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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, September 27, 2007

VOORHEESVILLE — John Scherer, a generous man, always graceful under pressure, died on Sept. 13, 2007. He was 87.

His name now sits on a plaque recognizing 50 years of service to the Voorheesville Volunteer Fire Department, "We rounded up," said Bill Stone, the department’s former chief.

Mr. Scherer died before he could make it to his 50th year of service, which would have been marked next March.

In 1999, Mr. Scherer was presented with the Albany County Volunteer Fireman of the Year Award and this year he was given the Albany County Volunteer Award.

Community service was important to Mr. Scherer, and he was virtually a reference guide to the rules and regulations for both the ambulance squad and the fire department in the village, said Trustee John Stevens.

"He took care of the department," said Mr. Stevens. "He took care of the people in the village."

Mr. Scherer moved to Voorheesville in 1956 with his wife, the late Madelyn Benway Scherer. They married while he was serving in the Army in 1942, his family said in a tribute. She rode the train from Albany to Fort Lewis, Wash., where Mr. Scherer was stationed, to be his bride.

At the end of the second World War, in 1945, the couple moved to Winthrop Avenue in Albany, not far from where Mr. Scherer had attended the Vincentian Institute. He had gone on to study for two years at Siena College before he enlisted in October of 1942.

During his years in the Army, he served in the 44th Infantry, 744th Ordnance (LM) Company in Europe.

Born in Madison, Wis., Mr. Scherer was the oldest of five children, and he would go on to have five of his own.

He worked as a salesman with McDermott Food Brokerage and spent the time that he didn’t use for volunteer work golfing or bowling, his family said.

"He had many friends and would get together on Monday evenings and play cards with his poker buddies or spend a day playing golf," said his family. "He truly enjoyed his life and friends."

He played right up to the end, Mr. Stone said, and he made it to the first meeting in the newly renovated firehouse earlier this month. That was the last time he left his home, Mr. Stone said. Mr. Scherer told his friends, "I’m glad I went; it was probably my last meeting," Mr. Stone recalled.

Mr. Scherer always made it to the parades, too, Mr. Stone said. "Memorial Day was always a special day for John as he enjoyed driving the antique 1927 Child’s fire truck in the parade for many years," his family said, and the parade was usually followed by a big family picnic.

This year’s Memorial Day was named John Scherer Appreciation Day in the village, to honor his half-century of volunteer work.

In addition to his fire and ambulance service, Mr. Scherer was a 40-year member of the American Legion Post 1493 and served on the village’s zoning board of appeals for many years.

"He was very calm," said Trustee Richard Berger of Mr. Scherer as a firefighter. Not only that, but he had a calming effect on those around him, Mr. Berger said. "He was very good under pressure."


Mr. Scherer is survived by his children: John Scherer and his wife, Martha, of Vischer Ferry; Linda Hamilton and her husband, Jim, of Rochester; Nancy Stagg and her husband, Tom, of Voorheesville; Denise Hoellerich and her husband, Bill, of East Greenbush; and Glenn Scherer of Albany. He is also survived by his two sisters, Ruth Anne Henderson of Delmar and Kathleen Murphy of Albany, and 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

His wife of 62 years, Madelyn Benway Scherer, died before him, as did his two brothers, Donald and Thomas Scherer.

A memorial Mass was held on Sept. 19 at St. Matthew’s Church in Voorheesville. All other services were private and arrangements were made by Reilly & Son Funeral Home.

Mr. Scherer’s family would like to thank Dr. Wu and her staff at New York Oncology Hematology and the Community Hospice of Albany, especially Carol Marsh, for their commitment, care, and guidance during his illness.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Voorheesville Volunteer Fire Department, 12 Altamont Voorheesville Rd., Voorheesville NY, 12186 or to the Voorheesville Area Ambulance, 21 Voorheesville Ave., Voorheesville NY, 12186.

— Saranac Hale Spencer

George Walter Snyder

WESTERLO — George Walter Snyder, a World War II veteran died on Sept. 19, 2007 from Alzheimer’s disease complications. He was 83.

"He was the kind of person who would help you if you had any trouble, no matter what it was," said his brother, Westerlo Councilman Robert Snyder.

Born on June 23, 1924 in Westerlo, George Snyder was the son of Walter L. and Christina Snyder (née Messer). He was raised on his family’s farm in Westerlo. He graduated from Greenville High School in 1941, and in 1943 from the New York State Agricultural School in Cobleskill, now part of the state university system. He played basketball at both schools.

Mr. Snyder was very proud of serving his country during World War II, said his family in a tribute. He enlisted in the United States Army in March, 1943, and was assigned as a tractor driver in the C Battery of the 116th Gun Battalion, pulling a 90 millimeter anti-aircraft cannon.

On June 6, 1944, he landed on Utah Beach during the D-Day Invasion of Europe. He fought with his unit through France, Belgium, and Germany, including the infamous Battle of the Bulge.

Mr. Snyder received the World War II Victory Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and the Bronze Service Arrowhead. He was recognized for his participation in the Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe campaigns. He was honorably discharged in November, 1945.

"He didn’t say too much," said Robert Snyder, who only recalled his brother’s telling of the week before landing in Normandy. There was a bad storm and, while waiting to land, many of the crew got sick, said Robert Snyder. His brother made two or three trips to Belgium, to where he landed in Normandy and where his gun was mounted, he said.

After the war, Mr. Snyder returned to Westerlo, and started a small excavating business, which became George W. Snyder & Son.

