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Obituaries Archives The Altamont Enterprise, June 10, 2010
Rita Rose Brown
NEW SCOTLAND Rita Rose Brown did not speak often, but she was sure of herself when she did.
“A stubborn German,” is what her son had affectionately called her, he said this week. Once his mother made up her mind, Donald Brown said, there was no changing it.
Mrs. Brown died on Friday, June 4, 2010, at the Manor Care nursing home in Dunedin, Fla. She was 89.
The daughter of a first- and second-generation German couple, Mrs. Brown was the sixth of seven children and spent her young life on the family farm near Voorheesville.
She walked to school and, despite the weather, she would always complete her chores when she came home, said her son.
Mrs. Brown loved school, he said, and she moved to Delmar and worked as a nanny while she attended Bethlehem’s high school before Voorheesville had one. She went on to graduate from Mildred Elley College in Albany.
As a young woman, Mrs. Brown worked as a waitress at her cousin’s bar, where Rexford Brown played the saxophone. When she married Mr. Brown in 1941, their son said, she was 25 and he was 40.
“She was very generous,” Donald Brown said of his mother. No matter who in the neighborhood might be sick, she’d always bake something to bring over, he said.
“You do what you do because it’s the right thing,” not to get recognition, Mrs. Brown was vehement about teaching her children, her son remembered.
The home he grew up in was infused with old German tradition with homemade sauerkraut, pickled pigs’ feet, and a basement full of canned fruits and vegetables. “That was just the way we grew up,” he said.
After her children were grown, Mrs. Brown went to work for New York State in the tax and finance division. Before that, she worked for General Electric and for 15 years she was a hostess at the Turnpike Restaurant.
In 1988, Mrs. Brown moved to Florida to be near her son and kept a busy schedule of bingo, pinochle, social meals, and card games. She was very active in the Red Hat Society, a social group for women over 50, who wear red hats to their gatherings.
“If you were her friend,” said Mr. Brown of his mother, “she was your friend for life.”
Ms. Brown is survived by her son, Donald Brown, and his wife, Patricia, of Oldsmar, Fla. and her brother, Walter Halsdorf, of Dunedin, Fla. as well as several nieces and nephews.
Her husband, Rexford Brown, died before her as did her parents, Sebastian and Hatti Halsdorf.
A Mass of the Resurrection will be held tomorrow, June 11, at St. Madeleine Sophie Church in Guilderland at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at the Albany Rural Cemetery in Menands. Calling hours will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on June 10 at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont.
Saranac Hale Spencer
Minnie Tryon Gaul
VOORHEESVILLE Minnie Tryon Gaul, whose merry heart kept the beat of her favorite poems, died on June 8, 2010. She was 95.
Born on her grandparents’ farm in Coeymans Hollow on April 3, 1915, Mrs. Gaul attended the one-room schoolhouse there and was a farmer until she moved in 1935 to Voorheesville, where she raised her family.
“A kid at heart, she loved spending time with children and was a babysitter to many,” wrote her family in a tribute.
Mrs. Gaul was also a nurse’s aide, housewife, mother, and grandmother.
She watched the birds and always looked out for the cardinals; she loved baseball and always rooted for the Mets; and she liked Indy and NASCAR racing.
“She loved poetry and was always reciting her favorites,” wrote her family.
“She loved life and always saw the positive in everything,” they wrote. “Minnie was devoted to her family and will be greatly missed.”
Mrs. Gaul is survived by James Albert Smith Jr. and his wife, Mary; Lawrence Starr Smith and his wife, Lillian; Edith Mary Smith; 17 grandchildren; 48 great-grandchildren; and eight great-great-grandchildren.
Her parents, Mary Jane Day and Alvah J. Starr, died before her as did her siblings, Edith Wade, Marjorie Wickman, Horton Starr, Eleanor Walton, and Vivian Hotaling.
Funeral services will be held Friday, June 11, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. at the New Scotland Presbyterian Church with burial to immediately follow in the Onesquethaw Cemetery. Arrangements are by the Reilly & Son Funeral Home in Voorheesville.
Memorial contributions may be made to the New Scotland Presbyterian Church, 2010 New Scotland Rd., Slingerlands, NY 12159.
Saranac Hale Spencer
Frederick G. Goodrow
Frederick Goodrow, who served in World War II, died on June 2, 2010 at the West Volusia Care Center near his home in Summerfield, Fla. He was 92.
