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Obituaries Archives The Altamont Enterprise, May 28, 2009
Harry “Butch” Simmons
BERNE A devoted family man, Harry “Butch” Simmons worked in Berne, straightening and painting many cars for years.
He met his wife of 21 years, Beverly, when she brought her Ford truck to him to paint metallic brown.
“He did an excellent job,” Mrs. Simmons recalled and, as a special unasked-for touch, she said, “He acid etched the side mirror with roses.”
He died unexpectedly on Monday, May 25, 2009. He was 66.
Mr. Simmons was born on Jan. 14, 1943 in Hudson, N.Y., the son of Harry Simmons and Marion (Sharp) Simmons. He grew up and attended school in Albany. His mother was a homemaker and his father worked for Interstate Signs, which put up highway signs and was one of the first to use neon, said Mrs. Simmons.
He moved to the Hilltowns in the 1960s, where he ran his own body shop, fixing cars and motorcycles. “He loved it,” Mrs. Simmons said of her husband’s work.
He gave it up, though, when he got older, she said, explaining, “If you don’t have the proper equipment, body work is bad for your breathing.”
Mr. Simmons then went to work as a custodian at Farnsworth Middle School in Guilderland. “He enjoyed his interaction with the teachers and the students there,” said his wife. Mr. Simmons retired in 2005, after 16 years of working for the Guilderland School District.
After his retirement, he enjoyed building and painting model cars and trucks with his daughter, Kelcii. “When people hear ‘model cars,’ they think of those plastic kits,” said his wife, “but Butch made his models all by hand from wood.” He brought home silver and gold medals from model-car shows, she said.
His two older daughters live with their families, but Kelcii, who is 13, is still at home and got to know all about cars by working with her father, said Mrs. Simmons.
“He’s a very devoted man to his family,” said Mrs. Simmons. “His four grandchildren just worshipped him.”
She went on, “He was funny. He had a very dry sense of humor. If you didn’t know how to take him, you could be insulted.”
Mr. Simmons was not a formal man. His wife plans to bury him in the clothes he wore every day jeans and a T-shirt with an overshirt on top. “If I ever put him in a suit, he’d haunt me for the rest of my life,” she said. “The only time I ever saw my husband in a suit was when he wore a tux to walk his daughter down the aisle.”
He would do anything for his daughters, she said, concluding, “He was a very loving man, dedicated to his family.”
Harry Simmons is survived by his wife, Beverly; his daughters and their families, Kelcii Simmons of Berne, Krista Kent and her fiancé, John, and children, Taylor and Mikayla, Mackenzie Hempstead and her husband, Don, and their children, Callie and Garret.
He is also survived by a great many nieces, nephews, and friends.
A funeral will be conducted at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 29, 2009, at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont. Friends may call prior, from 4 to 6 p.m. Condolences may be left for the family online at www.FredendallFuneralHome.com.
Stephen E. Smith
GUILDERLAND Stephen E. Smith, loving husband and father, died on Tuesday, May 19, 2009, at Albany Medical Center. He was 86.
Mr. Smith was born in Princetown, N.Y., to the late Eugene and Mary Smith. He served in the Navy during World War II, and worked as a self-employed mason for over 30 years.
Stephen E. Smith is survived by his wife, Doris Smith; two daughters, Suzanne Leclair of Duanesburg, and Judith Smith Knight of Schenectady; two sons, Timothy Smith of Anchorage, Alaska, and Daniel Smith of Schenectady; 11 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and, several nieces and nephews.
Mr. Smith had four sisters who died before him Melvine, Ethel, Helen, and Mary.
A memorial service for Mr. Smith was held yesterday, May 27, at Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont. Interment followed at Schenectady Memorial Park.
Donations may be made in memory of Mr. Smith, to a charity of one’s choice.
Clayton “Buster” Tallman Jr.
NEW SCOTLAND Clayton “Buster” Tallman Jr. was always teasing someone.
The good-natured highway worker died unexpectedly on May 8, 2009, one day before his 59th birthday.
Born in Albany to the late Beatrice and Clayton Tallman, Mr. Tallman grew up in Clarksville.
As a young man, he served in the Army through the late 1960s and early 1970s, his family wrote in a tribute. After he was discharged, Mr. Tallman followed his father’s lead and worked for many years at the Albany County Highway Department, a job he liked, said his younger sister, Denise Tallman.
He was close to his father, she said, and the pair often went fishing. “He loved to fish,” she said.
Mr. Tallman’s dream was always to move to Florida, which he did a few years ago, and enjoyed the fishing there just as much. “He loved the heat. He loved the beach, the fishing,” she concluded. “He loved it all.”
He did not love the winter, she said. “The hotter, the better,” was his saying, she remembered; even on the hottest southern days, he would say it.
Mr. Tallman was also a baseball fan, rooting for the Yankees in New York and the Rays in Florida, his sister said. Mr. Tallman was also a past member of the American Legion and the Voorheesville Gun Club, his family wrote.
“He was a worker,” she said, explaining that he started doing remodeling work and then made a living out of it.
“I just remembered him pickin’ and teasin’ everybody,” his sister said, smiling.
Mr. Tallman is survived by his wife, Sharon, and by his children, Tammy Sue Feely and her husband, Russell, of Greenville, and Loren “Robbie” Rock of Fort Edward. He is also survived by eight grandchildren Robert, Carol, Kristina, Malinda, Sandra, Angela, Audrey, and Kyle and one great granddaughter, Dorothy. He is also survived by two step daughters, Julie and Jessie, and his sisters, Carol Powers of Holiday, Fla., Barbara Loucks of Westerlo, Donna Vail of Palm Harbor, Fla., and Denise Tallman of Albany. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
His sister, Sharon Paratore, died before him.
A memorial service for family and friends will be held on June 6 at the Knox firehouse from noon to 4 p.m. For more information, call Stacey Loucks at 872-9200.
Saranac Hale Spencer