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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, April 26, 2007

Michael P. Cain

GUILDERLAND — Michael P. Cain, an outdoorsman, died at home on Wednesday, April 18, 2007. He was 50.

Born in Albany, he was the son of Patricia H. Cain and the late William P. Cain.

A 1975 graduate of Guilderland High School, he loved the outdoors and spent many hours hunting and fishing with friends.

In addition to his mother, he is survived by his daughters, Jessica and Kristen Cain; wife, Lori, his sister, Pamela; his brothers Peter and his wife, Elisabeth, Tim, William and his wife, Lori, Kevin, and Paul and his wife, Catherine. Michael is also survived by his nieces and nephews Amelia Cain, Morgan and Emily Cain, and Peter George-Cain.

Arrangements are by the Fredendall Funeral Home of Altamont. A mass of Christian burial was held at St. Madeleine Sophie Church on Carman Road in Guilderland on April 23. Interment was in Albany Rural Cemetery in Menands.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Society, New York State Memorial Processing Center, Post Office Box 31160, Hartford, CT 06150-1160.

Marion Norton Greene

Marion Norton Greene, a beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, died at her home in South Carolina on April 7, 2007. She was 73.
"She loved her family and her grandchildren," said her sister-in-law, Lois Van Buren. "She was a very friendly person, a very nice sister-in-law."

Mrs. Greene met her husband, David Richard Green Sr., who grew up in Berne, when he was stationed in the South. "He met her in the service, down in Florida," said Mrs. Van Buren. "Two or three times a year, they’d take a trip to the good old Hilltowns; the visits were never long enough."

Mrs. Greene worked as a secretary.

"She loved flowers and anything to do with the outdoors," said Mrs. Van Buren.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Greene is survived by two children, Lyn Turner and her husband, David, of Campobello, S.C.; and David Greene Jr. of Fountain Inn, S.C.; five grandchildren, Shelley Morgan and her husband, Cory; Chris Turner; Ashley Greene; Morgan Greene; and Sara Greene. She is also survived by three great-grandchildren, Austin, Lantz, and Riley Morgan.

Her parents, Melvin Dewey and Julia Mae Brannon Norton, died before her as did her brother, Larry Norton.

Memorial contributions may be made to Open Arms Hospice, 414 Pettigru St., Greenville, S.C. 29601.

— M. H.-S. and T.S.

Gwendolyn L. LoBello

GUILDERLAND CENTER — Gwendolyn L. LoBello, lived with disease without complaint and loved people without restraint, died on Thursday, April 19, 2007, at the Guilderland Center Nursing Home. She was 76.

"She just simply loved people," said her sister, Rose Lawson. "I always used to joke that she was like Will Rogers, she never met a person she didn’t like. If you smiled at Gwendolyn, you would have a friend for life."

Ms. LoBello was born in Kingston (Ulster County), N.Y., the daughter of the late Peter and Mary LoBello. She moved to East Berne in 1968 and then to Guilderland Center in 2002.

She was a member of the Altamont Reformed Church and the Rosendale (Ulster County), N.Y. Grange.

"She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was very little, but she never complained in life," said Mrs. Lawson. "She was a unique human being, and we could learn a lesson from her."

Mrs. Lawson said her sister was always busy with handcrafts.

"She loved to do hand work when she still could; she loved embroideries. She wove rugs, place mats, anything really," said Mrs. Lawson.

"I never heard her say a mean thing in her life," said Mrs. Lawson. "Everybody that met her was touched in some way because of her determination and kindness."

Ms. LoBello is survived by her sister, Rose A. Lawson, and her husband, Ivan, of East Berne; an aunt, Leila Diedolf, of North Carolina; two nieces, Heather Lawson and Dawn Emond; and two nephews, Paul Lawson and Michael Lawson.

She is also survived by three great-nieces, Lynsey and Kaylynn Lawson and Brittany Emond; one great-nephew, Dylan Emond; and several cousins.

A funeral service was held Tuesday, April 24, 2007, at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Schenectady Association of Retarded Citizens, 214 State St., Schenectady, NY 12305, or to the Guilderland Center Nursing Home Activities Department, 428 Route 146, Guilderland Center, NY 12085.

—Jarrett Carroll

Verna Brown Somers Kennedy

By Jarrett Carroll

CLIFTON PARK — The life of Verna Brown Somers Kennedy reads like the great American novel. From surviving the Great Depression and owning a Model-T Ford, Mrs. Kennedy went on to see the first credit cards used and was able to watch the most important thing in her life grow — the family who loved her.

Following a lengthy illness, she died on April 17, 2007, at Schuyler Ridge Residential Health Care. She was 98.

Since Mrs. Kennedy was a caretaker her entire life, her family did not hesitate when it was her turn to be cared for.

"I really miss her so much. It’s like a big black void not having her around," said her daughter, Patricia Kennedy. "We would go for rides together and every time any of my friends would come over they would say, ‘Where’s your mother"’ Everybody just adored her."

