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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 17, 2011

Janet M. Furman

CLARKSVILLE — A homemaker who loved decorating her own home and advising others on theirs, Janet Furman died on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011, in the Albany County Nursing Home in Colonie. She was 78.

She was born in Rensselaerville on Oct. 13, 1932, the daughter of the late Raymond and Lena (Wood) Tanner Sr.

Devoted to her family, she did not complete high school because she stayed home to care for her younger siblings.

She married Clyde C. Furman in the Trinity Episcopal Church in Rensselaerville where her mother had married, and, later, where some of her children would marry, too. She devoted herself to keeping their home and raising their four children.

“She loved to cook. She would use all of her mother’s recipes,” said her daughter, Brenda Welter. One of her family’s favorites were her cinnamon buns. Mrs. Welter’s husband, James, especially liked her apple dumplings.

Mrs. Furman also enjoyed handiwork, both crocheting afghans and sewing quilts. “Everyone in the family has at least one afghan she crocheted,” said Mrs. Welter. “She made an extra long one for my husband; he’s tall.” Mrs. Furman crocheted with very fine doily yarn an entire bedspread for her daughter, Wendy.

“She did it to relax,” said Mrs. Welter. “Her finger actually had a gouge where the crochet hook rubbed.”

When her children were older — Mrs. Welter was in middle school — Mrs. Furman took correspondence courses through the mail to learn to be an interior decorator. “She really liked it and did very, very well at it,” said Mrs. Welter.

Upon completing her coursework, Mrs. Furman worked for Roger Smith, who had a paint and wallpaper store in Delmar.

“Her favorite color was green,” said her daughter. “We all laughed about that because it was everywhere.”

Later, when her children had children, she was a grandmother “big time,” said her daughter. “She took care of the oldest ones after school.”


Janet M. Furman is survived by her husband of 59 years, Clyde C. Furman of Clarksville; her four children, Kenneth Furman of Staatsburg, N.Y., Wendy Furman of Rensselaer, Charles Furman and Amy Ludik of Delmar, and Brenda Welter and her husband, James, of Westerlo; her five grandchildren, Danielle Antonelli and her husband, Chris, Ryan Sweeney, Emma, Charles and Anne Furman; and her two great-grandchildren, Taylor and Isabella Antonelli.

She is also survived by her two brothers, Gardner and William Tanner, and several nieces and nephews.

Her parents died before her, as did five brothers — Charles, Niles, Raymond, Roland, and Robert Tanner — and two sisters, Bernice Waldron and Eleanor Layman.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 19, at 11 a.m. at the Cunningham Funeral Home at 4898 Route 81 in Greenville. Friends may call at the funeral home on Friday, Feb. 18, from 4 to 8 p.m. Interment will be in Memory Gardens Cemetery in Colonie. Mourners may light a candle at ajcunninghamfh.com.

Memorial contributions may be made to either the Onesquethaw Rescue Squad or the Rensselaerville Rescue Squad.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

Margaret Elizabeth Knaggs

GUILDERLAND — Margaret Elizabeth Knaggs, most recently of Columbia, Mo., died on Monday, Jan. 31, 2011, at the University Hospital in Columbia, Mo. She was 79.

Miss Knaggs was born on Dec. 21, 1931 in Guilderland to the late George and Lavina Grant Knaggs.

“Margaret labored in the work of the gospel from September 1953 until the day of her death in the states of New York, New England, Indiana, Arkansas, and Missouri,” wrote her family in a tribute.

Miss Knaggs is survived by her brother, Albert Knaggs, of Brockport, Pa., and her sister, Edith Keys, and her husband, Ray, of Altamont as well as 11 nephews and nieces.

Her sister Ruth Radzewicz died before her as did her brothers Robert, Arthur, and Oscar Knaggs.

A memorial service was held on Saturday, Feb. 12, at the DeMarco-Stone Funeral Home at 5216 Western Turnpike in Guilderland.

A funeral service was held on Saturday, Feb. 5, in Columbia, Mo., with interment in the Old Lamine Cemetery on Lodge Road in Lamine, Mo., about 30 miles west of Columbia and just a few miles from Blackwater, Mo.

Michael P. Wallis

Michael P. Wallis, a loving father and grandfather, and a baseball fanatic, died on Friday, Feb. 11, 2011, at his home, with his love, Selma Friedman, at his side. He was 59.

Mr. Wallis was born on June 4, 1951, in Brooklyn. He was the son of Paul M. and Sandy Wallis, and the late Muriel (Bleicher) Wallis. He graduated from high school in 1969 and received his bachelor’s degree from the University at Albany in 1973.

He taught at Albany High School for two years, and then went to work for the state as a systems analyst for the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

“Many will miss his annual football pool!” wrote his family in a tribute.

Mr. Wallis coached and did the schedules for Guilderland Babe Ruth, Pine Bush Little League, Guilderland Youth Soccer League and Pine Bush Softball. He was often seen on the fields and courts in his orange Converse sneakers, his family wrote. He even played himself, in the Over 55 Softball League.

Mike Blaauboer wrote a letter to the editor this week and said of Mr. Wallis, “His passing will leave a void in each of these organizations that will be difficult, if not impossible, to replace.”

