OBITUARIES: Watson, Gibson, McCagg, Gordon-Pough, Wright, Mickle, McEachern, Connor, Wildey, Thomas

Joseph W. Watson (1952 – 2021)

VALATIE—In His own time, Lord Jesus rescued Joseph W. Watson from this earthly life, September 27, 2021.

He was born January 20, 1952 to Josephine E. King and Walter Watson. Later Kenneth F. Thompson became his never-failing lifetime stepdad—he died in 2020.

Mr. Watson worked at the L&B Furniture Manufacturing Company in Greenport and attended Columbia-Greene Community College before entering in the U.S. Navy in 1970. He will be missed for an ever affectionate “I love you” to those whom he greeted in Hannaford’s and McDonald’s.

He is survived first and foremost by his cat, Ruggie who enjoyed his endless expertly-strummed guitar ballads.

He is also survived by: brother, Donald Thompson (Liz) of Schodack Landing; niece, Kim and nephews, Billy and Donnie. He was predeceased by his sister, Darlene Smith (Carl); niece, Renee Miller of Valatie; great-nephew, David O’Donnell (Niccole), great-nieces, Brittany O’Donnell and Morgan Knott and three great-great-nieces.

Also surviving are: his sister, Irene Morrissey of Valatie; nephew, Jeffrey Morrissey (Lisa); great-nephews, Jonathan of Montana, Tyler and Cory; great-niece, Heather Park (Jeremy) of Stuyvesant Falls; three great-great nieces; niece, Antonette Wojeski (Stash) of Valatie; great-niece, Madelyn Peirce of FL; great-nephews, Ari Wojeski and USMC Troy Peirce of CA; nephew, Zachary Pesce (Nichole) of Valatie; great-nieces, Bella, Natalia and Juliet and siblings, Sherri Rosen of East Greenbush, Lisa Duncan of Stuart, FL, Eric Boles of Woodstock and Warren Mason of Ardmore, OK.

Funeral services will be held at the convenience of the family. Memorial donations may be made to the Columbia-Greene Humane Society. Arrangements are under the direction of the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, Valatie.

Linda Gibson

Linda I. Gibson (1943 – 2021)

ALBANY—Linda Irene Gibson, 78, of Chatham passed away peacefully at Albany Medical Center in the warm morning light with family by her side, September 29, 2021.

She was born in Queens to Irene Thiel (Nilsen) and Charles Thiel, March 9, 1943. She was an avid gardener who was often seen volunteering in the village circle gardens in the early morning. She was most known and loved for her beautiful poppies. She lived for her family and beloved grandchildren.

She was a loving wife, mother, adored grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. She is survived by the love of her life and husband of 59 years, William T. Gibson; five daughters, Linda, Kelly Mueller (Thomas), Cathy Dame, Christine Benson and Jennifer Beck (Russell); 15 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren; sister, Susan Borelli (Thiel), and wonderful sisters-in-law. She was predeceased by her parents; brother, Ronald Thiel and her sisters-in-law, Barbara and Madeline. The family thanks the Chatham Rescue Squad and the staff of D4E at Albany Medical Center for making a difference in her final days.

A Catholic Mass was conducted at Saint John the Baptist Church, Valatie, October 4. Arrangements were under the direction of the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, Valatie.

Barbara McCagg

Barbara A. McCagg (1947 – 2021)

HUDSON—Barbara Ann McCagg, 74, of Hudson passed away Thursday, September 23 2021 at Columbia Memorial Hospital. “Bubba, “Yo Momma,” “Nanny” McCagg born July 11, 1947 in Hudson, was the daughter of the late Donald and Olga (Krott) McCagg.

She retired from Price Chopper after 40 years of dedication. She was a leader and committee member for Cub Scout Pack 007 and Boy Scout Troop 102 for many years. She was also a bowler with the seniorette bowling league until the closure of Hendrick Hudson Lanes in Hudson.

She is lovingly missed by her longtime partner, Elizibeth “Betty” Urban; her daughter, Wendy Urban-O’Leary; her grandchildren, Noah (Kayla) O’Leary, Brianna, Rachel and Sara O’Leary; great-granddaughter, Leah O’Leary, and her sister, Donna Wheeler. She also leaves behind her nieces, Alexis Duggar, Meagan Wheeler and Denise Hansen; her nephews, Joseph McCagg, John Hart, Jr., Donald Brennan along with many great-nieces and great-nephews.

She will always be treasured and missed by her many family and friends in New York, West Virginia and Las Vegas. She was predeceased by: her brother, Stanley McCagg; her sister, Betty Hart and her favorite aunt, Lavina “Aunt Vonnie” McCagg. In lieu of services the family will host a celebration of life to be announced at a later date. Arrangements are under the direction of the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, Valatie.

