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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, October 9, 2008


Willard H. Bink III

ALTAMONT — Willard H. Bink III, a man with a passion for race cars and a sense of humor that wouldn’t quit, died on Oct. 3, 2008 in his Altamont Boulevard home after a long illness. He was 64.

“He was wonderful,” said his niece, Theresa M. Furber. “He was fun-loving. He joked around all the time.”

Mr. Bink met the love of his life while he was playing in a country band. “He was playing in a band at the Hillview Tavern in Esperance where I was a waitress,” recalled Joan Bink. He played the guitar and sang, Johnny Cash style. It was love at first sight and the couple married on Feb. 20, 1971. The marriage lasted 37 years, ending only with Mr. Bink’s death.

Mr. Bink was born in South Carolina; his father, William Bink Jr., died when he was young. “He was killed in the service,” said Ms. Furber.

So Willard H. Bink III was raised by his mother, Harriet Flower, and h

is stepfather, the late John Flower.

He served in the United States Army and was honorably discharged in 1964.

“He was proud of his service,” said Ms. Furber. “But, just like my husband who was in Vietnam, he didn’t talk about it much.”

“He didn’t like to talk about it,” said Mrs. Bink.

Mr. Bink was a member of the American Legion in Rotterdam.

He worked at many different jobs — in construction, as a welder, and as a chef, Ms. Furber said.

Mr. Bink enjoyed stock-car racing and was an avid NASCAR fan. He enjoyed going to the Daytona 500 in Florida, said Ms. Furber. His favorite NASCAR driver was Tony Stewart, she said. “He had a lot of collectibles,” she added.

Mr. Bink also liked music and he loved to draw. “He drew a nice picture of his sister,” said Mrs. Bink. “He was an artist.”

****

Willard H. Bink III is survived by his wife, Joan (Conklin) Bink; his mother, Harriet R. (Moore) Flower of Altamont; his sister, Marguerite Heath, and her husband, Allan, of Altamont; his brother, Robert Flower, and his wife, Sandy, of Delanson; his niece Theresa M. Furber of Indiana; his sister-in-law, Joyce Scherer, and her husband, John, of Florida; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, and uncles.

His fathers, Willard H. Bink Jr. and John Flower, died before him as did his brother, Fred Flower.

A graveside service will be held on Saturday, Oct. 11, at Grove Cemetery in Quaker Street at 3 p.m. Arrangements are by the White-Van Buren Funeral Home in Delanson.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 260 Osborne Road, Albany, NY  12211; to the American Heart Association, 440 New Karner Road, Albany,  NY  12205; or to Community Hospice of Albany, 445 New Karner Road, Albany, NY  12205.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer


Suzanne L. Penman

Suzanne L. Penman (Baldwin) (Rauch), died Thursday, Oct. 2, 2008, at the Teresian House following a long illness. She was 68.

Born on Feb. 29, 1940 in Binghamton, N.Y., she was the daughter of Paul G. and Florence M. (Holcomb) Baldwin. She attended Milne High School. She was one of the original charter members of the Loudonville Presbyterian Church in1954.

She is survived by a daughter, Lori Pincher (Rauch) of Knox; a son, Robert Rauch Jr. and his wife, Kathy, of Walkill; two stepsons, Edward and David Penman; a sister, Joan Baldwin, of Clayton; 17 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Her husband, Edward Penman, and her former husband, Robert Rauch, died before her as did her daughter, Joan Quinn (Rauch) and her son Paul Rauch.

A memorial service will be held, Sunday, Oct. 12, at 2 p.m. at the Loudonville Presbyterian Church, 22 Old Niskayuna Rd., Loudonville. A Reception in the church hall will follow. Arrangements are by the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont. Memorial contributions may be made to the Scleroderma Foundation, 300 Rosewood Dr., Suite 105, Danvers, MA 01923.


Anthony Scandurra

Anthony “Bud” Scandurra enjoyed a simple and happy boyhood on an Altamont farm. Then, after a busy career as a contractor building hundreds of homes with his brother, he enjoyed the simple things in life again, said his sister-in-law, Rose Mary Scandurra.

He died on Sept. 30, 2008, in Mesa, Ariz., where he spent his later years. He was 77.

He was born and raised on a farm on Hawes Road in Altamont, the son of Joseph and Lilly Vining Scandurra.

“It’s a beautiful place,” said Mrs. Scandurra.

“It was a working farm,” said Robert Scandurra, Anthony’s brother and Rose Mary’s husband. “We had cows, chickens, and pigs.”

The brothers went to a one-room schoolhouse, said Mrs. Scandurra.

