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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, April 24, 2008

Janice Irene LeBuis Bassler

BERNE — Janice Irene LeBuis Bassler, a Berne native and life-long resident, was active in the Hilltown community and enjoyed entertaining family and friends with her husband.  Mrs. Bassler died on Thursday, April 10, 2008.  She was 72. 

“Janice was an enthusiast for family and social life,” said her family in a tribute.  “She and Pete enjoyed frequent entertaining of family, friends, and large community gatherings at the family pond and cabin.  Her gardens there reflected her energetic and meticulous character.” 

The oldest of Doris and Leo LeBuis’s seven children, Mrs. Bassler was born during the Depression and had a “take-charge” personality, said her daughter, Debra Bajouwa.  She graduated in 1953 from Berne-Knox High School.  She then worked at General Electric in Schenectady, where she contributed to one of the earliest computerized payroll systems. 

In 1956, she married her high-school sweetheart, Fred “Pete” Bassler, while he was in the United States Army, serving in Alaska.  She dedicated herself to her family and was the proud mother of three daughters — Terrice, Debra, and Sharon. 

For many years, Mrs. Bassler worked evenings and weekends at the Zwicklbauer Hofbrau restaurant on Warners Lake. 

An active member of the Hilltown community, she served for many years as the volunteer ambulance dispatcher.  During elections, she staffed local polling stations.  At the Berne Dutch Reformed Church, she sang in the choir and served in many capacities. 

A skilled hand at bridge, Mrs. Bassler played competitively and was a regular at Studio Bridge in Schenectady.  She was also an avid reader and devoured biographies and novels and was curious about the world around her and always eager to express her perspective. 

Later in her life, Mrs. Bassler knitted over 700 scarves.  She also traveled widely with her husband, visiting four continents and 49 of the 50 states.  She delighted in planning trips and ferreting out special places to stay and sights to see.  In the winter of 2007, the couple traveled to New Zealand and Australia. 

In 1997, with great joy, Mrs. Bassler welcomed the birth of her granddaughters, Abigail and Sarah, twin girls born to her daughter, Sharon, and her son-in-law, Scott. 

“The girls’ daily lives, love for their grandmother, Mima, and accomplishments were among the greatest pleasures of her final years,” said her family.  “She felt fortunate that Debra and husband Haytham moved in just down the road to restore Peter and Sarah Bassler’s family home.  The humanitarian career and global adventures of her daughter Terrice were a source of keen interest and connection to the wider world.” 


Mrs. Janice Irene LeBuis Bassler is survived by her devoted husband of almost 52 years, Fred “Pete” Bassler, and her three daughters, Terrice Bassler of Altamont, and her partner, Brad deYoung; Debra Bajouwa, and her husband, Haytham, of Berne; and Sharon Forman, and her husband, Scott, of Altamont.  She is also survived by five siblings — Robert LeBuis, and his wife, Roberta, of Barneveld, N.Y.; Marlene Boomhower, and her husband, Dennis, of Westerlo; Donald LeBuis, and his wife, Donna, of Mokena, Ill.; Charis Cummings, and her husband, Dennis, of Wilton, N.Y.; and Dennis LeBuis of Selkirk, N.Y.  Mrs. Bassler is also survived by her beloved aunt, Margaret Filkins, of Westerlo; her brother-in-law, Merritt Chamberlain, of Scottsdale, Ariz.; and two granddaughters, Sarah and Abigail Forman, of Altamont.  She is also survived by 19 nieces and nephews and numerous grandnieces, grandnephews, great-grandnieces, great-grandnephews, and cousins. 

Her granddaughter, Clea Bassler, and her sister, Diane Chamberlain, died before her as did her grandmother, Nettie S. Filkins, and her uncle, Clyde Filkins. 

A funeral service was April 13, and burial was in the Bassler family plot at Woodlawn Cemetery in Berne.  The Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont made the arrangements. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the Friends of the Berne Library Capital Fund, care of C. Anderson, Post Office Box 42, Berne, NY 12023 for a new or renovated building. 

Note the place of burial is different than stated last week.

Gertrude B. Deitz

GUILDERLAND CENTER — Gertrude B. Deitz, a Berne native who shared in her late husband’s ministry, died on Wednesday, April 16, 2008, at the Guilderland Center Nursing Home.  She was 91. 

Born in Berne on Oct. 13, 1916, Mrs. Deitz was the daughter of the late Clyde and Alta Shultes Ball.  She graduated from Schoharie Central High School and the Oneonta Normal School, a school for teachers. 

The day after Mrs. Deitz died, the family found her diary, which covers four years and dates back to 1938, when she was engaged and married, and the three years before.  

Mrs. Deitz came from a long line of educators.  After graduating from Oneonta, she received her teaching assignment in the Catskills.  At the same time, Rev. Franklin S. Deitz, who also graduated from Schoharie Central High School and was from Berne, proposed to her. 

When deciding what to do, teach or marry, Gertrude Ball didn’t take long to make up her mind, said her son, Allan Deitz.  At the time, Franklin S. Deitz was installed as a pastor in Prattsville.  Mrs. Deitz never took a job as a teacher, Allan Deitz said, and being the wife of a pastor was “a fulfilling role” for his mother. 

His mother and father, Allan Deitz said, had to have known each other through social events and through their fathers. 

Franklin Deitz’s father, Fred Deitz, was a school superintendent and a mailman.  Occasionally, Clyde Ball, a longtime Berne correspondent for The Enterprise who taught at Berne schools, helped him deliver mail on West Mountain in Berne.  Also, Allan Deitz said, when his parents were growing up, it was common for people to go to more than one church service on Sundays. 