In addition to sports, Mr. Wallis enjoyed crossword puzzles, Scrabble, bridge, comics, and watching Major League baseball.

“His greatest joy was watching his children grow up,” his family wrote.

Mr. Wallis is survived by his father and stepmother, Paul and Sandy Wallis; his longtime companion, Selma Friedman; his children, Martin, Liz, and Caralyn Wallis.

He is also survived by his siblings and their partners, Claudia Wallis and Hugh Osborn; Susan Wallis and Kent Davis; JoAnne and Scott Whitmore; Eric Uhlberg and Marti Awad; Kenneth and Monique Uhlberg; and Robin Radharani.

He is also survived by many aunts, uncles, cousins, and nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held on Feb. 12 at New Comer Funeral Home.

To leave a special message for the family online, visit www.NewcomerAlbany.com.

Memorial contributions may be made to Guilderland Babe Ruth, Post Office Box 179, Guilderland, NY 12084.

Charles F. Wolfe

VOORHEESVILLE — Charles Wolfe, a Marine who loved to fly died on Feb. 11, 2011. He was 80.

“As the hawk soared and broke the surly bonds of earth, I reached out my hand and touched the face of God,” was the first line of his memoir, said his son, David Wolfe, reciting a J. G. MaGee verse. “He loved being in the air,” David Wolfe said of his father, who learned to fly when he was in the Marines in the late 1940s.

Mr. Wolfe had grown up during the Depression, watching autogyros, dreaming of flight. He’d sweep out hangars and wash the planes to get flying time while he was in the service, his son said.

“Like the kid who watches the birds fly and wanted wings, too — that was my dad,” David Wolfe said.

Growing up, Charles Wolfe’s father held a number of jobs, once for a dairy and, for a time, as a bootlegger for Al Capone, David Wolfe said, explaining that Capone looked out for people who owned trucks. “If he wanted you to do it, you did it,” he concluded.

Both of Mr. Wolfe’s parents were musical — his father played the violin and fiddle and his mother sang, which she did in church after having learned in vaudeville.

As a young man, Mr. Wolfe went to church in uniform one Sunday and a woman sitting in the balcony singing with the choir told the girl next to her she’d marry him someday. Charles and Mary Wolfe married in 1951.

The couple lived together in Buffalo where they had four children, and Mr. Wolfe worked at the airport. There he got his mechanic’s license and joined the Naval Reserve, where he was one of 26 men in the Flying Chiefs, which flew transport helicopters.

“It was everything to him,” David Wolfe said of his father’s passion for flight. “Flying was his first love.”

He was an Erie County Sheriff for a time before being hired to work in the conservation department, which moved his family to Voorheesville, David Wolfe said. He started as a mechanic and retired as the captain and chief of maintenance in the state’s conservation department, his son said. Mr. Wolfe served under four governors, starting with Nelson Rockefeller, and was the recipient of the Charles B. Taylor Master Mechanic award.

After working there for 20 years, on Jan. 2, 1981, Mr. Wolfe used a helicopter rescued two hikers who were stuck on Baldface Mountain in the Adirondack Park when it was 40 degrees below zero, his son said, adding, “If someone needed help… he’d do it.”

One of those two hikers recently got in touch with the family, David Wolfe said, and told them that he had become a doctor to “pay it forward” and return the good deed given him by Mr. Wolfe.

He lived in Voorheesville for 15 years, mentoring his sons through scouts and as an active member of the Voorheesville First United Methodist Church. He was also a Mason and a 57-year member of Altamont’s Noah Lodge.

“The term, ‘Once a Marine, always a Marine,’ epitomized my father,” said David Wolfe, who spent more than 20 years in the Marines himself. Growing up folding his socks and underwear, he said his father always told him and his siblings, “This is the way we did it in the Marines.”

Mr. Wolfe had gotten permission from his parents when he was 17 to join up, said his son, who ended up achieving a rank higher than his father. “He always called me Gunner; that was my rank,” David Wolfe said.

Along with the respect for the military he instilled in his children, Mr. Wolfe also instilled a love of music. Through his battle with cancer, Mr. Wolfe would still play his trombone. “We’d play as long as he had breath,” David Wolfe said.

They played Big Band music, Dixieland, and old show tunes, he said, adding that it was “what we call the real music.”

Mr. Wolfe always had a smile and a kind word for people, even when he was down himself, his son said, concluding, “He was compassionate toward his fellow man.”


Mr. Wolfe is survived by his wife, Mary L. Wolfe, of Wilton, and his children: Charles Wolfe and his wife, Barbara, of Guilderland; David Wolfe and his wife, Caretha, of Krum, Texas; Mary Hastings and her husband, David, of Southfield, Mass.; and Cheryl Wolfe of Beverly Hills, Fla. He is also survived by his sister, Jackie Jeacock, and her husband, Don, of Maryville, Tenn., as well as many nieces and nephews, 10 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

His parents, John and Gwendolyn Wolfe, died before him, as did his sister, Barbara Lynch.

Mr. Wolfe has donated his remains to Albany Medical College to be used for the education of young doctors and nurses. His cremated remains will later be interred at the Saratoga National Cemetery. Arrangements are by the Hans Funeral Home in Guilderland.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, or Trinity United Methodist Church.

— Saranac Hale Spencer

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