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Special Section Archives The Altamont Enterprise, September 1, 2011
AMSTERDAM Stephen Terleckey Sr., a dedicated and hardworking farmer with many friends, died unexpectedly on Monday, Aug. 29, 2011.
“He was a very good man with loads and loads of friends,” said his wife, Karen Terleckey, yesterday. “Our kitchen right now is full of friends and tears.”
Mr. Terleckey was born in Amsterdam on April 10, 1939 and raised on a farm there by his parents, John and Anna Lahaman Terleckey Sr. He attended the former Wilbur H. Lynch High School in Amsterdam.
“He grew up on a crop farm with a few cattle,” said Mrs. Terleckey.
“His life-long passion for agriculture began in 1952 when he and his brother John formed Terleckey Brothers, continuing the family tradition of farming,” his family wrote in a tribute.
Mrs. Terleckey grew up in Altamont; her birth name was Karen Theresa Orsini. The couple met square dancing at what used to be Pat’s Ranch on Gun Club Road in Altamont. They married on Sept. 15, 1962.
“He was a good husband and father,” said his wife, noting they were just two weeks shy of their 49th wedding anniversary.
“After we married, he and his brother ran just the crop farm,” Mrs. Terleckey said. They used tractor-trailers to haul the produce to market. “Eleven years ago, we bought an ice-cream produce stand and 125 acres of land,” she said. Children and grandchildren pitched in to help with the businesses, known as Karen’s Produce and Ice Cream, All Hay Farm and Crown and Hay Feed.
“It’s a real meeting place for the neighbors,” said Mrs. Terleckey of the business on Route 5S in Fort Hunter.
“He was a hard-working man,” said Mrs. Terleckey of her husband. He was a member of the National Hay Association, Vegetable Growers Association, Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, and the Farm Bureau. He also served for several years on the Town of Florida Planning Board. Additionally, he was very involved with the farmers’ markets in Montgomery, Fulton, and Schenectady counties.
He was a member of St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church and St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, both in Amsterdam.
Despite his hard work farming, Mr. Terleckey made time for his children. “Even though he was very busy on the farm, and couldn’t get away in the summer, he took the children on vacations every year in the winter,” said his wife. This included family trips to such far-flung places as Florida, Texas, and California. “He took the time to do that every year,” she said.
She concluded, “He was a very good man and we’ll really miss him.”
In addition to his wife, Karen, Stephen Terleckey is survived by two sons, Stephen Terleckey Jr. and his wife, Tricia, of Amsterdam, and Dean Terleckey of Amsterdam; three daughters, Mary Beth Rackowski and her husband, Steven, of Amsterdam; Sherry O’Brien and her husband, Vern, of Broadalbin, N.Y., and Deanna Nelson and her husband, Jeff, of Amsterdam.
He is also survived by one sister, Genevieve Zeiser, of Speculator, N.Y.; 10 grandchildren, Kayla, Mariah, Andrew, Matthew, Ryan, Courtney, Brock, Cole, Travis and Jenna; three step-grandchildren, Jason, Caralee, and Robert; and one step-great-grandchild, Kaylee; sisters-in-law, Helen Gerry and Noma Terleckey; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
His sons, John and Michael, died before him as did his brothers, Emil and John, and his sisters, Mary and Ann.
A Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011, at 9:15 a.m. at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church on Main Street in Amsterdam with Rev. John Medwid as celebrant. Interment will follow in St. Nicholas Ukrainian Cemetery, Amsterdam.
The family will receive relatives and friends on Friday, Sept. 2, from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Betz, Rossi & Bellinger Funeral Home at 171 Guy Park Avenue in Amsterdam. Mourners may sign an online guestbook at www.brbsfuneral.com.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary’s Institute or to the Albany Medical Center Children’s Hospital, both care of the funeral home office: Betz, Rossi & Bellinger Funeral Home, 171 Guy Park Ave., Amsterdam, NY 12010.