“They didn’t have television.  They had friends and family,” he said.

Mrs. Deitz and her family attended St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Berne, where she and her husband were married on Oct. 20, 1938.

After he graduated from Hope College in Michigan and New Brunswick Theological Seminary in New Jersey, Rev. Deitz served as a pastor in Prattsville, Rotterdam, Lawyersville, and Sharon.  He died in December of 1996. 

Mrs. Deitz was very active in her husband’s ministry, involved with many church groups on various levels.  She had her own briefcase, said her son, and organized a Christian girls’ club while his father was a pastor in Rotterdam.  He listened in on gatherings. 

“That’s how I learned that that was one of her favorite hymns: ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus,’” said Allan Deitz. 

In 1975, the Deitzes retired to where Mrs. Deitz grew up — the Ball Farm in the Switzkill Valley in Berne.  Mrs. Deitz became a member of the First Reformed Church in Berne, the Hilltown Senior Citizens, and the Berne Historical Society. 

During their retirement, the Deitzes lived on the farm and traveled each August to Blue Mountain Lake in the Adirondacks.  There, they vacationed with their children and their families. 

Allan Deitz said he remembers his parents as they were at the lake: sitting on the porch, having a good time, playing kanasta, and laughing.


Gertrude B. Deitz is survived by her three children — Allan F. Deitz, and his wife, Betty, of Guilderland; Arlene D. Clark, and her husband, James, of Essex Junction, Vt.; and Gerald R. Deitz, and his wife, Janice, of Clifton Park; and her grandchildren — Jennifer L. Battaglioli of Overland Park, Kan., David L. Clark of Berne, and Karen B. Diligent of Delmar.  Mrs. Deitz is also survived by her great-granddaughter, Isabel Grace Battaglioli; three great-grandsons, Jack Allan Diligent, Evan Nicholas Diligent, and Jacob Battaglioli; her sister, Alberta B. Wright of Berne; and several nieces and nephews.

A funeral service was held on Saturday at the First Reformed Church in Berne.  Burial was in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Berne.  The Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont made the arrangements. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the First Reformed Church in Berne, to the Lawyersville Reformed Church, or to the Sharon Reformed Church. 

— Tyler Schuling

Carolyn S. Stock

BERNE — Carolyn S. Stock was “a very spiritual woman, a loving woman, a kind, caring, compassionate woman,” said her daughter, Rebekah Stock. 

Mrs. Stock died on Friday, April 18, 2008, after a 49-day battle at the Hospice Inn at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany, which her family called “a wonderful caring hospital.”  She was 74.  She had been diagnosed with cancer 48 years ago. 

“Her life pretty much revolved around her farm and her church and her community,” said Rebekah Stock.  Mrs. Stock went to Town Hall and watched the meetings and voiced her opinion, she said. 

Born on Aug. 21, 1933, Mrs. Stock was the daughter of the late Elroy and Beatrice Shufelt.  She was the oldest of eight children. 

When she was 5 years old, she came to live on a farm on Cross Road in Knox with her uncle, the late Arthur M. Bogardus, and his wife, Carrie Bogardus.

“In those days, it was Depression times,” said Rebekah Stock.  “I don’t think she was a very well child, and her mom and dad gave her to the aunt and uncle that were childless so that she could have better medical care, and they raised her.” 

Mrs. Stock spent her life at the farm.  She married Ordell R. Stock on April 27, 1958. 

“In her life, we had dairy goats.  We had cattle.  We raised hay,” said her daughter.  Mrs. Stock drove a team of ponies until her last couple of years, when she was no longer well enough, said her daughter.  She would hook them up to a cart or a sleigh, depending on the time of year, and work them on the farm or take them to the public highway, she said. 

Mrs. Stock graduated from the Berne-Knox Central School on June 25, 1951.  She later graduated from the Moody Bible Institute on Feb. 18, 1959. 

For a number of years, she taught Sunday School and was a lay preacher for the Beaverdam Reformed Church. 

In her early years, said Rebekah Stock, her mother, “like most children in those days,” went with her family to church, and then, as a teenager, taught Sunday School. 

“She was very, very active,” said her daughter.  Then, when she had her family and settled down, she took her children to church when they were young and “led the family in a very Christian way,” she said. 

Mrs. Stock instilled in her family “to love others, to believe and trust in God, to follow God, and He’ll take care of you, that He’ll give you strength and hope when no one has hope,” said Rebekah Stock

“She pretty much liked the whole Bible,” she said.  Her mother also liked the Book of Revelation — “looking forward to the new city, the Holy city.”

In her love for the farm and life, she was a member of the Farm Bureau, the American Dairy Goat Association, and the Berne Reformed Church. 

“There were times when she got down, but, pretty much, she loved life and she wanted to live it, and she tried to live it to the fullest,” said her daughter.


Mrs. Stock is survived by her husband, Ordell R. Stock, and her two children, Rebekah J. Stock and Robert D. Stock — all of Knox; her sister, Catherine Shufelt of Schaghticoke, N.Y.; and two nieces, one nephew, and a great-great nephew. 

A funeral service was held on Tuesday at the First Reformed Church in Berne, officiated by Rev. Robert Hoffman with burial in Beaverdam Cemetery in Berne.  The Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont made the arrangements. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the Berne Reformed Church, 1663 Helderberg Trail, Berne, NY 12023; or to the New York State Farm Bureau Foundation for Agricultural Education, Inc., Post Office Box 5330, 159 Wolf Rd., Albany, NY 12205. 

— Tyler Schuling

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