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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, April 23, 2009


George A. Gould

GUILDERLAND — George A. Gould, a hardworking and devoted father, and grandfather, died on Monday, April 20, 2009. He was 91.

Mr. Gould was born on Feb. 14, 1918, in Cutbank, Mont., to the late James and Alice Gould. He lived in Montana until he was 13, and then moved with his family to Johnstown, N.Y.

Mr. Gould joined the United States Army directly out of high school, and served from 1936 to 1939. When World War II broke out, he re-enlisted with the Coast Guard, and served from 1942 to 1946. After returning home from the war, he began working for AT&T, a job he held for over 40 years.

The job with AT&T transferred Mr. Gould to Guilderland, where he lived for the rest of his life, and where he raised his family. He and his, wife Miriam Schofield Gould, had two children — Bruce and Candace.

Mr. Gould was a hard worker, said his daughter, Candace Lider, but he was also a very hands-on father. “He was a real family man,” his daughter said. He loved the outdoors, and often took his two children camping, canoeing, and fishing, she said.

His real passion, his daughter said, was gardening, specifically vegetable gardening. “We always had fresh vegetables growing up,” she said. Mr. Gould would can, pickle, and cook his produce; stews featuring his vegetables were his specialty, according to his daughter.

In addition to gardening, Mr. Gould enjoyed biking with friends, and making his own wine and beer.

“He was a fantastic father,” said his daughter, “but he was also a devoted grandfather.” He helped to raise her two children when she went back to school, and played what she said was a huge role in their upbringing. “He loved all of his grandchildren; they were very special to him,” his daughter said.

“He was a wonderful father, a great grandfather, and one of the most wonderful things about him was his empathy for other people,” said his daughter.

****

George A. Gould is survived by his children, Bruce Gould and his wife, Christine Willaims,, and Candace Lider and her husband, Robert; four grandchildren, Jill Roarke and her husband, John, Tracy Phoenix and her husband, Paul, and Caroline and Chauncy Cole; four great-grandchildren, Briley, Liam, Jayden, and Ashlynn; two sisters, and one brother; and, his companion, Dorothy Siebert.

His wife, Miriam Schofield Gould, died before him, as did three of his brothers.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 25, 2009, at the Fredendall Funeral Home, in Altamont. Friends may call prior to the service, from noon to 2 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Citizen’s Environmental Coalition, 119 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY, 12210.

— Anne Hayden


Walter A. Long

EAST BERNE — Walter Long, a World War II veteran who worked on the Mars Project for NASA, died on April 10, 2009 at the Guilderland Center Nursing Home. He was 86.

Long was born in Yonkers, N.Y. on July 17, 1922, the son of the late Percy and Anna (Wilson) Long.

He served his country during World War II, serving in the Navy. He received his bachelor’s degree in meteorology at Cal-Tech, continued his education at Columbia University, and graduated with a master’s degree in mathematics and physics.

Mr. Long went on to educate others at Westchester Community College, while working towards a Ph.D. in math education. He received the Science Foundation Scholarship for eight consecutive years, and studied space programs.

He later worked at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on the National Weather Satellite, followed by a second year working on the Mars Project. He went to Oakridge to further study radioisotopes. He retired as a professor at Westchester Community College in 1978.

“After completing his impressive career, he went on to travel and enjoy life with his devoted wife and lifelong partner, Dorothy,” his family wrote in a tribute.

****

Long is survived by his wife, Dorothy (Hatfield) Long; his sons, Walter Long Jr., and Bruce Long; his daughters, Denise Setter, and Laurel Long and her husband, Stephen; his grandchildren: Sean Setter and his wife, Katie, Sara Harte and her husband, Timothy, and Shea O’Sullivan; his great-grandchildren, Christopher and Nicholas Setter; and his daughter-in-law, Christine Long.

A funeral service was held on April 15 at the First Baptist Church in Westerlo, with burial at the South Berne Cemetery. Funeral arrangements were made by the Cunningham Funeral Home in Greenville, N.Y.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church of Westerlo, Capital City Rescue Mission, or the Helderberg Christian School.


