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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 4, 2010

Rose M. DeCinto

GUILDERLAND — Rose M. DeCinto died on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010, at Albany Medical Center. She was 76.

Her husband, David DeCinto, died on April 25, 2005.

She was born on April 13, 1933 in Schenectady; she was the daughter of the late Freeman and Mary Violette.

She is survived by her children, David Wieber, Cynthia Lareau, and Tina Jelinski. She is also survived by six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

A graveside service will be held on Friday, Feb. 5, at noon in Prospect Hill Cemetery, on Western Avenue in Guilderland. Friends may call on Friday from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont. 

Virginia “Chick” Clickman

KNOX — Virginia Clickman, who underpinned her family and community, died on Feb. 2, 2010 at St. Peter’s Hospital. She was 86.

Growing up in Knox, Mrs. Clickman’s father ran the old gas station in the hamlet before her sister, Margaret Stevens, continued the tradition in the 1950s.

Standing at about 5 feet, 4 inches tall, Mrs. Clickman married Marshall Clickman, who stood about 6 feet, 2 inches, said their son, Leonard Clickman. “They were quite a pair,” he said.

They first farmed land on Route 156, keeping dairy cows, before selling the land to George Walk in the early 1960s, Mr. Clickman said. There wasn’t money for much hired help, so Mrs. Clickman would often be out riding the tractor while her husband was dealing with the hay, said their son.

Every day at noon, she’d bring out sandwiches and a blanket so the family could sit under a shade tree to each lunch for half an hour.

“It was quite a time,” Mr. Clickman said.

The family later moved down the road to an old family homestead and Marshall Clickman built the insurance agency that bears the family name.

“She’s always been Dad’s bookkeeper,” Mr. Clickman said. At the farm she kept track of all the balances and she worked at the insurance agency, too, where she was a licensed insurance agent and broker.

She was a hard worker, her dear friend, Angela Pollicino, said.

She would sometimes play the organ at the Knox Reformed Church, where she was active in the couples’ and social clubs.

Mrs. Clickman was also a lifetime member of the Knox Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary and the Republican Club.

She’d make four or five pies each year for the Knox Election Day dinner, two of which were kept under the counter so the kitchen help were sure to get some at the end of the night. Mrs. Clickman was a very good cook. She would make “anything and everything,” said her son. “We were never hungry.”

The Clickmans used to square dance, their son remembered, and some of their old 78s are still around.

“If you needed something,” said her son, “she was always there to give half of what she had.”


She is survived by her son, Leonard M. Clickman; a grandson, Paul L Clickman, and his wife, Traci; five great-grandchildren — Caroline Rose, Owen Davis, Avery James, Molly Ann, and Nora Marie; a sister, Margaret “Si” Stevens; and her dear friend, Angela Pollicino.

Her husband, Marshall J. Clickman, died before her, as did her daughter-in-law, Marie E. Clickman.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 9 a.m., at the Helderberg Reformed Church in Guilderland Center, followed by interment in the Prospect Hill Cemetery. Friends may call on Friday, Feb. 5, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Helderberg Reformed Church. Arrangements are by Fredendall’s Funeral Home in Altamont.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Knox Reformed Church, Post Office Box 86, Knox, NY 12107, or the Knox Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary, Post Office Box 131, Knox, NY 12107.

Saranac Hale Spencer 

John J. Mellen Jr.

RENSSELAER — John J. Mellen Jr. died in a car accident on Jan. 30, 2010. He was 53.

Born in Albany, Mr. Mellon worked at St. Peter’s Addiction Recovery Center.

He is survived by his mother, Dorothy Timerman Mellen, his friend, Mia Scammel, his son, John Robert Mellen, his stepsons, Jason Finch and David Carter, his brother, John J. Mellen, his sisters, Jo-Anne Pratt and Linda Baker, his nieces, Cyndi Mellen and Amanda Dugan, and many friends.

His father, John J. Mellen Sr., died before him, as did his brother, David Mellen.

Funeral services will be held in the Lasak & Gigliotti Funeral Home, 8 Dudley Heights in Albany on Friday at 12:30 p.m. Calling hours will be on Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. with interment in St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands. 

Martha Longacker

Martha Longacker found happiness in a hard life.

“She was kind of tough, but she was always there for you,” said her daughter Lora Ricketts of Thompsons Lake.

She died on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010, at Albany Medical Center. She was 89.

Mrs. Longacker was born on June 18, 1920 to Makary and Laura (Mielewski) Kolakowski. Her parents had been born in Poland. “The families would pick one of their children to go to America for a better life,” said Mrs. Ricketts. Laura Mielewski, a quiet girl who kept to herself, came through Ellis Island at the age of 15. She met and married Mr. Kolakowski and they settled on a dairy farm on Best Road outside of East Greenbush where Mrs. Longacker was raised along with her two brothers — John and Henry — and her sister, Stephanie.

