Margaret E. Skarka, 91, talented, capable, loving outdoorswoman


PHILMONT–Margaret (Peggy) E. Skarka, 91, of Hudson, died Thursday, July 9, 2009 at Pine Haven Nursing Home.

Ms. Skarka was born July 30, 1917 in Willimantic, Conn. to Charles (Karol) Skarka and Anna Misovich Skarka. The family moved to New York City when Ms. Skarka was five, where she lived and worked until she relocated to Columbia County and purchased her own home in the hamlet of Mellenville around 1949.

An intelligent and artistic woman, Ms. Skarka received high honors in school, as well as recognition and awards for her artwork. Prior to relocation to Columbia County, Ms. Skarka was employed by the Department of the U.S. Navy and was a recipient of a Governmental Certificate of Acknowledgment and Appreciation for her contribution to work on the Norden Bomb Sight Project.

After relocation to Columbia County, Ms. Skarka opened her own business, Peggy’s Beauty Salon in Philmont,which further expanded into Peggy’s General Store. Margaret operated the businesses until her retirement.

Ms. Skarka became a member of the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Philmont and contributed a great deal of time and effort to the design and care of the church gardens.

Ms. Skarka was an accomplished business woman, pianist, gardener, seamstress and avid reader. As well as being athletic and a lover of the outdoors, animals and nature, she enjoyed bowling, swimming, and horseback riding. She was a talented, exceptionally capable, strong, loving and generous woman with a delightful sense of humor–and she will be greatly missed.

Surviving are two daughters, Charlene Jane (Akelaitis) Jones of Cary, N.C. and Lorraine Beth (Akelaitis) Rizzi, as well as one grandson, Michael Ryan Rizzi and Ms. Skarka’s beloved son-in-law, Thomas M. Rizzi (all of Ghent). She is also survived by several cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Two sisters, Irene (Skarka) Martin and Bessie (Skarka) O’Reilly, her brother, Charles Skarka Jr., and her ex-husband, Peter George Akelaitis died previously.

A memorial service will be Saturday, August 1, at 10 a.m. at the Ghent Reformed Church, Route 22, West Ghent. Pastor Nancy McClure-Long will officiate. Burial of ashes will follow in the West Ghent Rural Cemetery.

Arrangements are with McDonald Funeral Home, Hudson.


Howard L. Murray Jr., 52, J. W. Hoysradt Hose Co. life member

ALBANY–Howard L. Murray Jr. of Craryville died Thursday July 16, at Albany Medical Center. He was 52.

Born in Hudson on September 6, 1956, he was the son of the late Howard Murray Sr. and Lillian (Walski) Murray of Hudson. Mr. Murray was a packer for Nova Pack in Philmont. He was also a life member of the J.W. Hoysradt Hose Co. in Hudson.

Survivors in addition to his mother include his wife. Antonette (Stodolski) Murray at home; one daughter, Tara Burch of Craryville; two brothers, David and (Jill) Murray of Hudson and Lee Murray of Hudson; one sister, Colleen and (Mark) Brewster of E. Nassau, as well as several nieces and nephews.

A calling hour will be Saturday July 18 from 10 to 11 a.m. at Valenti and Richards Funeral Home, 700 Town Hall Drive, Hudson. Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. at the funeral home with Pastor James Eastland of the First Reformed Church, Hudson officiating.

Cremation will be private; burial of ashes will be in Cedar Park Cemetery at a later date.


Mary Ann Baraka, 89, was WWII Rosie the Riveter

PHILMONT–Mary Ann Baraka, 89, formerly of Craryville, died Thursday, July 16, 2009 at Pine Haven Nursing Home.

Born July 25, 1919 in Craryville, she was the daughter of the late Stanleyand Mary Baraka.

Miss Baraka was employed as a toll collector with the NYS Thruway Department.

During World War II, she worked as “Rosie the Riveter.” Rosie the Riveter is a cultural icon of the U.S., representing the American women who worked in war factories.