Donna L. Gordon-Pough (1959 – 2021)

GREENPORT—Donna Lee (Taylor) Gordon-Pough of Greenport died Sunday, September 26, 2021 peacefully surrounded by family.

She was born July 21, 1959 in Hudson to James J. Taylor and Susan E. (Mathew) Taylor. She graduated from Taconic Hills High School June 26, 1977.

She became a mother to a daughter in 1981 and a son in 1984.

She would have said her career was as a homemaker so she could be home to raise her children. But she was also a bookkeeper and secretary for many years for G & S Excavating and Gordon Trucking. She also was a secretary for the Firemen’s Home, Mulhern Propane, and until June 2021 she worked for the U.S. Census Bureau before taking a leave.

There was not anything this woman could not do. From helping build an airplane, raising two amazing children, being a “Nana,” rib stitching wings, sewing, writing, painting, croquet anything, and helping anyone that she could. She loved her family and would have given them anything. She loved anything Disney, especially Walt Disney World. She found her peace at the beach. She love to travel in general.

Ms. Gordon-Pough is survived by: her daughter, Jessica Gordon Metz (Jerome); her son, William F. Gordon, IV; three grandsons, Jordan, Jonathan and Jacob Metz, all of Ancramdale; her husband, Keith B. Pough of Greenport; her two stepchildren and 10 step-grandchildren; her sister, Deborah (Carl) Bolstad; brothers, James, David (Jeanette), Alexander and Joseph Taylor; her niece, Sarah (Isaac) Casanova, who was like a daughter to her; many nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was predeceased by: her father, James J. and mother Susan E. Taylor; maternal grandparents, Alexander Mathew, Frances (Mathew) and Albert Martin; paternal grandparents, Joseph and Taylor; and her first husband, William Gordon, III with whom she shared her children.

A public memorial service was held October 3 at the Bates & Anderson-Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, Hudson.

Edward F. Wright (1937 – 2021)

HUDSON—Edward F. Wright, Jr., 84, of Hudson passed away Friday, October 1, 2021, in the comfort of his home surrounded by his family.

Born May 6, 1937 in Stockport, he was the son of Edward F. and Maude (Moffit) Wright, Sr. “Ed” was a crane operator at the Universal Atlas Cement Corp., prior to working for MetroNorth Railroad as a welder. He retired after an 18 year career with MetroNorth. He was a devoted and loving family man. An avid outdoorsman, he loved bass fishing; waterfowl and deer hunting; the Hudson River and spending time at his camp there. He also excelled at bowling, winning numerous tournaments throughout his career. A true patriot, and one who loved his country, He proudly served in the United States Army Reserves from 1959 to 1963.

He will be forever loved and remembered by: his children, Thomas and David Wright of Hudson, Jo-An (Christopher) Ellithorpe of Claverack, Valerie (Kevin) Weis of Preston Hollow, and Pamela Saunders of Delmar; grandchildren, Richard Porreca of Duanesburg, Jack and Liam Saunders of Stillwater, and Jeremy and Alyssa Ellithorpe of Claverack; great-grandchildren, Gabriel and Jade of Claverack; two sisters Gertrude Leck of Greenport and Dorothy Weed of Philmont and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Mr. Wright was predeceased by: his wife, Nancy (Van Bramer) Wright; son, William Wright and daughter, Cynthia Wright.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday October 6, 1 p.m. from Holy Trinity St. Mary’s Parish in Hudson. Burial with military honors will be in Cedar Park Cemetery. Visitation prior to Mass will be from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Bates & Anderson-Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home. Contributions in his memory may be made to Community Hospice of Columbia-Greene.

William H. Mickle (1943 – 2021)

CHATHAM—William “Bill” H. Mickle was born April 20, 1943 in Dayton, Ohio, and passed away peacefully, surrounded by family after a short illness, September 27, 2021.

After moving to Chatham at age 7, he graduated from Chatham High School, class of ’61. He later attended SUNY Morrisville, earning his degree in electrical engineering.

He spent his career working for New York Telephone later Verizon. After retiring he enjoyed working at Energy-Onix Broadcast Equipment in Valatie as an electrical engineer.

He was a life-member of the Columbia County Agricultural Society and a life-member of Columbia County ABATE. He enjoyed time spent with family, friends and his furry pet friends.

Mr. Mickle was predeceased by: his mother, Mary Josephine Fred and his father, Phillip D. Mickle, Sr., as well as a brother, Phillip D. Mickle, Jr.

He is survived by: his loving wife of 41 years, Michele Mickle; sons, Michael (Jen) Mickle of East Chatham, David and Robert Mickle, both of Chatham and Jason (Rachel) Shatney of Canaan; his grandchildren, Cody, Evan and Alexandra Mickle; sisters, Patricia Kipp of West Sand Lake and Pamela Mickle of Hudson; brother- and sister-in-laws; many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and -nephews.