Mr. Scandurra was proud of his military service with the United States Marine Corps. “He was a really good-looking guy,” said his sister-in-law, “and they chose him to be the proud Marine in recruiting films.”

She went on about his personality, “He always worked really hard.” The Scandurra brothers built hundreds of homes in the Capital Region over 30 years, she said. “He did all the talking and Bob did all the work,” she said, referring to her husband. “It worked out really well. Bud did all the deals.”

He moved to Arizona in the 1980s where the Scandurra brothers built condominiums, apartments, and homes, said Mrs. Scandurra.

“They were like the Bobbsey Twins,” she said. “They did a lot together. They were very close.” His death was difficult for her husband, she said.

In his last years, Mr. Scandurra lived in an assisted living center. “He was finally able to pay attention to the wildlife and birds,” she said. He put up many feeders and blocks, she said.

“He had a host of birds and animals,” she said. “That was his crowning achievement...The residents and all his friends came to share in his delight. He really got to appreciate the simpler and finer things in life. It was almost like he had a second life.”

Mr. Scandurra achieved independence, even shopping in his wheelchair, she said. “He really had time to stop and smell the roses.”

The place where he lived had a library and he went there often to read. He also helped his fellow residents.

“He’d help the people who had strokes. He had his ladies at his table, and he’d help them eat,” said Mrs. Scandurra.

His kindnesses were returned. “When he was in the hospital, the assisted living [residents] fed his birds and rabbits,” she said.

His favorite animal was his beloved Chihuahua, Coco. “That was his constant companion,” said Mrs. Scandurra. “He taught her all kinds of tricks...like sitting up and begging for food or attention.”

Mrs. Scandurra described the Chihuahua as “a very devoted, one-person dog.” Coco is now living with Robert and Rose Mary Scandurra. Mrs. Scandurra concluded, “She’s suffering now, too.”

****

Anthony Scandurra is survived by a sister, Frances Ferraioli, and her husband, Joseph, of Altamont and Georgia; a brother, Robert Scandurra, and his wife, Rose Mary, of Gold Canyon, Ariz; three nieces; and several grandnieces.

A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Humane Society.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer


William Selig

William Henry “Bill” Selig, a World War II veteran who loved the airline business, died on Saturday, Oct. 4, 2008, in Florida where he had lived. He was 83.

“He was just a nice guy,” said his brother, Worthy Cox, of Guilderland. “He was in the airlines right up to his ears.”

Mr. Selig was born in Albany on Aug. 7, 1925 to William and Clara Selig. He graduated from Altamont High School in 1942 and, at age 17, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where he saw action throughout the Pacific.

“He just wanted to serve his country,” said his brother.

“It was World War II time. People did whatever they could for the war effort,” said his sister, Doris Selig, also of Guilderland. “He lost part of a finger on a flat top in the South Pacific,” she said.

After the war, Mr. Selig returned home to work as a builder with his stepfather, Worthy Cox Sr., before going to Trans World Airlines in 1948. He worked for TWA for 30 years at the Albany and Hartford, Conn. stations and then in special operations foreign service in Jeddah and Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, Sharjah and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Lagos, Nigeria, retiring in 1976.

“When Saudi Arabia wanted to upgrade their airlines, TWA lent them some people,” said Doris Selig. Her brother was an office manager.

“Bill was the type that put his mind into whatever he was doing, wherever he was,” she said of his working in such far-flung places.

When he was home, Mr. Selig was a past president of the Guilderland Volunteer Fire Department. He was also a member of the Marine Corps League.

After retiring from TWA, Mr. Selig went on to careers in the real estate and travel industries, finally retiring in 1986. He enjoyed playing golf, fishing, and working with his hands at all kinds of projects.

His sister said she will miss “just talking to him.” He was a good listener, she said. “We’d talk about the good old times,” she said. He especially liked to reminisce over his days playing baseball — a sport he loved — for Altamont High, and afterwards for the Guilderland Indians. “Those were good times,” said his sister.

****

William Henry Selig is survived by his wife of 46 years, Dorothy; his sister, Doris Selig; and his brothers, Jack Selig and his wife, Barbara, and Worthy Cox; as well as six grandchildren, Caroline, Sharron, Lee and Yesenia, and Michael Neil, Samantha, and Josh Silberzahn, and William Selig Jr.; and five great-grandchildren, Sarafina and Daniel Favaro, Alexis and Austin Neil, and Joshua Silberzahn Jr.

A memorial service will be held at Beckman-Williamson Funeral Home in Viera, Fla. On Oct. 10.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Wuestoff Brevard Hospice, 8060 Spyglass Hill Road, Viera, FL  32940 or the Rockledge Rotary Foundation, care of 200 Willard Street, Cocoa, FL  32922.

