – 2019)

HUDSON—James F. Tomaso, 67, of Greenport passed from this life August 30, 2019 at the Columbia Memorial Health Hospice in the company of his loved ones.

Born in Hudson, January 14, 1952 to the union of the late Frank Tomaso and Elaine (Holmes) Tomaso, he was a lifelong resident of Columbia County, first in Hudson and later Greenport.

Mr. Tomaso was educated in the Hudson City Schools. He graduated in 1970. After graduating from Hudson Valley Community College, he embarked on a long career as a licensed land surveyor and owned his own self-titled business until retirement in 2018.

He was raised in the Catholic faith, having been baptized at Mt. Carmel Church in Hudson, which he attended faithfully until it closed in 1989. He then became a parishioner at St. Joseph’s in Stottville for the remainder of his life.

An avid model railroader since youth, Mr. Tomaso owned and operated the Nickel Plate Hobby Shop on Fairview Avenue, Greenport for many years. He amassed an impressive personal collection of vintage Lionel and HO Trains.

He and his loving companion, Ellen Pietrak resided in Greenport and reveled in the quiet country life. They loved attending Valley Cats baseball games, model railroads shows, and enjoying time with his mother and her family, particularly the grandchildren.

Mr. Tomaso is survived by: his companion, Ellen; his mother, Elaine; his brother, Anthony; many cousins, close friends and Ms. Pietrak’s daughters and grandchildren, who loved him so dearly.

Visitation at Bates & Anderson-Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson, will be held Wednesday, September 4, 2019 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. from the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Atlantic Avenue, Stottville. Interment will be at the family plot in Cedar Park Cemetery, Hudson immediately following Mass.

Terrance Bradford (1956 – 2019)

RICHMONDVILLE—Terrance “Terry” Bradford, 62, of Richmondville, and a longtime Elizaville resident, passed away Thursday, August 29, 2019.

Born August 30, 1956 in Oakland, CA, he was the son of the late Donald and Rita (Audet) Bradford.

He married Peigi Fairbairn and she survives at home in Richmondville.

A longtime EMT, he most recently worked EMS at Rivers Casino in Schenectady.

Previously he worked for many years as an EMT with Northern Dutchess Paramedics, based in Rhinebeck; with Catskill Ambulance and for Schoharie County.

Active in his community, Mr. Bradford was a longtime former member of the Milan Fire Department in Milan, and served as the lieutenant for their rescue squad.

He also enjoyed gem mining and all that mining entails. In addition to his wife, he is survived by: his children, Kayla Bradford of Fishkill, Jessica (Joel) Valente of Hudson, NC, Tanya (Corey) Bradford-Kilfoyle of Red Hook, Zachary (fiancée Katelynn) Bradford of Mooresboro, NC, and Jeremy (Abigail) Bradford of Eastbend, NC; his grandchildren, Chloe, Xander, Cassandra, Christian, Aubree, Giuliana, Caleb, Sierra, Kailyn, and Tyler; his stepchildren, Shannon Jones and Mike Jones; his step-grandchildren, Aurora and Lucas Harper; the mother of his children, Jacqueline Scalici of Greensboro, NC; along with extended family and countless colleagues and friends.

His granddaughter, Emilee Bradford predeceased him.

A celebration of Mr. Bradford’s life was held at the Burnett & White Funeral Homes, 7461 South Broadway, Red Hook, September 3, 2019. Interment will be private.

Memorial donations may be made in his memory to the Milan Fire Department/Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 400, Red Hook 12571.

Beverly F. Hofstetter (1932 – 2019)

HUDSON—Beverly Hofstetter, 87, a lifelong resident of Columbia County, passed away peacefully August 30, 2019 with her family and her dear friend, John Mizerak by her side.

Born April 11, 1932 in Wantagh, she was one of seven children of Arthur and Dorothy (Meyer) Campbell.

She earned her degree from Columbia Memorial Hospital School of Nursing after graduating from Martin H. Glynn School in Valatie.

Ms. Hofstetter spent many years working as a nurse at Columbia Memorial Hospital, the city health care clinic, and Eden Park Nursing Home. In retirement she worked as a teaching assistant at Questar providing love and care to many students.

She was a faithful member of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church and St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, both in Hudson. Ms. Hofstetter served on the Ladies Aid Society. She was also a member of Golden Agers, Life After Loss, and the Red Hatters. She led many programs that her children participated in such as the “Busy Bobbins” 4H club.

She loved entertaining and her home was a constant gathering place for friends and family for Sunday dinners, holidays, and other special occasions. She was the happiest surrounded by family and friends and always made everyone feel welcome in her home. Her family is very grateful for her faithful companion, John Mizerak, and for her amazing caregivers, Pam Coons and Lorraine Decker, who treated her like family and who she loved dearly.