There will be a private service for family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the William H. Mickle Memorial Scholarship fund. Condolences may be conveyed at frenchblasl.com.

William McEachern

William J. McEachern (1934 – 2021)

CHATHAM—William J. “Bill,” “Papa” McEachern, 87, a resident of Chatham passed peacefully at his home Tuesday, September 28, 2021. He was born in Mohawk, March 14, 1934, the son of Francis and Josephine (Corcoran) McEachern.

He attended Mohawk High School, graduating in 1952. He served in Panama with the U.S. Army. After serving, he moved to Redfield, where he met his bride, Beverly (Falvey). They were married August 11, 1962 at St. Mary’s Church in Florence. He was a highway engineer for NYS until his retirement. A long-time Scouter, he was Scoutmaster of Troop 29 in Herkimer, where his love of the outdoors was shared by many a Scout. He was a member of St. James Church in Chatham and St Joseph’s. A long-time Elk in Herkimer, he was Elk of the Year in 1989. His voice could be heard at the numerous sporting events played by his grandchildren—his love for them knew no bounds. He became everyone’s grandfather, and was known by all as “Papa.” He was preceded in heaven by his wife, Beverly; his son, Shawn McEachern and his sisters, Jane Smith and Elizabeth Volk.

He is survived by: his son, Timothy McEachern and wife Andrea Gabel of Spencertown; his daughter, Tracy Tassinari and husband Samuel Tassinari of Spencertown; his grandchildren, William, Frieda, Jack, Emma (McEachern) and her husband Ian French, Alice, Helen, and Lucy Tassinari, Joseph and his wife Hannah Cozzolino, Thomas Cozzolino, Joseph and Jacob Gabel. He will be fondly remembered by his many in-laws, nieces, nephews and cousins.

A graveside service was conducted October 2 in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Florence.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Chatham Rescue Squad. Condolences may be conveyed at frenchblasl.com.

John Connor

Judge John G. Connor (1931 – 2021)

HUDSON—In love and in sorrow, his family mourns the loss of Judge John G. Connor of Hudson, who passed away peacefully October 4, 2021 at the age of 90.

Born June 24, 1931 in Albany, he was a devoted and loving family man, a gifted attorney, and a justice who dutifully served for more than two decades on New York State’s Supreme Court.

A graduate of Philmont High School, he pitched a no-hitter for the baseball team his senior year and graduated in the top 11 of his class. He attended St. Michael’s College and served two years in the U.S. Army before graduating from Albany Law School in 1957. Upon passing the Bar, he formed the legal firm Connor, Millman & Connor with his father, which later became Connor, Curran, Connor, Flint & Schram.

Prior to his tenure on the bench for the State of New York, highlights to his early legal career include being the first Democrat elected District Attorney in Columbia County in over a century and serving as the village attorney for Philmont for many years. He was president of the Columbia County Bar Association from 1980 to 1983, a member of the Board of Trustees of Columbia-Greene Community College from 1980 to 1986, and a member of the Knights of Columbus, the American Legion, and the Hudson Elks Club.

Professionally, he was best known for serving as a Supreme Court Justice for New York’s 3rd District following his election in 1982 and reelection in 1996. He served with consistency and with compassion for 24 years until his retirement in 2006. Following his retirement from the bench, he practiced law with his son, John Jr., at the firm Connor & Connor. He spent much of his legal career as an advocate for the downtrodden and the underdogs.

Known for his infectious laugh and sense of humor, he was beloved in the community. He was a skilled pianist, an ardent Democrat, a diehard fan of the Boston Red Sox, and a lifelong learner who never ceased to be determined to take on new hobbies, learn new instruments, or master the newest Apple products. He loved politics, investing and traveling the world with Joan, his travel partner of more than 70 years.

Judge Connor was predeceased by: his parents, Judge William E.J. and Mildred Connor, and sisters, Patricia Murphy and Eileen Clark.

He is survived by: his high school sweetheart and wife of 64 years, Joan Connor, as well as his children, John “Jack” (Anne) Connor, Jr., James “Jimmy” (Darcy) Connor, and Jennifer (Tim) Shumsky; his grandchildren, Emily Connor, Allison (Mike) Konderwich, Brendan Connor, Caroline Connor, TJ Shumsky, Jameson Connor and Lexi Shumsky; and his great-granddaughter, Ella Konderwich; his siblings, William Connor and Marylou (John) McCall, and several nieces, nephews, and dear friends, including Cleveland Samuels.

Visitation hours will be held at Bates & Anderson-Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, Green Street, Hudson, Thursday, October 7 from 5 to 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated from St. Mary’s Church, Friday, October 8 at 10:30 a.m. Masks and vaccines are required for both events.

