Constance M. Valden (1932 – 2021)
ANCRAMDALE—Constance Marie (Anderson) Valden, 89, of Ancramdale died at home Tuesday, October 12, 2021. She was where she wanted to be.
Born at home August 8, 1932 in the Village of Brewster, Putnam County, she was the fourth of five children born to Charles Oscar and Elizabeth (Hollick) Anderson.
Her father worked for the railroad and her mother was a homemaker.
She was a Class of 1950 Brewster High School graduate. During her high school years she was a cheerleader and baton twirler. She played the trombone in the high school band, sang in the chorus, worked on the school yearbook and played field hockey.
Five foot two, eyes of blue, her classmates thought of her as fun-loving, sweet and unforgettable.
It was as a cheerleader for the Brewster Bears that she met her future husband, Stuart Heady Valden, who was a player on the rival Purdys High School (North Salem) Tigers football team.
After graduation, “Connie” went to work in a clothing store on Main Street in Brewster. Living in a village, she could walk to her job and most anywhere else she needed to go: the Cameo movie theater, the local soda shop or the neighborhood grocery store.
Following Stuart’s return home from service with the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, the couple married at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Brewster, September 7, 1952.
Stuart was a dairy farmer and brought his new bride to live on his farm on Hardscrabble Road in North Salem, Westchester County.
Cows, pigs, chickens, a lamb or two, cats, dogs and horses occupied the couple’s time and attention until children started showing up—six of them in ten years from 1953 to 1963.
Connie dedicated herself to raising the children and making a cozy home. She never shied away from hard work, and the work was never done.
She was a member of St. James Episcopal Church in North Salem and took her children to Sunday school regularly.
In 1969, the family moved from North Salem to a 200-acre dairy farm in Ancramdale, Columbia County. There they settled on Val-Kest Farm and have lived there ever since.
After her children grew up, she took care of many of her grandchildren. Still she found time to be part of the community and made many dear friends.
She became a member of the Church of St. John in the Wilderness, Episcopal, in Copake Falls and sang in the church choir. Her faith in God was strong and she hoped to instill the same belief in her children and grandchildren.
Through the years, she let her soprano/tenor voice be heard as a part of many community singing groups, like the Cobbletones, the Hill and Dale Songsters, the Philmont Chorus and the Roeliff Jansen Concert Choir. Music was in her soul and if she wasn’t singing, she was listening to music or practicing for her next performance.
She was always on the dance floor when music of any genre was playing at parties or events. She was light on her feet and could skate rings around anyone. She was a joyful, kind spirit who could find good in everyone.
Always the caregiver, after her husband died in 1984, she brought her mother to live on the farm and took care of her until she died in 1991.
In her senior years, she helped her elderly friends. She volunteered as a Meals-on-Wheels delivery person. She helped her friends at the Copake United Methodist Church by working at their Bargain Shop weekly. She was a member of the Roe Jan Young-at-Hearters and the New York Farm Bureau.
She drove her friends where they needed to go and checked on them regularly. She took on the care of one friend with dementia, who had no family to help her.
She lived a healthy lifestyle and was never one to overindulge. She never smoked or drank, was a devoted walker and regularly attended local exercise classes. She never sat still.
In later years a small stroke robbed of her singing voice. She defied cancer to the end. Through it all, she did things her own way with grace, strength and courage.
She is survived by: her children, Diane Valden of Ancramdale, Stuart (Lucy) Valden of FL, Carolyn Dobrowski of Taghkanic, Keith Valden of Ancramdale and Sharon (Dave) Cramer of East Greenbush; her 14 grandchildren, Abigail (Nicholas) Della Cerra, Laura (Orlando) Vega, John-Luke Valden, Keaton (Dayan) Cooper, Griffin Cooper (fiancee Charlotte Sheridan), Hayley (Brett) Boyles, Jennifer (Jeremy) Moore, Michael Valden, Nicole (Dan) Shook, Angela Valden, Elizabeth Valden, Jacqueline Weaver (Michael Cunningham), Jessica Cramer and Kimberly Cramer; six great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her parents; her husband; her infant son, Stephen Charles Valden in 1954; her son, David Valden and her son-in-law, Steven Dobrowski in 2020; her siblings, Charles, Jeanette, Carol and John.
Visitation takes place Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at the Bates and Anderson Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson from 11 am to 1 p.m. A funeral service will be held at the funeral home at beginning at 1 p.m. Burial will follow at the Church of St. John in the Wilderness, 261 Route 344, Copake Falls. A reception for family and friends will be held at The Pond Restaurant, 711 County Route 3, Ancramdale.
Donations in her memory may be made to the Community Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 327, Copake 12516 or the Church of St. John in the Wilderness, P.O. Box 180, Copake Falls 12517.