Born on the Fourth of July in 1908, in Albany, to the late Jason and Mary Somers, Mrs. Kennedy was a proud descendant of the Rev. Peter Nicholas Sommer, the first permanent Lutheran minister to New York.

"She used to think her father took the day off of work just for her birthday when she was really little and that she was the most special little girl around," Patricia Kennedy said of her mother. "She didn’t know it was a holiday."

Patricia Kennedy said that her mother, a long-time Guilderland resident, was a woman who "overcame trepidation" her whole life and had a "powerful will to live." Mrs. Kennedy nearly died as a teenager and was the widow of the late John P. Kennedy, who died in 1966.

"She overcame a ruptured appendix at the age of 15 and her family was surrounding her bed by her side. They thought she was going to die," said Patricia Kennedy. "Then she woke up and asked why everyone was around her, crying, and went on to live for nearly 99 years."

As a graduate of Albany High School, Mrs. Kennedy began working when she was 16 in the payroll department of Williams Press in Albany. After marrying, she stayed at home for 10 years to raise her daughter, and then returned to work in retail. First she worked as the assistant credit manager at Denby’s and then later worked as a credit manager at Wells and Coverly, both department stores in Troy.

"She was around for the first credit cards when they used to notch them by hand," said Patricia Kennedy. "She had a Model-T Ford and lived through the Depression"She was like a walking history book."

During the time Mrs. Kennedy was a credit manager, she was an officer in Credit Women’s International. She left retail credit for the payroll department at the New York State Department of Health, from which she retired in 1975.

"When she retired from the state, they had a big party for her and gave her a music box that played Shadow of Your Smile. She loved that song," Patricia Kennedy said about the 1965 Tony Bennett song. "She listened to it all the time."

Mrs. Kennedy suffered from a paralyzing stroke three-and-a-half years ago, but Patricia Kennedy said her mother would not give up.

"After the stroke, they said she would never talk again"but I decided that she would talk again," she said. "She and I would go for rides together all the time; she liked going for rides. We would stop at Dunkin’ Donuts every time because she just loved their coffee."

Patricia Kennedy said she would leave the television on with captions so that her mother could read the words as she watched the news and her favorite shows like Law and Order.

"I kept doing that and then, one day, I went out and got some coffee and put a cup on her tray in front of her. She looked up at me and said, ‘Dunkin’ Donuts.’ I couldn’t believe it. I just thought ‘Thank God, I knew she was still with us," said Patricia Kennedy.

On the way to Mrs. Kennedy’s funeral service, her daughter and other family members and close friends stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts and used coffee to toast the woman they all knew and loved.

"I think she would have really liked that if she saw it," Patricia Kennedy said. "She would have been very proud and honored I think, and she would have gotten a big kick out of it, too."

Mrs. Kennedy was a very gentle yet strong mother, said her daughter, Patricia.

"She’s such a great mother. She was so gentle and kind, yet strong and assertive, but she was never overbearing and always supportive," said Patricia Kennedy. "We used to say she went to college with me. She went to every single play, to everything really. She saw me at every school I went to, no matter where it was.

"I still look back and say ‘Boy, how’d she do all that"’"

In a tribute to Mrs. Kennedy, her family wrote, "Verna lived a long and full life, remaining alert to the end, and always deeply interested in the people and events of her world and beyond, and delighted by animals. She was a loving wife and mother, always loyal to family and friends.

"What will surely remain in the memories of her daughter and all who loved her is her powerful will to live, and her beautiful smile that lit her eyes and warmed us all."

Patricia Kennedy said that her mother’s curiosity and love of the news never faded.

"She loved to watch the news and she always read The Altamont Enterprise every single week," her daughter said. "She used to read it cover to cover because she said she couldn’t find those stories anywhere else."

Patricia Kennedy said her mother will be deeply missed by everyone who knew her.

"I don’t know anyone who didn’t love her," she said. "She always said to take good care of the people you love while they’re here, and then you’ll be able to move on."


Mrs. Kennedy is survived by her daughter, Patricia Anne Kennedy, of Clifton Park; her nieces, Jacqueline Savoca, Sue Bushey, Carol Hoefer, Nancy Reaulo, and Linda Wilson; her nephews, Donald, Thomas J., Wellington Jr., James, and Gerald Somers and her close friend and caregiver, Ann Marie Leifer.

In addition to her husband, John, her sisters, Mildred Wallace and Gladys Walter; brothers, Merton and Wellington Somers; and two infant siblings, died before her. Molly, the cat she loved, also died before her.

A funeral service was held Saturday, April 21, at the Bowen Funeral Home in Latham, with interment in St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 4 Northcrest Dr., Clifton Park, NY 12065; the Schuyler Ridge Resident Council, 1 Abele Blvd., Clifton Park, NY 12065; or to the Animal Protective Foundation, Inc., 53 Maple Ave., Scotia, NY 12302.

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