In lieu of flowers consider a donation to the Salvation Army of Hudson, P.O. Box 746, Hudson 12534, a charity near to his heart.

Roland Wildey

Roland D. Wildey (1944 – 2021)

LIVINGSTON—Roland Douglas Wildey of Livingston entered into eternal life peacefully surrounded by his children, October 1, 2021.

He was born October 13, 1944 in Yonkers to the late Roland and Mary Wildey.

He was a 1962 graduate of Lincoln High School in Yonkers, where he met the love of his life, Emily at just 16 years old.

After graduation he began working for Con Edison and attended Hudson Valley Community College earning is AAS.

He married Emily Lynch, October 3, 1964 and their love story continued.

He attended the New York State Police Academy in June 1967, becoming a trooper, a career which not only followed in his father’s footsteps but a career he excelled in. He dedicated himself to the community he served with professionalism, integrity, honor, compassion. The same qualities he brought to his family life.

He was a loving husband and father. His children grew up with so much love, security, stability and were taught to live their lives with that honor, integrity and love he showed and taught them.

He was stationed at SP Loudonville and the transferred to Troop K, SP Claverack. He and Emily fell in love with Columbia County and together they built their forever home in Livingston.

While working as a trooper, he continued his education earning both his BA and MBA from the University of Albany.

During his career, he earned many commendations and was the subject of an article entitled “A Day in the life of a State Trooper” in a 1975 Reader’s Digest.

Retiring in 1987 after 20 years of service, he began a second career as director of Protective Services at St Peter’s Hospital, Albany, finally retiring in 1997.

He was predeceased by: the love of his life, Emily (Lynch) Wildey; his parents, Roland and Mary (Burke) Wildey; his brother, Robert “Bob” Wildey; his beloved first grandchild, Danielle E. Fallon, and his faithful parrot, Murphy.

He leaves behind: his broken-hearted children, Douglas (Maria) Wildey of Amsterdam, Heather (Robert) DeFrancesco of Bayou La Batre, AL, Faith (Walter) Kubow of Valatie; five grandchildren, Walter J. Kubow, III, Matthew Kubow, Samantha Kubow, Dresden Wildey, Anastasia Wildey; four great-grandchildren and a fifth due in December; his beloved brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Sandy Lynch of Endicott; adored niece, Anne Wildey of Lagrange; Jack, his Amazon parrot, and many friends.

“We as his children will miss his love, advice, philosophies, friendship, long phone calls and huge warm hugs. Our father has always given us 100% of himself and we can only pray to be as kind, admirable, and honorable a person he was. We will continue to make you proud Dad, our father, our friend.

We would like to send a special thank you to the nurses and doctors at CMH.”

Visitation hours at the Bates & Anderson-Redmond & Keeler Funeral will be Saturday, October 9, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by funeral services at the Livingston Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Wounded Warrior Foundation or the NYS Trooper Foundation.

Stephen Thomas

Stephen F. Thomas (2001 – 2021)

ALBANY—Stephen Frederick Thomas, 20, who grew up in Germantown and recently lived in Phoenicia, passed away Tuesday, September 28, 2021 at the Albany Medical Center after a lifelong courageous battle with Epidermolysis Bullosa.

Born September 20, 2001 in Hudson, he was the son of the late William Thomas and Sandra (Underwood) Dart of Hudson. Though his time on earth was short, the lives that he touched were countless.

He was an avid NASCAR fan. He enjoyed everything about the sport, the organization and the drivers. He could often be seen wearing a NASCAR hat or talking about Hendrick Motorsports and the #24 car. His Make-A-Wish was granted in 2010, when he met his hero, Jeff Gordon. He was so proud to have been to six tracks this year to see the races in person. Some of his other interests included listening to music; his TV shows, like Survivor, Deadliest Catch and Gold Rush; eBay shopping for his diecast collection, road trips, especially to Stewart’s for his beloved milk and always working on fulfilling his Bucket List.

In addition to his loving mother, Sandra and step-father William Dart; he is survived by: his sister, Krysta Slemp of Hudson; his brother, Mike Thomas; his niece and nephew, Jayden and Aria; his best friends and caregivers, Molly Holm and Geoff Baer of Phoenicia; his maternal grandparents, Julie and John Meacher; his brother-in-law, Brendon Monk; his step-brothers, BJ and Joseph Dart; many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and countless friends.

He was predeceased by: his paternal grandparents, Leslie and Mabel Durant, and his nephew, Camron.

Memorial donations may be made to the Debra Organization online at https://www.debra.org/.

Funeral services begin at 11 a.m., Saturday, October 16, 2021 at Burnett & White Funeral Homes, 7461 South Broadway, Red Hook. Interment will be private. A celebration of life gathering will follow, additional details will be announced.

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