Ms. Hofstetter is survived by: her brother, Francis (Jean) Campbell; her three daughters, Johanne Thomas, Kathy Mabb and Marlene (Charles) Parmentier; her grandchildren, Ben Thomas (Olivia Munroe), Jennifer (Douglas) Tanner, Jessica Goehring (Nathan See), Meghan Parmentier (TJ Merante), Christopher Parmentier and Caleigh Parmentier, were the light of her life. She was blessed with two great-grandchildren, Katelyn Thomas and Nikolaus Tanner; many nieces and nephews from the Campbells as well as her husband’s family (Marcia Ford, Richard Hofstetter and Chuck Hofstetter).

She was predeceased by her beloved husband of 50 years, Melvin, who was her partner in “Bev’s Tole Art.” He devotedly crafted a canvas from wood on which she skillfully painted keepsakes for many to love. She was known for her traditional Santas, each year creating a new addition to her collection. Together they spent weekends selling their creations at craft fairs and privately to many loyal customers who frequently stopped by her country shop, Weisland, in their Ghent home.

She was predeceased by: her siblings, Arthur “Sandy” Campbell, Muriel (Robert) Carylon, Gary Campbell, Daniel Campbell and Bonnie Rainwater.

A Christian Funeral was celebrated September 3, 2019 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 8 Storm Avenue, Hudson. Interment was in Kinderhook Cemetery.

Arrangements were with the Sacco-McDonald-Valenti Funeral Home, 700 Town Hall Drive, Greenport.

Priscilla J. Mullins (1922 – 2019)

HUDSON—Priscilla Jane Mullins of Hudson passed away September 1, 2019 after a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

“Pat,” as she was known to her many friends, was born August 17, 1922 in Hudson, where she resided her entire life. She was the daughter of Michael J. and Bessie Irene (Butts) Mullins, who preceded her in death.

Born and raised at 105 Worth Avenue, known as the gatehouse for the former New York State Training School for Girls, she graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in Hudson, where she was valedictorian of the class of 1940. She attended Mildred Elley School of Business in Albany before enlisting in the WAVES, or “Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service” in July 1944.

Following her honorable discharge from active military duty in August 1946, she enlisted in the Naval Reserve, retiring in July 1967 with the rank of chief yeoman, having served her country faithfully for 23 years. She also attended the Evening Division of Siena College, graduating in 1954 with a BBA in accounting.

Ms. Mullins continued her career as a dedicated public servant with the State of New York and retired as a chief budget analyst with the Department of Labor in March 1983.

In 1955, she and her brother, Jack and his wife, Joyce purchased the house at 38 South Fifth Street in Hudson where she resided for more than 50 years until she became ill. Although never married, Ms. Mullins took great joy and pride in being a “doting aunt” to her five nephews and nieces who grew up in that house with her. She helped instill in them her qualities of hard-work, honesty and personal responsibility.

She was a lifelong communicant of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, serving in many capacities including as a Eucharistic minister for many years.

Until her illness, she was active in Hudson Business and Professional Women’s Club and the Hudson Trippers. She was a volunteer for the Red Cross and was an avid bowler and golfer and loved to travel.

In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her brothers, John “Jack” and James and two sisters, Elizabeth Irene Harpman and Mary Frances Wilcox. She is survived by one brother-in-law, David Harmpan of Springfield, VA, and many nieces and nephews.

A visiting hour will be held Monday, September 9, 2019, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Sacco-McDonald-Valenti Funeral Home, 700 Town Hall Drive, Greenport. A Mass of Christian Burial follows at Holy Trinity Parish 429 East Allen Street, Hudson, 10 a.m., with Fr. Winston Bath officiating. Burial with Naval honors will be in the family plot at Cedar Park Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to a local Red Cross chapter or a favorite charity.

Gisella Massa-Castanza (1924 – 2019)

On August 18, 2019, Gisella Massa-Castanza died at the home of her daughter, Carolyn, in Fairfax, Virginia. She was born n North Hampton, Pennsylvania to the late Leo Fredrick and Theresa H. Ertl (nee Trobits) on August 17, 1924. Gisella and her husband Joseph A. Massa owned and operated for 9 years, the family restaurant, J and S Pizza in Baldwin, Long Island, NY.

Gisella is survived by her six children, Carolyn A. LaRosa (John), Dorothy A. Woods (Michael), Joseph A. Massa (Robin), Theresa A. Massa-Carrera, Giselle Marie Massi (Randall S. Brant) and Margaret McLeod (Robert); her 8 grandchildren, Mitchell Woods, Samantha Scaman, Heather, Morgan, Bradford and Bryant Massa, Dr. Jesse Marie Robertson and Michael LaRosa; and four great-grandchildren, Caroline and Joseph Scaman, Adam and Elliot Woods.

In addition to her parents, Gisella is predeceased by her husbands, Joseph A. Massa and John J. Castanza and her grandson, Christopher LaRosa.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Saint Mary of Sorrows Catholic Church-Worship Center, 5222 Sideburn Rd., Fairfax, VA 22032 on September 7, 2019 at 11 a.m.

Interment and private services will be held at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Poughkeepsie, New York, at a later date.

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