Judy G. (Badgley) Okesson

VOORHEESVILLE — Judy Okesson’s discipline saw her through a career as a computer programmer and analyst and a professor of computer science.

She died on April 11, 2009, at Saratoga Hospital after a 40-year battle with multiple sclerosis. She was 61.

After her diagnosis, she and her husband did everything that they would want to do in their retirement while they were young, said Brian Okesson.

The couple hiked the Grand Canyon twice, he said, concluding, “We did it when we could and we enjoyed it.”

They met when he was 8 years old, Mr. Okesson said, while their parents were helping with the New Salem Fire Department’s Punkintown Fair.

Mrs. Okesson grew up on the Hickory Ridge Farm, between Voorheesville and New Salem. Her parents, the late Jerry G. and Elizabeth Parr Badgley ran the dairy farm until her father became a businessman when she was about 6 years old, Mr. Okesson said.

While she earned a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York College at Oneonta and a master’s degree from the University at Albany, both in math education, Mrs. Okesson maintained a 4.0 average and graduated with honors, her husband said.

After the couple married, on April 25, 1969, Mrs. Okesson got a job with General Electric as a computer programmer and “they trained her in the field,” Mr. Okesson said. She was instrumental in some major projects that the company handled until the Okessons moved to Scottsdale, Ariz., in 1973 where she worked for Motorola Co. as a senior programmer and analyst until 1985.

She liked the challenge of the work, her husband said, and, based on her educational background and her work experience, Mrs. Okesson became a professor of computer science at Scottsdale Community College. “She was a natural,” Mr. Okesson said.

During the school year, she taught programming and related subjects and each summer, she caught up on the advances in the field, Mr. Okesson said.

“She was very well disciplined,” he said. “When she set her mind to something, she accomplished it.”

****

Mrs. Okesson is survived by her devoted husband and caregiver of 40 years, Brian R. Okesson. She is also survived by her sister, Marion Badgley, and her husband, Robert Parmenter, of Voorheesvile; her nephew, Jerry R. Parmenter, and his wife, Monica, of Voorheesville; her niece, Heather Parmenter, and her husband, Michael Reiffer, of West Chester, Pa.; and by her Hunt Lake friends.

A memorial service will be held today, April 23, at 2 p.m. at the Woodland Commons, The Saratoga Room, 156 Lawrence St., Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Arrangements are by the Wilton Funeral Home of Wilton, N.Y. Messages may be left at www.mevecfuneralhome.com.

Memorial donations may be made to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, 421 New Karner Rd., Albany, NY 12205.

— Saranac Hale Spencer


Ruth Knaggs Radzewicz

ALTAMONT — Ruth Knaggs Radzewicz, a hardworking, generous, and dedicated wife and mother, died on April 7, 2009. She was 84.

Mrs. Radzewicz was born in Altamont to George and Lavina Grant Knaggs. She grew up on the Knaggs Farm, a working farm, and started school in a one-room schoolhouse in town. She graduated from Draper High School.

Mrs. Radzewicz met her husband, Albert, through his sister, and moved to Connecticut with him in the early 1950s. Mr. and Mrs. Radzewicz came back to Altamont to visit her family, and noticed that a farm in the area was up for sale. The couple took a look at the farm and decided to buy it, thinking it would be a good place to raise a family,

The farm, which they named Radzewicz Brothers, was a working dairy farm. Mrs. Radzewicz worked in the telegraphic office of General Electric for several years, to help pay the mortgage, while her husband ran the farm. They had four children — Paul, Lois, Ruthann, and Victor — and the children grew up helping to work the farm.

“It was a family farm, we all pitched in,” said Mrs. Radzewicz’s son Paul. “We are a very farm-oriented family.”

In addition to working and helping out with the farm, “My mother loved gardening,” said her son. “There were flower gardens all over the farm.”

When the farm transitioned to a tire business, Mrs. Radzewicz took over the bookkeeping, a job she held right up until her death. “I was so fortunate to get all the time with her that I did, working with her in the home business,” her son said.

