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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, July 26, 2007

Sheila Ann Pollard Bishop

Sheila Ann Pollard Bishop, a devoted wife and mother, died on July 20, 2007 in Clinton, N.Y. She was 72.

"I remember her as very outgoing," said her younger sister, Michele Wever.

She recalled how Mrs. Bishop met a lot of famous singers, like Sarah Vaughn, because her husband worked in advertising for a record company.

"He and Sheila would present the album to the singer or band, so she met a lot of famous people in the sixties," said Mrs. Wever, adding, "She impressed her little sister."

Mrs. Bishop was born on Dec. 23, 1934 in Tarrytown, N.Y., the daughter of the late John and Marie Pollard. As a girl, in 1943, she moved with her family to Altamont when her father, a truck driver, started the Pollard Brothers business.

He built the plaza on the edge of the village where the wine shop and florist are today, said Mrs. Wever.

The Pollard family attended church at St. Lucy’s and, said Mrs. Wever, "Sheila was an usher there. She used to fill in, playing the organ, and she’d play for weddings and funerals."

Mrs. Bishop graduated from Altamont High School in 1952. Her favorite subject was stenography, said her sister.

"She and two of the girls she was buddies with would correspond in shorthand," recalled Mrs. Wever.

After high school, Mrs. Bishop worked as a secretary for General Electric, which is when she met the man who would become her husband — William C. Bishop.

They wed in 1958 and were happily married until Mr. Bishop’s death in 1994.

The Bishops moved to Winntetka, a suburb of Chicago, where they raised their three children — William, Lisa, and Michael.

"She was a stay-at-home mom," said Mrs. Wever. "She was a gourmet cook. She could take shit — excuse my language — and turn it into a banquet."

And, Mrs. Wever went on, Mrs. Bishop and her twin sister shared a skill she herself doesn’t have. "She used to sew her clothes and her kids’ clothes. They were beautiful."

The Bishops moved back to Guilderland in the 1970s, when Mr. Bishop was transferred, and then, to the dismay of the relatives living here, they moved away again when he was transferred to Utica in the 1980s.

Mrs. Bishop came back to Altamont once a year to visit, Mrs. Wever said.

After their children were grown — "They’re all good kids," said Mrs. Wever — Mrs. Bishop went to work as the office manager of Hart’s Hill Inn in Whitesboro, N.Y., a restaurant and banquet center.

She retired shortly after her husband died.

In addition to cooking and sewing, Mrs. Bishop loved to read, said her sister.

"She liked anything in print," said Mrs. Wever.

Both she and her husband were avid sports fans. "When you went to visit them, if there were three games on, they’d have three TVs on," said Mrs. Wever.

"She was very close to her husband. They did more together than with anyone else," said Mrs. Wever. "Bill was her life; she was lost without him."

Mrs. Wever concluded, "I miss my big sister."


Mrs. Bishop is survived by her children, William C. Bishop Jr. and his wife, Victoria, of Chesapeake, Va., Lisa Bishop of Clinton, N.Y., and Michael Bishop of Utica, N.Y.; and by her grandchildren, James and Shawn Klumbach, Felicia Bishop, and Patrick and Katie Bishop.

She is also survived by her brothers, Jack Pollard, and his wife, Cindy, Tom Pollard, and Jim Pollard and his wife, Ruth — all from Altamont; by her sisters, twin Maureen Martin Johnson of Florida and Michele Wever and her husband, Ralph, of Rotterdam; and by her aunt, Stella Pollard, of Altamont.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, July 27, at St. Lucy’s Church at 109 Grand Street in Altamont. Arrangements are by the Kowalczyk Funeral Home in Utica. Following Mrs. Bishop’s wishes, her cremated remains are buried in the military cemetery near Utica beside her husband’s grave.

Memorial contributions may be made to: Active Day, care of The Lutheran Home, 108 Utica Road, Clinton, N.Y. 13323.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

Charles McDermott Sr.

WESTERLO — Charles "Hammerhead" McDermott Sr. owned a local garage and loved racing, his family and the outdoors. He died at his home in Westerlo on July 17, 2007. He was 78.

"He loved his family and especially his grandchildren," said his family in a tribute.

Born in Knox on June 18, 1929, Mr. McDermott was the son of the late Charles and Ethel McDermott (nee Gibbs).

Known as "Hammerhead," Mr. McDermott owned McDermott’s Garage in Westerlo. He loved stock-car racing, and drove #92 at Clearview Speedway in South Westerlo. Mr. McDermott also loved ice-car racing and drove #98 in many ice races.

Mr. McDermott also enjoyed hunting, fishing, riding his motorcycles, and snowmobiling.

He was a member of the Helderberg Riders Motorcycle Club and the North Wind Snowmobile Club.


Mr. McDermott is survived by his wife, Joan McDermott (nee Slingerland); his sons, Dennis McDermott, and his wife, Phyllis; Charles McDermott Jr., and his wife, Terri; and Kevin McDermott, and his wife, Kelli. He is also survived by his daughter, Connie Arnold, and her husband, Ron; seven grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and his best friend, Princess.

His brother, Harold McDermott, and his sister, Mildred Storm, died before him.