He married his beloved wife, Mary Elizabeth Brennan, on Sept. 17, 1950. The couple raised its family and operated the excavating business for many years.

In the winters, Mr. Snyder drove a snowplow for the town of Westerlo and worked construction jobs in New York City.

In 1967, he traveled to Uruguay, South America, for three months and served as a consultant to the Agency for International Development, teaching native Uruguayans how to operate heavy equipment.

Mr. Snyder eventually joined his brother, Fred, on the auto and grounds crew at Hannay Reels, where he worked for 17 years. He finished his career serving as Westerlo’s highway superintendent for 10 years.

In his retirement, Mr. Snyder continued to enjoy snowmobiling, making maple syrup, operating his sawmill — which was like a hobby — and generally puttering around the farm, said his family. He also traveled extensively in the United States and Europe.

Mr. Snyder was active in his hometown community.

He was a member of the American Legion Post #0589 of Preston Hollow, the Westerlo Reformed Church, and the Westerlo Democratic Social Club. He was also a past member of the Town of Westerlo Volunteer Fire Company and the Westerlo Basic Valley Fish and Game Club.


Mr. Snyder is survived by his children, George R. "Robbie" Snyder, and his wife, Gail; Peter Snyder; and Mary Jane S. Araldi, and her husband, Albert. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Gregory, Sarah, and Meghan Araldi, all of Westerlo; his sisters, Anna Kuhar of Rensselaerville; and Catherine Latham, and her husband, Alvin, of Westerlo; and his brother, Robert A. Snyder, and his wife, Ruth, of Westerlo.

His wife of 52 years, Mary Elizabeth, died before him as did his brothers, John, Fred, Henry, and Richard Snyder; and his sisters, Viola Hallenbeck and Mary Tompkins.

A funeral service was held Monday. Arrangements were by the Cunningham Funeral Home in Greenville.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Northeastern New York Chapter, 85 Watervliet Ave., Albany, N.Y. 12206; the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, 120 Wall Street, 19th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10005; or the Freehold Christian Congregational Church, Post Office Box 131, Freehold, N.Y.

— Tyler Schuling

Rose Vinehout

ALTAMONT — Rose Vinehout died peacefully at the Hospice Inn at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany on Sept. 22, 2007. She was 89.

She is survived by her husband, Marshall Vinehout; a brother, Joseph Spadaro and his wife, Betty, of Henderson, Nev. and Saratoga Springs; her sister-in-law, Betty A. Spadaro of Glen Lake and Altamont; her nieces and nephews, Richard Spadaro of Altamont, Susie M. Arnold and her husband, David, of Brookfield, Wisc., Ronald Spadaro of Albany, and Terri McCoy and her husband, Peter Audet, of Albany; her great-nieces, Emilie Arnold of Atlanta, Ga., Bethany Arnold, Coventry Arnold (Greg Childress), all of Brookfield, Wisc.; her great-great-niece, Lilly Childress, of Brookfield, Wisc.; her special cousin, Patricia Spadaro of Herkimer, N.Y.; as well as many other cousins.

She was dear friends of the Jerry Norwood family. She was the sister of the late Patrick Spadaro and Helen McCoy and her husband, William, and aunt of the late Robert Spadaro.

The family wishes to thank the staff of NYOH, Capital Cardiology, and Altamont Pediatrics and the Hospice Inn at St. Peter’s Hospital, also the wonderful staff on 4 Nolan Riddle.

A service will be held today, Thursday, Sept. 27, at 11 a.m. at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont to which family and friends are invited. There will be no calling hours. Interment is to follow at Fairview Cemetery in Altamont.

Memorial contributions may be made to Community Hospice of Albany, 445 New Karner Rd., Albany, NY 12205.

MaryElizabeth Williams

GUILDERLAND — MaryElizabeth Williams, an organist and music teacher, died on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2007, at Our Lady of Mercy Life Center in Guilderland after a struggle with cancer.

She was the only child of Robert W. and Sarah Elizabeth Jones of Sauquoit, Oneida County, where she resided until she moved to Syracuse with her husband. She graduated from Sauquoit Valley Central School and the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York College at Potsdam. She later received a master of music degree in organ from Syracuse University.

After college, she taught music in the Utica public schools and was an organist at churches in the Utica area. In Syracuse, she continued as a music teacher in the Syracuse public schools and was an organist at churches in Syracuse.

She moved to the Albany area with her family in 1969 and continued as an organist at several churches in the Capital District. She was a long-time member of the American Guild of Organists.

She retired from the state’s Department of Social Services after serving more than 20 years.

She is survived by her husband, Henry G. Williams, whom she married in 1952; by her daughter, Sarah, and her husband, Robert Bojdak, and their daughters Elizabeth Jo-Li and Christina Li-An of Clarence, N.Y.; and by her son, Mark A. Williams, and his wife, Kimberly Ann, and their daughters, Olivia and Anna, who live in Guilderland.

Calling hours are from 5 to 8 p.m. today, Thursday, Sept. 27, at the Frederick and Tebbutt Funeral Home, 633 Central Ave., Albany. Friends are also invited to attend a Service of Remembrance on Saturday, Sept. 29, at 11 a.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 262 State St., Albany.

Memorial contributions may be made to Westminster Presbyterian Church, 85 Chestnut St., Albany, NY 12210 or to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society - Upstate NY Chapter, 1650 South Ave., Rochester, NY 14620.

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