Harold “Doc” Cummings, 89, 60-year veterinarian

CHATHAM–Harold J. “Doc” Cummings, DVM, passed away at his home on Monday, November 9, 2009.

Dr. Cummings was born in Albany, September1, 1920, son of the late Arthur L. and Elsie Deckett Cummings. Growing up in the Alps, Rensselaer Co., he graduated from Averill Park High School. In 1945, “Doc” received his doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University. He joined the Army while in college, receiving an honorable discharge in June, 1944.

On June 26, 1943, Dr. Cummings was married to Rosa M. Peters at Spring Valley, Rockland County.

Dr. Cummings began his veterinary career in Millbrook, and in the late 1940s, opened his office in East Chatham. He practiced for over 60 years, treating large animals on farms in Columbia and Rensselaer counties, and family pets at his hospital in Chatham. Up until the time of his death, Dr. Cummings ran rabies clinics for the Columbia County Department of Health. He also worked as a regional veterinarian for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets. One of his favorite duties was overseeing the livestock at local county fairs

Throughout his lifetime, Dr. Cummings continued to learn new skills and hobbies. He earned his private pilot’s license in the 1960s and was part owner of a single engine plane. For many years, he raised Dorset sheep and helped to establish the sheep and wool display at the Columbia County Fair. “Doc” was named NYS Shepherd of the Year in 1994. He mastered the art of making maple syrup, and shared that knowledge with the many friends who helped him. After learning the artistry of creating Shaker-style boxes, his latest pastime was whittling, a skill he honed at local community events and with his fellow carvers at the Mohawk Valley Art and Wood Carving Association in Amsterdam, Montgomery County.

Dr. Cummings was a lifetime member of the East Chatham Fire Company and the Columbia County Agricultural Society. He served many years as a board member of the former State Bank of Albany, and was a member and officer of the Chatham Exchange Club. “Doc” was a past-president of the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia Co., and was a proud member of the Columbia Car Club. Professionally, he was a member of the Capital District Veterinary Society and the Alumni of Cornell University.

Along with his wife of 66 years, Rosa, Dr. Cummings is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Steve and Dianna Cummings of Greenfield, Ind., and his daughter and son-in-law, Nancy and Art Hammell of Old Chatham. He is also survived by five grandchildren, Christa Cummings of Greenfield, Ind., Ryan Cummings and his wife, Monica, of South Bend, Ind., Courtney Cummings Eddy and her husband, Brian, of Greenfield,  Mark Hammell and his wife, Delynn, of Union City, Cal.,, and Carrie Hammell Torey and her husband, Adam, of Gainesville, Fla.; and one great-grandchild, Matthew Cummings of South Bend.

Family will receive friends Friday, November 13 from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at the French, Gifford, Preiter & Blasl funeral home, Chatham. Religious services will be offered at the funeral home on Saturday at 10 a.m. Burial will follow at the Chatham Rural Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Ghent Food Pantry, Ghent Town Hall, Ghent, NY 12075, or the Chatham Public Library, 11 Woodbridge Ave., Chatham, NY 12037.

For directions or to send an online condolence, visit www.frenchblasl.com.




Bruce Clark, 48, fisherman, hunter

Bruce W. Clark, 48, of Greenport, died Friday, November 6, 2009 at Columbia Memorial Hospital.

Born May 22, 1961 in Hudson, he was the son of Elsie (Rousseau) Clark of Hudson and the late Harvey Clark, Sr.

Mr. Clark was employed in maintenance at the N.Y.S.D.O.T. in Martindale. Prior to that he was a self-employed carpenter.

He lived all his life in the Hudson area and was a member of the Federation of Polish Sportsmen club. He was an avid fisherman and hunter.

In addition to his mother, surviving are his wife, Pamela (Vertetis) Clark of Greenport; two sons, Eric Clark and Ryan Clark, both of Hudson; his daughter, Jennifer Clark

of Hudson; two brothers, Harvey Clark, Jr. of Hudson and Gary Clark of Gloversville, and many nieces and nephews.

Calling hours are 6 to 8 p.m. today (Tuesday) at the Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.

Burial will be in Cedar Park Cemetery.


