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Obituraries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, November 16, 2006

Kale M. Fiato

Kale M. Fiato, a former area businesswoman who was very active and loved her family and friends, died in her home on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2006, after a long battle with breast cancer.

She was 82.

"Kale’s active love of life kept her intimately involved with family and friends," her family wrote in a tribute, noting her "courageous" battle with cancer.

"Kale leaves behind a legacy of love," the family said.

Born in Sioux City, Iowa, Ms. Fiato was a member of the National Cosmetology Association and the Capital District Center for Spiritual Living. She was the owner and operator of The New Yorker Hairstylist for 60 years and previously a part owner of the former Taco Pronto in McKownville.

Ms. Fiato is survived by her children, Michael Fiato, and his wife, Gayle, of Boston Mass.; Martha Fiato of Albany; Mona George, and her husband, Kevin, of Voorheesville; and Miriam Fiato and her husband, Brian Lainhart, of Voorheesville;

She is also survived by her grandchildren, Sasha Durand, and her husband, Paul; Sonya Pasquini Degener, and her husband, Brian; Amy, Kristin, and Heather Fiato; Jared, Peter, Hayley and Gavin George; Lacey Goodrich; and Rachel Lainhart.

Ms. Fiato is also survived by her great-grandson, Dillon Durand, and by the father of her children, Salvatore J. Fiato, and his wife, Christine.

Her son, Mark Fiato, died before her.

A funeral ceremony was held last Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Hans Funeral Home in Albany, which provided the arrangements. Interment will take place at Graceland Cemetery in Sioux City, Iowa.

Memorial contributions may be made to Capital District Center for Spiritual Living, 1237 Central Ave., Albany NY 12205.

Kenneth Robie Kimball Jr.

Kenneth Robie Kimball Jr.’s vision of humanity was inclusive.

He was the first principal of Guilderland’s Farnsworth Middle School, which helped lead the state in developing an innovative educational philosophy that fostered the worth of each child.

In Altamont, he was part of a small cadre that backed Helderberg House, one of the first group homes for the mentally disabled.

"Communities put their hands up at first," said his wife, Betty F. Kimball, on the acceptance of group homes. "Ken felt very dedicated to serve the needs that were there." Dr. Kimball, in the 1970’s, was president of the board of directors of Helderberg House.

"He personally knew a couple of people who needed that kind of shelter," said his wife. "They had been put in mental institutions and didn’t belong there."

Dr. Kimball died unexpectedly on Friday, Nov. 3, 2006, near his home in Belfast, Maine. He was 77.

He was out doing errands on a gorgeous day, his wife said. "He dropped dead right on the edge of the new footbridge crossing the river," she said.

Dr. Kimball had had open-heart surgery in May, she said, but fought his way back. "He had gotten back to himself," she said. "He was planning to climb Mount Katahdin in the spring."

He was born in Syracuse in 1929 to Dorothy Short Kimball and Kenneth Robie Kimball Sr. of Baldwinsville, N.Y.

He earned his bachelor of arts degree from the State University of New York at Oswego, and his master’s of science and doctorate in education degrees from the University at Albany. He taught junior and senior high school for nine years in North Syracuse and Stillwater, N.Y.

He then served five years as principal of Guilderland Junior High School before becoming the first principal of Alton U. Farnsworth Middle School. He led that school for 13 years.

Dr. Kimball wrote Educational Excellence for Your Child, a 256-page how-to-do-it guide for parents, family members, and educators, which includes home and community activities to develop specific skills in each child.

Dr. Kimball led his students by example.

"Ken was the same person at home as he was in public," said his wife. Describing the participatory management that Guilderland then practiced, she said, "When they were at roundtables at school, you know how it is, people never agree. Ken was always the gentleman."

Dr. Kimball made each student feel as if he or she mattered, and their parents, too.

"When they had open houses," recalled his wife, "he would always note some people who were hesitant to talk to the principal. He would try to reach out to people, make sure they were included, and not just on the sidelines."

Dr. Kimball, who attained the rank of lieutenant in the United States Navy, participated in all levels of scouting, earning the rank of Eagle.

"He loved the outdoors — hiking, skiing, sailing everything," said his wife.

The two met on a blind date and their romance lasted a lifetime. The Kimballs were married for 54-and-a-half years.

They enjoyed outdoor activities together and with their two children — Ken and Kay.

When the family lived in Altamont, she said, "We had over 100 acres up on the Hill. People were always welcome to come and hike."

Mrs. Kimball said of her husband, "He was very concerned about keeping the environment as pristine as possible."

As a father, she said, "Ken was always there for the children. He and our son crossed the country on their bicycles when Ken was 15. They went from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine in 32 days."