Born in Bridgeport, Conn. On April 19, 1918, he was the son of the late Frederick and Anna Goodrow.
Mr. Goodrow served in the United States Army Airborne Division during World War II and then worked as a truck driver for the Dagostino Block Company in Schenectady.
He was a member of the Noah Masonic Lodge 754, the Ocala Schrine Club, and the American Legion Post 185.
Mr. Goodrow is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and his two brothers, Wilbur and Robert Goodrow.
A funeral service was held on June 9, 2010 at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont followed by interment in the Evergreen Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to St. John’s Lutheran Church, 10495 Sunset Harbor Rd., Summerfield, FL 34491 or to the Halifax Health Hospice Volusia, 1625 Veterans Memorial, Orange City, FL 32763.
Dixon G. Stevens
A true people-person, Dr. Dixon G. Stevens, Ed.D, died on Thursday, May 20, 2010, at home in East Randolph, N.Y., with his family by his side, while under the care of hospice. He was 73.
A long-time Altamont resident, Dr. Stevens was born in the town of Busti, in western New York, on Aug. 17, 1936, to the late Thomas and Mary Ellen Murdock Stevens. He was a member of Southwestern High School’s first graduating class; he went on to receive an associate’s degree in business from Jamestown Community College, and three degrees from the University at Albany a bachelor of science degree in business administration, a master’s degree in business administration, and a doctor of education degree in educational administration.
Dr. Stevens served in the National Guard, and, in his earlier years, had professorships at the University at Albany and Russell Sage College. He was a professor of management, marketing, and organizational theory at The College of Saint Rose until his retirement in 1994.
Dr. Stevens was a man who knew what he wanted. His wife, Judith E. Milliman, said they got engaged three months after they met, and got married three months after that, on Aug. 4, 1962, in Conewango Valley. Their marriage lasted 48 years, ending only with his death.
“He was very decisive. He told me on our second date that we would get married, and he was right!” Mrs. Milliman said. She said her husband exuded a sense of self-confidence.
“He knew who he was, and he was very comfortable with himself,” she said. They had two children, Janell and Thomas, and, Mrs. Milliman said, as a father, he was “firm, fair, and consistent.” She said he was “indulgent” to their four grandchildren.
After his retirement, Dr. Stevens became interested in history and genealogy, said his wife. He started working with some family members’ rudimentary genealogical reports, and found himself delving further and further into the past. He loved the organization, the patterns, and the intriguing bits of information that were uncovered, Mrs. Milliman said.
Dr. Stevens was extremely interested in the history of people, particularly how specific historical events affected the lives of groups of people, said his wife. He read many historical books, and became especially interested in the history of the Amish, and how their beliefs developed.
He lived, in his later years, in western New York, where he was born and raised, in Amish country, and led Amish tours for Paul and Sue Fisher.
He loved people, said Mrs. Milliman, and was a member of many groups and organizations, including: the Randolph Lions Club, where he was the past secretary; the Randolph Historical Society, which he founded; the Busti, Leon, and Crawford County Historical Society; the Randolph American Legion; and the Jamestown Audubon Society, where he was the past board president. He was also very active with the Chautauqua and Cattaraugus County genealogical societies.
Dr. Stevens was a member of the East Randolph United Methodist Church, and a former member of the Altamont Reformed Church, where he served as an elder and deacon.
One of his biggest passions was building model trains, Mrs. Milliman said. She said that, when they lived in Altamont, Dr. Stevens kept his model trains in the basement, but, when they moved to Randolph, he built “Dixon’s Depot,” a separate structure, to house his trains. He loved showing his models to Cub Scouts and members of the Lions Club, and playing with them with his grandsons, she said.
Dr. Stevens was a member of Circus Model Builders and Train Collectors of America.
He also worked for the VanRensselaer and Son Funeral Home during his retirement.
“He was just a friendly, outgoing person who did not tolerate negativity,” said his wife. “He enjoyed his life, and was quick to say he was very blessed.”
Dr. Stevens is survived by his wife, Judith E. Milliman; his daughter, Janell A. Sluga, and her husband, Steven, of East Randolph; his son, Thomas H. Stevens, and his wife, Julia, of Holliston, Mass.; four grandchildren, Wesley and Wyatt Sluga of East Randolph, and Antonia and Lucille Stevens of Holliston, Mass.; three sisters, Beverly Sischo, and Jonolyn Weinstein, and her husband, Daniel, of Jamestown, and Donell Wiltsie and her husband, Robert, of Busti; and a brother, Gary Stevens, and his wife, Gayle, of Sugar Grove, Pa.