Mr. McDermott was cremated as he had wished. A graveside service was held Friday at the Westerlo Rural Cemetery. Arrangements were by the Cunningham Funeral Home in Greenville.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Westerlo Rescue Squad, Post Office Box 12, Westerlo, NY 12193.

Robert Tinney

Robert Tinney is described by his children as "the ultimate optimist"; they also call him their hero. Mr. Tinney died July 19, 2007 at his home in Oak Hill, Fla., of cancer. He was 67.

Mr. Tinney, known to his friends as Bob, and his wife, Virginia, known as Ginny, raised their five children in West Berne. For the last decade, Mr. and Mrs. Tinney traveled between their homes in New York and Florida.

"My dad was the kind of person that everyone got along with," said their son, Mark. "He was a friend to everybody. He was impossible to hate. He had the ability to cheer anyone up."

Mark; his brother, Bob; his sister, Donna Lendrum; and their mother reminisced about their father and husband and how he earned his nicknames.

"We used to call him ‘The Great Pudding Snatcher.’ Whenever we had pudding for dessert"he would say something stupid — anything he could do to get you to look the other way," Mark Tinney said. Mr. Tinney would swipe as much as he could before he was caught, his son said.

While the Tinneys lived in Florida, Mark Tinney said, they used to take a boat out on a river to go shrimping. "My father became quite adept at catching catfish," his son said. One night he caught over 100 catfish, he said. Mr. Tinney then became known to the family as "Catfish Bob."

Mrs. Tinney is a professional antiques dealer, and Mr. Tinney, who retired from the state comptroller’s office in 1995, often helped at her booths, Mark Tinney said. If a child came in and played with one of the antiques, Mr. Tinney would give the toy away, his son said.

"I think it drove her crazy," he said with a laugh. Mr. Tinney’s generosity extended to his children, too. Whenever Mrs. Tinney obtained a nice antique that Mr. Tinney thought one of their children might want, he asked them, "Hey, you like that"" Mark Tinney recalled.

Mr. Tinney shared his wife’s love of antiques, and specialized in coins, stamps, and old silver. He was working on a book about United States revenue stamps before his death.

"He was a quiet guy, but he was the one that"when I was dating as a teen, girls would come in and hug him first. This was pretty much" every girl would hug him first, even my wife. He was a big teddy bear," Mark Tinney said. "He was the sweetest, most intelligent man I’ve ever known."

He said that Mr. Tinney always wore a big beard, like a Santa Claus beard.

"Even my mother has never seen him clean-shaven, in 35 years of marriage," Mark Tinney said.

Mr. Tinney was diagnosed with cancer three weeks ago. He died last week.

"I keep thinking of how much of a positive role model he was in my life," Mark Tinney said. "He was always the person I looked to when I needed help."

Mr. Tinney told his son that he should give up teaching and pursue his love of theater.

"Teaching was too practical. He told me to give up the practical job and live the pipe dream," Mark Tinney said. He still works as a teacher, but does theater, as well.

"My father was the ultimate optimist, which is the greatest thing I’ve inherited from him. My father, primarily, really convinced us kids that we could pursue anything. I give my parents credit for everything I’ve achieved," Mark Tinney said. "I think my parents are the reasons that we were all able to achieve what we have. I’ve always thought of my dad as my hero. My brother feels the same way.." Their father, he said, "was always the one to look up to."

Mr. Tinney took his young family "all over the back roads of Berne and West Berne" to pick up litter, Mark Tinney said. The family would return bottles and cans and pool the money to spend on the children. Mark said that all the Tinney children are environmentalists now because of the time they spent picking up roadside litter at the instigation of their father.

"He was a really dedicated husband — a romantic, but not good with dates," Mark Tinney said, after consulting his mother. Whenever they went out, Mr. Tinney dropped Mrs. Tinney at the front door and picked her up there.

The Tinneys remember Mr. Tinney in fun family stories. Mark Tinney met his wife and married in Poland, he said. Mrs. Tinney told Mr. Tinney that it was then time for the two men to have a conversation about the birds and the bees. Obligingly, Mr. Tinney took his son aside and said, "All right, son. What can you teach me"" Mark Tinney said. "That’s pretty much the epitome of my dad’s sense of humor."

On Thursday or Friday this week, the family will spread Mr. Tinney’s ashes over the river from which he and and Mrs. Tinney went shrimping for so long.

"He said that he’d been eating shrimp for years. It was time to give something back," Mark Tinney said with another laugh. "That’s Dad."


Robert Tinney was the son of the late William and Gladys Tinney, of Delmar. He graduated from Bethlehem Central High School in 1958. He earned an associate’s degree from Albany Junior College and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University at Albany.

He is survived by his wife, Virginia, and their five children: Billy Tinney of California; Robert Tinney of Albany; Mark Tinney and his wife, Dorota, of Kettering, England; Mike Tinney of Orlando, Fla.; and Donna Lendrum and her husband, Ron, of Middleburgh.

He is also survived by grandchildren Heidi Kruse, Heather Lendrum, and Eva Tinney; and twin sister Betty Fallon and her husband, Ken, of Idaho.

His brother William Tinney Jr. died before him.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Hospice of Volusia/Flagler County, 3500 Wood Brier Tr., Port Orange, FL 32129.

— Jo E. Prout

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