Their son later followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming a schoolteacher.

"Throughout his life," Dr. Kimball’s family wrote in a tribute, "he applied his skills and educational expertise to leadership roles within education, community, and environmental organizations."

Dr. Kimball was a skilled craftsman and an avid writer. In addition to his book, he wrote columns for the Charlotte/AM bureau of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, a New York Times regional paper.

"His pursuit of excellence and compassion for others," his family concluded, "continues to inspire all who knew him."


In addition to his wife, Betty F. Kimball, Dr. Kimball is survived by his son, Kenneth R. Kimball III; his daughter, Kay Kimball Gruder; his sister, Joanna Brewer; two grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.

Arrangements are by the Crabiel-Riposta Funeral Home in Belfast, Maine.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

Victor G. Ross

ALTAMONT — Victor G. Ross — founding member of the Community Caregivers, dedicated hospital pharmacist, and loving husband — died on Nov. 11, 2006, after a short battle with stage four melanoma. He was 58.

"He was an introvert and I’m an extrovert," said his wife, Mary Anne. "When they say opposites attract, I guess that’s it." The two grew up not far from each other in Whitehall, N.Y.

Mr. Ross was born on January 13, 1948 in Granville to Gerald and Alice Ross.

"He actually came to my fourth birthday party," said Mrs. Ross, who still has a picture of him at the toddler’s celebration. The two began dating when she was a freshman in high school and he was a sophomore. "We met on the ice-skating rink in January, 1963," she said, and they’ve been together ever since.

The couple married on Oct. 9, 1970 and Mr. Ross graduated from the Albany College of Pharmacy in 1973. Later, he earned a master’s degree in health-systems management from Union College. In 1975, he began working as a clinical pharmacist at St. Peter’s Hospital. He loved the work, his wife said. "He did the rounds with the doctors." In 2003, he left his administrative post at St. Peter’s and returned to his love, pharmacy, working at the Glens Falls Hospital, where he died.

From the beginning, Mr. Ross would explain how the medications would work to the patients, which is what he really enjoyed, she said. "He was an excellent listener and a very thoughtful man," said Mrs. Ross.

His thoughtfulness parlayed him into developing the Community Caregivers with Joel Edwards and Mary Therriault in 1996. "He’s the single most important reason that Community Caregivers got its start," said Dr. Edwards. "It was Vic’s understanding and vision of people’s needs in the area." The ever-growing organization attracts volunteers to help those in need, particularly the elderly who want to continue to live in their own homes.

Mr. Ross came up with the initial idea for a program in the area when "something came across his desk at work on the visiting nurses association," said his wife. The model that the three founders came up with was similar to the National Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers Program, Dr. Edwards said.

"He rarely took credit for anything," Dr. Edwards said of Mr. Ross. "But we knew he was the most important person in the room."

"He always thought it was important to give back to the community," said Mrs. Ross of her husband. She, too, volunteered at the Community Caregivers and added, "We’ve been abundantly blessed, so we just like to give back."

Indeed, the couple enjoyed traveling and spent a great deal of time visiting Europe. " I just went through 36 years of albums," she said. "At first I cried, then I thought, ‘What a wonderful life we had.’"

Outside of traveling, Mrs. Ross said that her husband was a skier, a gardener, and an avid reader. Throughout his life, she said, he collected books; he couldn’t walk out of a bookstore without something in hand. His collection was donated to the library, she said. "He read three papers a day and always had three or four books going," Mrs. Ross said. "His main love was reading."


Mr. Ross is survived by his wife, Mary Anne Ross; his parents, Gerald and Alice (Doyle) Ross; his brothers, Gerald Ross and his wife, Patty, Dennis Ross and his wife, Angella, and Chris Ross; and his sister Mary Ellen Kuster and her husband, Daniel.

He is also survived by his nieces and nephews, Grace and David Ross, Jenny and Joel Kuster, Matthew and Caitlyn Huntington, John, Mia, and James Ross, and Justin and Elizabeth Ross.

He is also survived by his aunts, uncles, cousins, Mary Anne’s family, and friends, especially Danny Mulholland.

Calling hours will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17, at the Michael G. Angiolillo Funeral Home, 210 Broadway, Whitehall, N.Y. A mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18, at Our Lady of Hope Roman Catholic Church, Skene Street, in Whitehall.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Charles R. Wood Cancer Center, care of Glens Falls Hospital, 100 Park St., Glens Falls, NY 12801; the Community Caregivers, 300 Mill Rose Ct., Suite 200, Slingerlands, NY 12159; or Our Lady of Hope Roman Catholic Church, 9 Wheeler Ave., Whitehall, NY 12887.

— Saranac Hale Spencer

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