“My mother grew up speaking Polish,” said Mrs. Ricketts. “She didn’t learn English until she went to school.” Mrs. Longacker had a very long walk to Troy High School and only went through the 10th grade.

She married Willis Richardson, who lived on another Best Road farm, and they had four children — Lora, Leonard, Patricia, and Kenneth.

When the marriage ended, Mrs. Longacker worked hard as a single mother, providing for her children. “We had a cold-water flat in Rensselaer,” said Mrs. Ricketts. “She was determined and hard-working. She worked at the Fuller Brush Company in Menands. Every day, she would walk from Broadway in Rensselaer, across the railroad bridge to Albany, and on to work.”

After she met and married George Longacker, the family moved first to one farm in Vermont and then to another before moving to a farm in Knox where their child, Georgia, was born.

“I was married by then and having my second child,” said Mrs. Ricketts. “My kids played with Georgia like they were cousins.”

Mrs. Ricketts had wanted to name her first-born child Martha after her mother. “She said, ‘No, I’ve had a hard life and I don’t want her to have a hard life,’” Mrs. Ricketts recalled. She named her daughter Marcia instead.

Mrs. Longacker had practical interests. “She always raised a big garden to feed us,” said Mrs. Ricketts. “She canned and canned and canned. She loved to make strawberry jam. When we were kids, we’d pick the wild strawberries.”

She also worked as a nutritionist for the Cornell Cooperative Extension Association of Albany County, retiring in 1983.

Mrs. Longacker was also good at sewing and particularly skilled at mending. “She was the best mender, putting patches on our clothes,” said Mrs. Ricketts. “She was a good mother, always feeding us.”

Mrs. Longacker took all of her commitments seriously. She was very active in the Thompson’s Lake Reformed Church, holding many positions on the consistory. She was well known for the pies she baked for the church suppers. Once, her daughter recalled, she missed a family 25th-anniversary party because she had to make gravy for a church supper.

“She was always devoted to what she had to do,” said Mrs. Ricketts.

Mrs. Longacker was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, in the U’hai Chapter 803 in East Berne. She served as matron in 1987. “She was always traveling to other chapters and working hard,” said her daughter. “She interested me with how beautiful the music was.” The ladies would play instruments and sing.

“They dressed in gowns,” said Mrs. Ricketts. “It was just beautiful all the way around.”

Mrs. Ricketts went on, “My mother and I did a lot together. We had a lot of happy times.” She fondly recalled being taught the polka by her mother. “On Sunday, she always polkaed around the house,” said Mrs. Ricketts.

Mrs. Longacker was devoted to her husband, George. “My mother became a widow on February 8, 2002,” said Mrs. Ricketts. Mr. Longacker had had a stroke four years before he died. “From when she was 78 to 82, he was paralyzed in a wheelchair,” said Mrs. Ricketts. “She cared for him day and night, and drove him to the hospital three times a week for therapy. She was devoted.”

Mrs. Longacker’s house was always open and she especially enjoyed welcoming her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.

“She could give you the dickens,” said Mrs. Ricketts, “yet she would be there for you when you had a problem.”


Martha Longacker is survived by her daughter, Lora Ricketts of Thompsons Lake; Leonard Richardson and his wife, Linda, of Starkville, N.Y; Patricia Sykala and her husband, George, of Schenectady; Kenneth Richardson and his girlfriend, Mary Badcock, of Greenville; and Georgia Hallenbeck and her former husband, Everett.

She is also survived by 20 grandchildren — Marcia Pangburn, Kathleen Neal Carnevale, and Daniel Ricketts; Michael Richardson, Terri Barto, Christopher Richardson, David Richardson, Donna Blanchard, Cheryl Lord, and Thomas Richardson; Veronica Barbagallo, and Sondra Weigand; Garry Richardson, Geoffrey Richardson and Scott Richardson; and Everett Hallenbeck, Ben Hallenbeck, Sara Hallenbeck, Elizabeth Hallenbeck, and Zachary Hallenbeck.

She is survived, too, by 26 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; and by her sister, Stephanie Ayers of East Greenbush.

Her husband, George Longacker, died before her, in 2002. Her two brothers, John and Henry Kolakowski, also died before her, as did her son-in-law, Raymond Ricketts.

A viewing will be held on Feb. 5, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont. The funeral will be held on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 1 p.m. at the Thompson Lake Reformed Church with Rev. Timothy Van Heest officiating. Burial will be in the spring at Thompson’s Lake Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Thompson’s Lake Reformed Church, Post Office Box 94, East Berne, NY 12059.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

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