Richard “Dick” Dunham,80, a Rockefeller confidant

ALBANY—Sadly, Richard L. “Dick” Dunham, 80, of Malden Bridge, passed away with his family at his side on January 21 at the Hospice Inn at St. Peter’s Hospital.


Born on November 25, 1929 to Norton and Jane (Deming) Dunham in Rochester, he was educated in Irondequoit public schools and graduated from high school in 1947. He Richard Dunhamearned a B.A. from the Univ. of Rochester in 1951 and an M.A. from the Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1960.

Known to his friends and family as Dick, he had a long and distinguished career in public service and in the private sector. He proudly worked for the State of New York for 18 years under governors Thomas Dewey, Nelson A. Rockefeller and Malcolm Wilson. He began his career with the Division of the Budget as an intern in 1954. He later moved to Columbus, Ohion to take a position with the Ohio State Legislature, where he met his wife of 52 years, Evelyn L. Lutz.

In September 1957, the couple married and Mr. Dunham took an assignment to serve two years with the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service as a financial advisor to the government of Cambodia. Mr. Dunham returned to Albany to work in the Division of the Budget in 1964. He served as a deputy budget director for Gov. Rockefeller, and served as Director of the Budget from 1971 to 1974. Mr. Dunham was invited by Gov. Rockefeller to join his team in Washington when President Gerald Ford appointed him as Vice President in 1974. Mr. Dunham held the position of deputy director of the White House Domestic Council and in October 1975 was appointed chairman of the Federal Power Commission, known today as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, where he served under Presidents Ford and Carter until August 1977. He testified before Congress on numerous occasions, including a report concerning the New York City blackout of 1977.

Mr. Dunham was president of H. Zinder & Associates, an economic and regulatory consulting firm in Washington, D.C., during the 1980s. He was asked to provide advice and expertise on the energy/natural gas industry to many corporate boards including the Gas Research Institute, TPI Corporation, and South Jersey Industries. He served on SJI’s Board of Directors for 18 years from 1984 to 2002, and as chairman and acting CEO from 1998-2b00.

After he “retired” at age 70, Mr. Dunham continued to serve as a Board member of the Albany Medical Center Foundation. He established an Endowed Lectureship Fund in his name for the Division of Urology at Albany Medical College. In addition he was a committee member of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, and a member of the Rockefeller College Advisory Board, on which he served from 2003-2008. The State University of New York Rockefeller College of Public Affairs honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Public Service in November 2008.

Mr. Dunham was a devoted husband, wonderful father and grandfather, and friend. He loved the outdoors, especially his “back 40” in Malden Bridge along the Kinderhook Creek. He was an avid downhill skier and hiker in the Adirondacks. Mr. Dunham and his wife traveled the world, visiting more than 30 countries.

Surviving him are his loving family, his wife, Evelyn “Pat” Dunham of Malden Bridge; his two daughters, Jennifer Dunham of Rochester and Marilyn Dunham (Darrell) Fountain of Niskayuna; and his son, David (Tonjia) Dunham of Rochester; six grandchildren, as well as his wife’s twin sister, Dr. Emily E. Lutz of Circleville, Ohio and many other family members.

At his request, there will be no calling hours and burial will be private at the convenience of the family. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 6, at the Malden Bridge Community Center from 3 to 5 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Mr. Dunham’s memory may be made to the Columbia Land Conservancy P.O. Box 299/49 Main St. Chatham, NY 12037 or the American Lung Association.

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Dorothy “Dottie” Hawver, 94, loved animals, bowling and singing

PHILMONT–Dorothy “Dottie” Hawver, 94, of Hudson, passed away Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010 at Pine Haven Nursing Home.

Mrs. Hawver was born in Humphreyville on October 23, 1915.  She was the daughter of Charles and Nellie May Crosby.

She spent her youth on various farms in Columbia County, as her father was a farmer.

She lived most of her adult life in Hudson, where she met and married her only true love, George A. Hawver, Jr. They were married for 57 years.

Mrs. Hawver was a cook at the John L. Edwards School for many years.

She loved her church, St. Matthew’s Lutheran, and was faithful in attendance and support.

Mrs. Hawver loved animals, bowling, and singing. She also loved to read romance novels, but most of all, she loved her children and grandchildren, and how much they all loved her.

She moved to Pine Haven in March of 2001, where she continued to make friends, sing and laugh, and was well looked after.

Her husband, George; her parents; her step-mother, Elizabeth Brizzi; her brothers, Charles, William, Richard, Willard, and Harold Crosby; and her sisters, Margaret Allen, Agnes Crosby, Louise Adjutant, Myrtle Riley, and Marie Jennings, died previously.

She is survived by her three children, Patricia (Vincent) Wallace of Claverack, George A. Hawver, III of Black River, and Charles W. Hawver of Greenport; nine grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours are 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson.

Services will follow at 6 p.m. from the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Columbia Greene Humane Society.


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.