Paul J. DeCheck, 82, prided himself on maintaining his church

HUDSON—Paul J. DeCheck, 82, of Germantown, died Saturday, November 7, 2009 at Columbia Memorial Hospital.

Mr. DeCheck was born June 12, 1927 in Cold Spring, Putnam County, a son of the late: Jack and Katherine (MeKeel) DeCheck.

Mr. DeCheck had served in the U.S. Navy during WWI I and was a member of the Jennings Willet American Legion Post of Germantown.

Prior to his retirement he had been employed as a steel fabricator and lay-out man at PMI Inc. of Hudson. He had worked for many years at the Yadack-Fox Funeral Home of Germantown.

Mr. DeCheck, a loving husband, father and grandfather, was a member of the Church of the Resurrection of Germantown and particularly noted for his devotion to the janitorial duties and maintenance of the church. He enjoyed Native American history, hunting and fishing, woodworking, music and theater and was an avid N.Y. Mets fan.

Survivors include his wife, Peg (Griffin) DeCheck, whom he married January 22, 1949; one son, Michael DeCheck of Germantown; four daughters, Paula Anderson of Germantown, Monica Jackson of N.H., Maureen DeCheck of East Greenbush and Colleen  Choppy of Latham; one sister, Helen Sullivan of Glens Falls, Warren County: 11 grandchildren; 6 great grandchildren; and two nieces. 

Two brothers, Orin DeCheck and Robert DeCheck, died previously

Services will be held at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday from the funeral home and 10 a.m. at the Church of the Resurrection, where the Rev. Winston Bath will celebrate a Mass of the Christian Burial. Burial will follow in the Reformed Church Cemetery of Germantown.

Memorial donations are requested to the Holy Trinity Parish Church of the Resurrection   P.O. Box 96, Germantown, NY 12526

Condolences may be expressed at www.yadackfox.com

Janet Nelson, 75, devoted her life to her family

COLUMBIAVILLE–Janet C. Nelson, 75, of Livingston, died November 8, 2009.

Born In Brooklyn July 13, 1934, she was the daughter of the late William Beck and Ida J. (Lindner) Nelson.

Mrs. Nelson was an accredited medical technician for the Wassaic Developmental Center and a pianist who played for various churches.

She was a homemaker who devoted her life to her children and grandchildren. She was the beloved mother of Karl S. Ferber of Livingston, Christopher Ferber of Wassaic, Karen Shields of Columbiaville, and Pamela Ferber of Chatham; sister to James Nelson of Mill Neck, Nassau County; grandmother of four, Natasha and Alexander Winters, Gunnar and Max Wordon; and aunt to several nieces and nephews.  A brother, William Nelson, died previously.

A celebration of Mrs. Nelson’s life will be held Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, Inc., Route 9, Valatie. Burial will be at the convenience of the family.

For those who wish, contributions may be made to The Community Hospice of Columbia-Greene, 47 Liberty Street, Catskill, NY 12414.

Richard Rivenburg, 71, loving father, grandfather, brother

HUDSON–Richard P. Rivenburg, 71, of Hudson died Friday, November 6, 2009 at Columbia Memorial Hospital after a long illness.

Born October 1, 1938 in Hudson he was the son of the late: Henry and Margaret (Rousseau) Rivenburg.

Mr. Rivenburg was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, having served from 1956 to 1959 and before his retirement he had been employed as a truck driver with George Hildebrant Trucking of Claverack for many years.

Mr. Rivenburg was a loving father, grandfather, and brother who enjoyed hunting and fishing.

Survivors include his son, Dean Scott Rivenburg of Dacula, Ga.; three daughters; Lori Allen of Bethlehem, Ga., Rebecca Ann Callaway of Hudson, Michelle Lynn Rivenburg of Bethlehem, Ga.; three brothers: Henry Rivenburg, Michael Rivenburg, Frederick Rivenburg, all of Hudson; four grandchildren; one great grandchild, and several nieces and nephews.

Calling hours will be Sunday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at the Yadack-Fox Funeral Home of Germantown.

Services will be held at  8 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home with the Rev. Mark Frickey, pastor of Christ Lutheran Church of Viewmont officiating.

Interment will be at the convenience of the family

Condolences may be expressed at www.yadackfox.com