She was a life-long area resident.

 Miss Baraka was the beloved sister of Alfred Baraka of Hudson. Also surviving are many friends.

Her sister, Veronica Dunn, died previously.

There will be no calling hours.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at the Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson. 

Burial will be in the family plot in Cedar Park Cemetery in Hudson.



Peter K. Bogausch, 67, Army vet, Philmont Road and Gun Club member

HUDSON–Peter Kurt Bogausch of Philmont died Saturday, July 11, at Community Hospice in Columbia Memorial Hospital. He was 67.

Born in Winnigen, Germany, he was the son of the late Kurt and Maria Lisbeth (Michno) Bogausch. Mr. Bogausch was an electrician for Pembrook Electric in Albany and was a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union Local # 236.

He served in the U.S. Army from 1965-67 stationed in Germany. Mr. Bogausch was a member of the Philmont Rod and Gun Club and the Phudd Hill Lodge.

He is survived by his loving wife, Mary Ann (Schermerhorn) Bogausch, at home; one son, Mark P. and (Laurie) Bogausch of Schodack; two brothers Wolfgang and (Frances) Bogausch of Chatham Center and Gunter Bogausch of LaPorte, Tex.; and one sister, Adelheid and (Emil) Schaller of Schodack. He is also survived by two grandchildren; Cody and Brock Bogausch, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Calling hours will be Tuesday evening from 5 to 8 p.m. at Valenti and Richards Funeral Home,700 Town Hall Drive, Hudson.

Funeral services will be Wednesday 10 a.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be in Sacred Heart Cemetery, Philmont.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Philmont Rescue Squad,1 Maple Avenue, Philmont, NY 12565 or Community Hospice 47 Liberty Street, Catskill, NY 12414.


Jessie B. Conte, 85, lifelong Livingston resident

HUDSON–Jessie Bartolotta Conte, 85, of Livingston died July 7 at Columbia Memorial Hospital.

Born September 7, 1923 in Linlithgo, she was the daughter of the late Antonio and Jessie Cooper) Bartolotta.

She retired from US Trust in 1977, was a member of the Livingston Pumper Co. #1 Auxiliary, the Rosary Society of the Church of the Resurrection of Germantown, Columbia Memorial Hospital Auxiliary and a Life Member of the Church of the Nativity of Linlithgo.

Suviving are her husband, Armand Conte, whom she married January 26, 1946 in Germantown; her children, Carol and Tom Fucito, Armand and Phyllis Conte and Fred and Mary Conte all of Livingston; her brothers and sisters. Antonette Egan of Bronx, Marie Conte of Hudson, Loretta Barton of Texas, June Decker of Syracuse, Russell Bartolotta of Hudson, Phil Bartolotta and Al Bartolotta, both of Linlithgo, and Robert Bartolotta of Red Hook.

She is also survived by her  grandchildren, Theresa Rossi of Valatie, Tom Fucito of Purling, Chris Conte of Ohio, and Randy and Derrick Conte of Livingston; and her great grandchildren, Angelica, Alexis and Rose Fucito of Purling, Andrew and Scott Rossi of Valatie, Cooper and Collin Conte of Ohio and Eli Conte and Ryan Conte of Livingston.

She was predeceased by brothers  Benjamin and Tony Bartolotta and sisters Beulah Delaney and Patricia Bartolotta.

Calling hours will be 5 to 8 p.m.  Friday, July 10, at the Yadack-Fox Funeral Home of Germantown.

Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday from the funeral home and 11 a.m. at the Church  of the Resurrection of Holy Trinity Parish of Germantown where the Rev. Theodore Gerken will celebrate a Mass of Christian Burial.

Burial will follow in the Nativity Church Cemetery of Linlithgo.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to The Community Hospice of Columbia Greene, 47 Liberty Street, Catskill, NY 12424

Condolences may be expressed at