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Obituaries: Traver, Demarest, VanAlstyne


Charles Traver, 69, teacher, genealogist

ALBANY—Charles Spencer Traver passed away March 17, 2011 at Albany Medical Center.

He was born December 2, 1941, in Chatham, the son of Spencer Charles Traver and Dorothy Tompkins Traver, both deceased.

He graduated from Chatham High School in 1960. After attending New Paltz College, he taught for three years at New Lebanon Central School. Mr. Traver obtained his master of science degree in education in 1967 from Teacher’s College of Columbia University before entering the Peace Corps in August of the same year.

He served for three years on St. Vincent, an island in the West Indies, where he was assigned to a teacher training college. He returned to the United States in 1970.

He taught ninth and tenth grade social studies as well as Afro-Asian cultures at Berne Knox Central School. Mr. Traver retired from teaching in 1980. He was revered by many of his students who still consider him their mentor. He served as senior class advisor.

After retiring from teaching, Mr. Traver spent nearly 25 years working for Northern Telecom, than a subsidiary of Bell Northern, headquartered in Canada.

Near the end of 1984, he was sent to Nortel’s training center in Raleigh, NC, to be an instructor in the installation training department. He later joined the Engineering Department of Nortel where he assisted in the formulation of their training manuals. He bought a house and lived in Raleigh for about 25 years. In recent years, Mr. Traver moved back to Chatham to be near his family.

He was a more than avid genealogist. He spent most of his waking moments researching loose ends to make family tree connections. His time spent researching history made him many friends along the road visiting many cemeteries as he passed, spending long research hours in library archives while loving every new fact he unearthed. He has left an insurmountable legacy for his family.

He is survived by: his brother, George Traver of Chatham; sisters, Marilyn Fosby of Chatham, Dorothea Wheeler of Clifton Park, Barbara Sirani of Rye, and Beth Barber of Hudson.

The family will receive friends Sunday, March 20 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the French, Gifford, Preiter & Blasl Funeral Home, 25 Railroad Avenue, Chatham.

Funeral services will be conducted Monday, March 21 at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Chatham at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at the Chatham Rural Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to GLSEN, 90 Broad Street, second floor, New York City 10004.

For directions or to send an online condolence visit

Keith Demarest, 58, proud union member

ALBANY—Keith Aaron Demarest, Sr., 58, of Route 9, Valatie, passed away Friday, March 18, 2011 at Albany Medical Center.

Born in Hudson, August 12, 1952, he was the son of the late Anthony and Barbara (Strehler) Demarest, Sr.

Mr. Demarest was a proud member of Local 190 in Albany for 35 years and a loving father and grandfather.

He is survived by: three children, Keith Demarest, Jr. of Clifton Park, Stacy Demarest and Kelly Demarest both of Greenport; four sisters, Sherri Ham of Columbiaville, Donna Duntz and Charlene Greggio, both of Hudson, and Laurie Demarest of Stuyvesant; four brothers, Anthony Demarest , Jr. of Stottville, Francis Demarest of Columbiaville, Richard and Rocco Demarest both of Stuyvesant; five grandchildren, Bruce Hotaling, Jason and Kaden White, Jarrett Ford, Jr., all of Greenport, and Allison Demarest of Clifton Park; and several nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his brother, John “Jack” Demarest.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, March 22, noon at the Church of St. Joseph, Stuyvesant Falls, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by the Rev. Joseph Falletta. Interment will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Stuyvesant Falls. Friends may call Tuesday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, Inc., Route 9, Valatie, prior to the Mass.

Clifford VanAlstyne, 71, member of COARC and Copake UMC

HUDSON—Clifford VanAlstyne, 71, passed away Wednesday, March 16, 2011 at Columbia Memorial Hospital.

He was born June 12, 1939 in Hudson, the son of the late Charles and Bertha (Coley) VanAlstyne.

Mr. VanAlstyne was a member of COARC residing at the Copake IRA.

He was a member of the Copake United Methodist Church.

Survivors include three sisters, Betty, Rose and Sandy; three brothers, Tom, Malcolm and Kenny; several nieces, nephews and friends.

Calling hours are 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 20 at the Peck & Peck Funeral Home, 8063 Route 22, Copake.

A funeral service will be celebrated Monday, March 21, 1 p.m. at the Copake United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Jae-Joon Lee officiating.

Interment will be at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are requested to the Copake United Methodist Church, Copake 12516.

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