His sisters, Katherine Lawson and Marilyn Lantz, died before him, as did his brothers, Lawrence, Paul, and Gaylord Stevens.
A funeral was held on May 24, 2010, at the East Randolph United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Abel Roy officiating. Burial was in the Treet Memorial Cemetery in Leon. Arrangements were by the VanRensselaer Funeral Home in Randolph.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Randolph, Leon, or Busti historical societies.
Joan Ann Schinnerer
Joan Ann Schinnerer, a deacon and sports enthusiast, died on May 28, 2010. She was 76.
Miss Schinnerer was born in Colonie on Nov. 23, 1933, to Harry G. Schinnerer Sr. and Grace T. Schinnerer. She attended schools in Albany and Colonie, and graduated from Draper High School, in Rotterdam, in 1952. In her junior year, she received the Elmira College Key Award, a distinguished honor.
She worked for Schenectady Savings and Loan Association until the late 1950s, and then worked for the New York State Civil Service until retirement; she ended her career as a senior administrative analyst.
She had a love of sports and a dedicated discipline, which helped her become very successful in softball, basketball, and bowling, wrote her family in a tribute.
Miss Schinnerer bowled in many leagues in Schenectady throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and enjoyed many friendships and tournaments, her family wrote.
She served as a deacon at the Hamilton Union Presbyterian Church in Guilderland, where she also taught a Sunday school class called “Special Friends,” for young people with disabilities. When she moved to Albany, she served as a deacon at the Westminster Presbyterian Church.
Miss Schinnerer’s family would like to express sincere thanks to the Daughters of Sarah Daycare Program, the Teresian House, and Carmel Gardens East staff, for their care, and the Rev. James Reisner and deacons for their prayers and expressions of love.
Miss Schinnerer lived with her sister and brother-in-law, Jeanne and Howard Borden, for the past seven years.
She is survived by Grace Jane Carl, and her husband, Herbert; Andrew M. Schinnerer, and his wife, Pat; Arthur D. Schinnerer, and his wife, Sylvia; Kathleen Schinnerer; and many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, grand-nephews, cousins, and friends.
Her brothers, Don A., John H., and Harry G., and his wife, Ruth, died before her.
She was interred next to her mother in Prospect Hill Cemetery, in Guilderland. A graveside service was held at the cemetery on June 3, at 11 a.m. Arrangements are by the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association NENY, 4 Pine Plaza, Albany NY 12205; Westminster Presbyterian Church, Deacon’s or Mission’s Fund, 85 Chestnut St., Albany, NY 12210; or, Teresian House, Carmel Gardens East, 200 Washington Ave. Extension, Albany, NY 12203, care of Shawn Hall.
Howard L. Stalker
BERNE Howard L. Stalker was a country boy at heart, who needed only his wife and his children to be happy.
He died on June 4, 2010, at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany. He was 82.
“I had a friend who said we lived in the State of Stalker, and it was kind of true,” said his wife of 62 years, Audrey Stalker. “We had seven children, and we really didn’t need anybody else. I know that sounds funny, but it’s really true.”
Mr. Stalker was born on Jan. 17, 1928, in Berne, the son of Clyde and Flossie Stalker.
He worked for Verizon, retiring in 1984. He was also a life member of the Telephone Pioneers, and was a master of the Berne Free and Accepted Masonic Lodge.
His wife described him as a “fine craftsman,” and this was a skill they shared. He enjoyed refinishing antiques, and chair caning. He also loved his garden, Mrs. Stalker said.
“We traveled a little bit, mostly to go and see our daughter whose husband was in the service,” said Mrs. Stalker. This included trips to Texas, Alabama, and Oklahoma.
The couple also traveled to Amish County in Reading and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, because Mr. Stalker was a country boy, his wife said.
Mr. Stalker met his wife of more than six decades in the first grade. She was 6, and he was 7. They got married on Nov. 8, 1947.
In addition to his wife, Howard L. Stalker is survived by five children: Pamela Murdock and her husband, Richard; Wayne Stalker; Brian Stalker and his wife, Debora; Penelope Heim and her husband, Theodore; and Adam Stalker and his wife, Dianne.
He is also survived by eight grandchildren.
His son, Stewart Howard, and his daughter, Gretchen Suzanne, died before him.
The Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont has made the private funeral arrangements.