Melissa Hale-Spencer 


Ryan Slingerland

KNOX — Last Thursday, friends of Ryan Slingerland gathered near the gazebo in the center of Altamont. It had been almost 24 hours since Ryan died in a car crash.

The village park was his favorite hangout spot, his mother said. There, they blew up balloons to honor the 16-year-old Berne-Knox-Westerlo sophomore.

Just a few minutes before 4 p.m., they simultaneously released their balloons, allowing them to float up towards the sky — towards Ryan, one friend said.

Before releasing the balloons into the field of crystal-clear blue above, his friends wrote messages on them. Most thanked him for always being there for them, no matter what.

Robert and Matthew Prusinski, twin brothers, say they were two of Ryan’s best friends in the world.

“He’s been our best friend since second grade — like a brother,” Robert said, his brother next to him, both boys fighting back tears with bloodshot eyes. “He was there with us every day.”

“We used to go to the playground over there and do back flips all the time,” Matthew said, his finger trembling as he pointed down the street towards Altamont Elementary School.

“He was such a wonderful kid, so full of life,” said Nicole Prusinski, mother of Robert and Matthew. “He’ll be missed tremendously.”

“He always put me in a better mood,” said Kelsey Evans, a friend from Altamont. She remembers hearing Ryan’s daily impersonations of characters from South Park, the popular TV pop culture parody. “He loved to imitate South Park,” she said.

“He always put others before himself,” added Kaitlyn Butler, another friend from the village. “He was, like, the biggest teddy bear,” she said, her voice cracking with emotion. They called him “chipmunk,” though, because that’s what he looked like, she said. “We’re never going to forget him. He’s a legend — a hero.”

Though he was a hero to some, Slingerland was also an everyday kid, his family and friends say.

“He was Ry-Guy,” said his sister, Shannon Slingerland. “He was just a normal 16 year old. He was my big-little brother…He grew up so fast.” He loved to be at the center of attention, always cracking jokes, she said. “He always would try and put a smile on somebody else’s face before his — to make them happy if they were sad.”

Drawing was one of his favorite things. He drew on his homework, in his notebooks, when he was talking on the phone, when he was sitting at the computer.

“All around my house, we have little odds and ends that he drew on — little pieces of paper lying around,” said his mother, Lindy Slingerland. “I saw a matchbook that he drew his name on. He doodled all types of things: crosses, graffiti-type stuff. It all looked really good,” she said.

He had a sketchbook full of drawings, too. “I think he got the drawing from his older brother Shawn,” his mother said. “Shawn loved to draw.”

Ryan also loved to listen to music, and play video games. His mother said that he always had an iPod on his head. But, most of all, he loved his family and friends. “They made him who he was,” his sister said.

“He would go hang out with them just about every night,” his mother recalls. “Then, he would call me to come get him,” she said, her voice quivering. “He was just such a kind person, and you would always see him smiling.” Ryan was her youngest.

On Monday, friends and family gathered at Fredendall’s Funeral Home, a stone’s throw from the park in Altamont, to say goodbye to Slingerland. There, they heard from Pastor Will Balta of the South Westerlo Congregational Christian Church, who read excerpts from the Bible and offered comforting words.

“We know that he is one who has made many people here laugh,” he said of Ryan. “And we ask, Dear God, that your hand be upon each one here that has been touched by Ryan…Ry-Guy.” The mention of his nickname spurred a bit of laughter, and for a moment, the crowd was smiling.

“We know this is one of the greatest fears that any parent can have,” Pastor Balta went on. “Remember the family after today, and, those of you who know others who were really close to Ryan — remember them, because, after this is all over with, it’s like a vacuum. The pain is really going to set in, and you need to be there for them.”

Slingerland was buried in Knox Cemetery that afternoon.

****

Ryan Slingerland is survived by his parents, Lindy and Michael Slingerland of Knox; his brothers, Shawn Slingerland and his wife, Megan of Central Bridge, and Cory Slingerland of Knox; and his sisters, Shannon Slingerland and her husband, Matthew of East Berne, and Nicole Slingerland of Knox.

Also surviving are his nephew, Christopher Slingerland of Guilderland; his niece, Madison Slingerland of Central Bridge; his grandmother, Rose Tubbs of Knox; and several aunts, uncles, cousins, and dear friends.

His paternal grandparents, James Slingerland and Dolores Slingerland Curro, died before him, as did his maternal grandfather, Merlin Tubbs.

Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of choice.

— Zach Simeone


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