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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 12, 2009

Wannetta Kisby

GUILDERLAND — A social woman who cared about her family and the community at large, Wannetta Kisby, known to her friends as “Wanny,” worked as a waitress and a police dispatcher.

“She enjoyed people,” said her son Alan Kisby, of Guilderland.

Mrs. Kisby died on Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009, at the age of 83.

She was born in Jersey Shore, Pa., the daughter of the late Edman and Ruth Burger. The family had two boys and two girls, said Donna Walsh, Mrs. Kisby’s daughter. Mrs. Kisby’s father worked for the railroad, she said, and her mother was a homemaker.

Mrs. Kisby graduated from Albany High School in 1945, the same year that she married Earl “Willard” Kisby Jr. “My aunt says they met at a dance,” said Mrs. Walsh. They were married at Fort Pierce in Florida.

“He was in the service and she was finishing high school,” said Mrs. Walsh. “He thought he was going to be sent out to sea. She went to Florida on a weekend’s notice — and they married. My aunt was all upset; she was supposed to be in the wedding.”

The happy marriage lasted for 50 years, ending only when Mr. Kisby died in 1995.

The couple raised three children in a house at 6 Morningside Drive in Guilderland, built by Mr. Kisby and his father. They also built the house next door at 4 Morningside Drive where Mr. Kisby’s parents lived.

“Dad and my grandfather helped build the first fire department in Guilderland, too,” said Mr. Kisby. His mother was a member of the Guilderland Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary.

“Dad worked at GE,” said Alan Kisby. “He’d spend his time off painting the house...We had a simple life. We never had a lot of vacations. But we put a pool in the yard in and spent hours and hours there. We spent our summers at the house.”

He described his mother as “very compassionate and loving.”

“She couldn’t do enough for us,” said Alan Kisby. “She was a good homemaker.” Alan Kisby said that he liked all the meals his mother prepared except for the canned peas and salmon croquettes — the bones bothered him.

Mrs. Kisby worked outside the home, too — first as a waitress at a restaurant in New Scotland on the Helderberg escarpment and later at Guilderland’s Bavarian Chalet. “She was very social and liked meeting people,” said Mr. Kisby, so she enjoyed her work as a waitress.

She later worked as a Guilderland Police dispatcher and then as secretary to the chief of police. She worked at Guilderland Town Hall for 20 years, her son said.

“She was very kind and loving,” said her daughter. Mrs. Kisby belonged to the Lynnwood Reformed Church.

“She did a lot with the church and she worked at the food pantry,” said Mrs. Walsh. “When someone at the church passed away, she was part of a food chain, and would take food to the family.”

“She was very social and enjoyed playing card games and bingo,” said her son.

“She always liked to have parties and to be with her family and friends,” said her daughter.

In her later years, Mrs. Kisby enjoyed her five grandchildren and then her three great-grandchildren. “She loved to color with them, and play in the yard, and watch them in the pool,” said Mrs. Walsh.

“She loved all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” Mrs. Walsh concluded. “She was a wonderful lady.”


Wannetta “Wanny” Kisby is survived by her three children, Alan Kisby and his wife, Sharon; Donna Walsh and her husband, Charles; and James Kisby and his wife, Jean — all of Guilderland.

She is also survived by her grandchildren, Erin Quillinan, Staci Clark, Eric Kisby, Christopher and Matthew Walsh, Michelle and Michael Buffardi; and her great-grandchildren, Tyler, Ethan, and Conner.

And she is survived by her sister, Chloma Nickel, of Queensbury, and by several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Her beloved husband of 50 years, Earl “Willard” Kisby Jr., died in 1995. Her brothers, Wallace and Lawrence Burger, also died before her as did a daughter-in-law, Mary Louise Kisby.

A funeral service was held on Monday at Guilderland’s DeMarco-Stone Funeral Home with burial in Prospect Hill Cemetery in Guilderland.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Community Hospice of Albany County or to the Northeastern New York Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

Michael D. Sullivan

GUILDERLAND — Michael D. Sullivan, a student at Guilderland High School, was a sweet young man who shared his love freely.

He died on Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009, at age 20.

“Michael had Down’s syndrome, so he was in special classes at school,” said his cousin, Sandra Sullivan. “He loved being with his classmates and participating in all they did.”

She noted, “He was also involved in a work program through Vo-Tech. He had many obstacles in his life to overcome but he met each one with his head held high.”

He lived in Altamont, with his mother, Sally Sullivan, and his sister, Amy Sullivan. He also had three older brothers — Daniel, Paul, and Sean — whom he adored, said his cousin.

“The three boys are all members of the West Albany Fire Department,” said Ms. Sullivan. “He loved spending time with his brothers and he wanted to be a fireman, too. Of course, he couldn’t be. But he was an honorary member of the West Albany Department.”

Mr. Sullivan also enjoyed the company of his young nephews — Daniel Jr. and Brett — and nieces — Kaylin and Chloe — said Ms. Sullivan.

“He had a ball when he was with those kids,” she said. “He absolutely loved the kids.”

One of Mr. Sullivan’s favorite activities was bowling. “He loved to bowl,” said Ms. Sullivan.

She went on, “He was so sweet. He always had a kind smile for you. He was such a joy to be around.”

A funeral service was held Friday morning at the Altamont Reformed Church with interment in Memory’s Garden.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Altamont Reformed Church, 129 Lincoln Ave., Altamont, NY 12009.

The pastor of the church, Bob Luidens, helped the Sullivan family after Michael’s father, Paul Sullivan, died in 1995, said Ms. Sullivan.

“Mr. Luidens has been in their lives since then,” said Ms. Sullivan. “Whenever he would come to the apartment, Mike would greet him with a big bear hug.”

Ms. Sullivan went on about her cousin, “He unconditionally loved everybody. If he saw you were sad. He’d say, ‘Why are you sad?’”

She concluded, “He was an angel.”

Melissa Hale-Spencer

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