“She was loyal, dedicated, and the most loving, caring person I ever knew,” Mrs. Radzewicz’s daughter Lois said, noting her mother’s dedication to her husband. At the time of her death, they had been married for 61 years.

 “She did everything for everybody; we couldn’t have asked for a better mom,” her daughter said.

****

Ruth Knaggs Radzewicz is survived by her husband, Albert Radzewicz; three children, Paul Radzewicz and his wife, Karen, of Guilderland, Lois Teschka and her husband, Richard, of Delanson, and Ruthann Smith and her husband, Bryan, of New Berlin; one brother, Albert Knaggs; two sisters, Edith Keys and her husband, Raymond, of Guilderland, and Margaret Knaggs; eight grandchildren, Sandra, Carl, Doug, Brian, Laura, Amanda, Daryl, and Sarah; and, several nieces and nephews.

Her son, Victor, died before her, as did three brothers — Robert, Arnold, and Oscar Knaggs.

Private services were held for Mrs. Radzewicz. Memorial contributions may be made to the Altamont Rescue Squad, 767 Main St., Altamont, NY, 12009, or the Alzheimer’s Association, 85 Watervliet Ave., Albany, NY, 12206.


Stephen F. Shedina

KNOX — A family man and a gentleman, Stephen F. Shedina was a gardener who loved to camp, his daughter said. On Tuesday, April 21, 2009, he died at his home in Knox. He was 93.

Born in Guilderland, Mr. Shedina began his education in a one-room schoolhouse in Guilderland, and finished his schooling in Knox. He worked for many years as a farmhand locally. In 1961, he went to work for the New York State Department of Transportation, retiring in 1980. He was a member of the Knox Reformed Church since 1951. He was also a member of the Gallupville Grange 893 for many years until it dissolved, and a member of the Hilltowns Senior Citizens.

Mr. Shedina was a member of the original Knox Fire Department, and an inactive member of the American Legion 977.

He met Elizabeth Kolb, his wife of almost 60 years, at a skating rink in Knox. “It was pretty much love at first sight,” said his daughter, Lydia Ogaard. The two were married on October 7, 1950.

“He had the greenest thumb in the world,” his daughter said. “I could never get my garden to be like Daddy’s.”

Mr. Shedina, his wife, Elizabeth, and his daughters, Lydia and Marie, went camping every year, Mrs. Ogaard said. “After his four-years-and-a-quarter in the Army, we never used a tent,” she said. Shedina was a World War II veteran who served as a medic in Panama and the Philippines.

“He had a ‘55 station wagon that he made a wooden box on top of,” his daughter went on. “He and one of us would sleep up there, and Mom and one of us would sleep on the bottom. He also had a full-size van. He converted the back seat, that he could fold down, into a ply-board bed. We had a cot across the front, and a bed across the back windows, so, all four of us could sleep in there,” she said.

“He was a family man and a true gentleman,” his daughter said, “in every sense of the word.”

****

Mr. Shedina is survived by his wife, Elizabeth J. (Kolb) Shedina; two daughters: Lydia Ogaard and her husband, Elmer, of Knox, and Marie A. Simon of Rockport, Texas; seven grandchildren: Stephen, Michael and his wife, Mandi, Erica, Diana, Wesley, Stephanie and her husband, Justin, and Kevin; three great-grandchildren: Alex, Nathan, and Jonathan; and his stepbrother, William Przysiecki.

His son, Stephen F. Shedina Jr., died before him, as did his sister, Mary Cienciva; three brothers: William, Joseph, and Charlie Shedina; his stepbrother, Roman Przysiecki; three stepsisters: Mary C. Smith, Helen Sprung, and Jules Rener; and his son-in-law, Lawrence D. Simon.

A funeral service will be held on May 1, 2009, at noon at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont, followed by interment at the Knox Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Knox Reformed Church, Post Office Box 86, Knox, NY 12107, or to the American Legion Post 977, Post Office Box 461, Altamont, NY 12009.

— Zach Simeone


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