Donald Francis, 88, GE Employee

GHENT–Donald F. Francis, 88, of Hudson, died Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at Whittier Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center.

Born on January 22, 1922 in Hudson, he was the son of the late Frank and Minnie (Clark) Francis.

He was a life long resident of Hudson.

His loving wife, Mary Frances Francis, and his brother, Elden Francis, died previously.

He graduated from Hudson High School and later served in the U.S, Navy during World War II aboard the USS Caperton and the USS Pavlic.  The USS Pavlic was involved in the invasion of Si Pan and Okinawa in the Pacific Ocean Theater. It was the third ship to enter Tokyo Bay while escorting the USS Missouri, where the Peace Treaty to end WW II was signed on September 19, 1945. The ship was later stationed at Yokosuka Naval Base.

Mr. Francis worked for General Electric in the Large Motor and Generators Department for 39 1/2 years in Schenectady. He was a member of the Quarter Century Club, a member of the USS Pavlic Association (WW II Veteran), and a former member of Christ Church  in Hudson.

He is survived by four sons, Walter (Debbie) of Babylon, L.I., William (Pamela) of Annapolis, Md. and Wayne and Warren, both of Hudson; one step-son, Edwin (Karen) Smith of  East Rochester; and seven grandchildren, Kyle, Connor, Bridget, Emily, Julie, William, and Edwin, Jr.

Visiting hours are 6:30 to 8 p.m. today (Friday) at the Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home.

Burial will be in Cedar Park Cemetery in Hudson.


Eugene “Bud” Walker, Jr., former Canaan Protective Fire Co. chief

PITTSFIELD–Eugene ‘Bud” Wallace Walker Jr.,  life-long resident of Canaan, died January 26 at Berkshire Medical Center. He was born August 17, 1937 in Pittsfield and was the son of the late Eugene Wallace Sr. and Margaret Louise Casey Walker.

He graduated in 1954 from the New Lebanon High School. He went on to work for Sylvester Walker, his uncle, at Wild Print Shop in Valatie. In 1962 he entered the U.S. Air Force as a fire protective specialist. Over a year of his service was overseas, including time in Vietnam. He was honorably discharged in 1966. He then went to work for General Electric, in Pittsfiel, as a tool and die mechanic in their power transformer division, retiring at 55 after 26 years of service. Mr. Walker also worked for the Town of Canaan at various times during the years and after retirement he drove a school bus for New Lebanon School District until he became ill.

He joined the Canaan Protective Fire Company at the age of 18, serving as both a firefighter and EMT. He served as Chief for the Canaan Fire Company several times. He loved to hunt, trap, fish and garden. Mr. Walker was a past member of the Canaan Conservation Club. He was an avid reader, enjoyed local history and thoroughly enjoyed crossword puzzles. He loved people and enjoyed their company.

He is survived by his wife, Sally Lynn Stever Walker; daughter Colleen Brannan of Oneonta: son Craig Skerkis of Easton, Penn.; sister Judith Wear of Canaan; brother Philip “Skip” Walker of Clearwater, Fla.; five grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; and many friends.

Family will receive friends on Thursday, January 28, at the French, Gifford, Preiter & Blasl funeral home, Chatham from 6 to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be held Friday, January 29 at 11 a.m. from the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Canaan Protective Fire Department.

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Pearl VanBenschoten, 84, homemaker

PHILMONT–Pearl VanBenschoten, 84, of Hudson died Sunday January 24 at Pine Haven Nursing Home. She was 84.

Born in Hudson  December 23, 1924, she was the daughter of the late Benjamin and Anna (Brandt) Brackett.

Mrs. VanBenschoten was a homemaker and a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Stockport.

She is survived by one son, Ronald and (Betty) VanBenschoten on Columbiaville; one daughter, Carol and (Bob) Briggs of  Columbiaville; nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, as well as several nieces and nephews.

Her husband, Carroll VanBenschoten; one son, Floyd; and a great-grandson, Nicholas VanBenschoten died previously.

Calling hours will be Wednesday, January 27, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with funeral services to follow at 1 from McDonald-Valenti-Richards Funeral Home, 700 Town Hall Drive, Hudson.  Burial will be in the Stuyvesant Falls Cemetery. Pastor Michael Lindsey of Clermont Bible Church will officiate.

Memorial contributions have been requested to Community Hospice, 47 Liberty Street, Catskill, NY.


Evelyn Mortefolio, 84, beloved mother, grandmother, sister

GREENPORT–Evelyn E. Mortefolio, 84, passed away Saturday, January  23, 2010 at her residence.

Born February 28, 1925 in Dublin, Ga., she was the daughter of the late Narvus and Willie (Hall) Hightower.

Mrs. Mortefolio was a homemaker.

She was a former member of Mt. Carmel Church and a member of the Hudson Elks Club.

Mrs. Mortefolio was the beloved mother of Annette Longe of Greenport and Sandy Joseph Mortefolio of Schenectady; devoted grandmother of James Longe of Greenport and Spencer Mortefolio of Schenectady, and loving sister of Jean Shepard and Faye Johnson.  Also surviving are several nieces and nephews.

Her husband, Joseph Mortefolio; six brothers, J.D., Ralph, John A., Lyman, Cecil, and Bobby Hightower; and her sister Carolyn Logue died previously.

Prayers will be held at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 26, at the Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 2 p.m. from St. Mary’s Church, 429 E. Allen Street, Hudson.

Burial will be in Cedar Park Cemetery in Hudson.


Florence G. Hartson, family matriarch

HUDSON–Florence G. Hartson, 91, formerly of Elmsford, Westchester County, died Sunday, January 24, 2010 at Columbia Memorial Hospital.

Born April 11, 1918 in Belvidere, Ill., she was the daughter of Arthurlina and George Hill.

She moved to Elmsford at an early age, where she attended the Elmsford School District and Alexander Hamilton High School.

Mrs. Hartson married her childhood sweetheart, Robert M. Hartson on July 24, 1938 in Dobbs Ferry. Together they raised a loving family and resided in Elmsford for many years.

Mrs. Hartson briefly worked as an assistant lab technician during the early developmental stages of research on skin grafting.

She was an active member of the Westchester Girl Scout Council, dedicating over 30 years as a member and troop leader, and generously gave her time to the American Red Cross in White Plains.

Mrs. Hartson enjoyed gardening, dancing, and singing to big band music. She loved pets and enjoyed the many cats she had over the years.

Her husband, Robert, and her youngest daughter, Pamela Joy, died previously.

Mrs. Hartson is survived by her loving and dedicated daughter, Karen L. Nielsen of Craryville; her loving son, Donald M. Hartson of Yonkers; 11 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

She will be fondly remembered and sorely missed by her family and friends.

Visiting hours are 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, January 26, at the Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson.

Services will be follow at 8 p.m. from the funeral home.

Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Tarrytown.