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Obituaries: Erickson, Baxter, Kilian, Caruso


Reverend Leif Erickson, 74, served churches in Columbia, Greene and Rensselaer counties

MILLBROOK—The Reverend Leif Erickson, 74, of Millbrook passed away January 6, 2012.

He was born December 25, 1937 in Poughkeepsie to Carl Eugene Theoren Erickson and Florence Newman Erickson.

Reverend Erickson received his BA from the University of Minnesota in 1960 and Master of Divinity from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY in June 1963. He also completed post-graduate work at Butler University.

Reverend Erickson was ordained into the Presbytery of Rochester, MN by Sheldon Jackson. He began his service to the Presbytery at the Clayton Presbyterian Church in Indiana. He returned to the Hudson Valley Region in 1967 and served the Smithfield Presbyterian Church in Amenia. Over the course of the next 40 years, Reverend Erickson served as stated supply for several Columbia, Greene and Rensselaer county churches, including the historic First Presbyterian Church of Hudson and most recently served the Ancramdale Presbyterian Church.

In 1973, Reverend Erickson became a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the state Department of Education working with alcohol and substance abuse and physically and mentally challenged clients for 20 years. He also became a specialized treatment foster parent for emotionally disturbed children through Parsons Child and Family Service in Albany. Having cared for more than 60 children, he was named New York State Foster Parent of the Year in 1992.

Reverend Erickson was active in the community, participating in the Hudson Interfaith Council and teaching philosophy, psychology and religion at Empire State College, Hudson Valley Community College and Columbia-Greene Community College.

Reverend Erickson had a very active interest in Scandinavian history as well as spending leisure time with his friends and family. He regularly watched his grandsons’ baseball and football games and relished a good game of pinochle with his friends.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy Link Greer of Millbrook; two sons from a prior marriage, Jon Erickson of Scituate, MA and Karl Erickson of East Nassau and four grandchildren, Grant, Karylena, Clayton and Cole.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, January 14, at Smithfield Presbyterian Church in Smithfield. Memorial donations may be made to Hospice, 374 Violet Avenue, Poughkeepsie 12601 or AbilityPLUS, 775 US Route 302, Bartlett 03812. AbilityPLUS provides sports programs for people with all manner of disability across New England. Arrangements are with the Peck and Peck Funeral Home.

Beatrice Baxter, 98, retired from New York Public Library, church member

LIVINGSTON—Beatrice K. Baxter, 98 of Copake died Sunday, January 8, 2012 at Livingston Hills Nursing Home.

She was born April 11, 1913 in Manhattan the daughter of the late Dicran and Kate (Frampton) Kasbar.

She was a graduate of Julia Richman High School in Manhattan. She retired from the New York Public Library in July 1971.

She was a member of the Church of St. John in the Wilderness in Copake Falls, the Copake Grange, Beekman Chapter Order of Eastern Star, life member of the Marine Corps League Auxiliary of Herkimer County, the National Geographic Society since 1920 and many other civic organizations.

Survivors include: her daughter and son-in-law, Beatrice and Henry Croteau of Claverack; her grandchildren, Richard (Ruth) Baxter, Sarah Baxter and step-great grandchildren, Katelyn and David Sturges, all of Connecticut along with many nieces and nephews. She also leaves her special friends, Julia Pough and Kathy and Dennis Voigt.

Mrs. Baxter was predeceased by her husband, Henry L. Baxter in 1991, her son, Henry L. Baxter, IV in 2009 and daughter-in-law, Jennie (Davi) Baxter in 2001.

Friends are invited and may call Thursday January 12, 2012 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Peck and Peck Funeral Home, 8063 State Route 22 in Copake.

Her funeral service will be held Friday January 13, 2012, 11 a.m. from the Church of St. John in the Wilderness, 261 State Route 344 in Copake Falls with the Reverend John Thompson officiating.

Interment will follow in the church cemetery.

Mrs. Baxter’s family thanks the staff and residents of Livingston Hills for the loving care she was given while residing there. Special thanks to all Hospice nurses and aides, Barbara, Karen, Diana, Jean and Samantha. Special thanks to Mary Ann Call, Paula Groff and Danielle Revette.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Church of St. John in the Wilderness Bell Tower Restoration Fund, P.O. Box 180, Copake Falls 12517 or to Community Hospice of Columbia/Greene, 47 Liberty Street, Catskill 12414.

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Leslie Kilian, 63, Air Force vet, worked at convenience store

HUDSON—Leslie F. Kilian, 63, of Stuyvesant died Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at Columbia Memorial Hospital.

Born January 23, 1948 in Hudson, he was the son of Ellen (Bailey) Kilian of Stuyvesant and the late Fritz Kilian.

Mr. Kilian worked at the Mobil Xtra Mart in Valatie. He served in the US Air Force.

In addition to his mother, he is survived by his sister, Mildred Yakman of Stuyvesant; his brother, Robert Kilian of Schuylerville; two nieces, Rebecca and Jessica and three nephews, Richard, James and Thomas.

He was predeceased by his nephew, Christopher Jacobs.

Calling hours are 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, January 13 at the Bates & Anderson-Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home.

Services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, January 14 at the funeral home with the Reverend James Slater officiating.

Burial will be in the Stuyvesant Falls Cemetery.

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Catherine Caruso, 84, bookkeeper, active parish member

ALBANY—Catherine Caruso, 84, of Gilligan Road, East Greenbush, died Tuesday January 10, 2012 at Albany Memorial Hospital.

Born in the Bronx, November 21, 1927, she was the daughter of the late Albert and Cecelia (Cancro) DeBiccari.

Mrs. Caruso was a bookkeeper for S & L Miano Holding in the Bronx and Caiati Furniture in Hartsdale from which she retired. She was an active member of St. Dominic’s Parish and School in the Bronx and past president of its PTA. She was also a member of Mary Queen of Peace Columbiettes in the Bronx.

She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Frederick Caruso of East Greenbush; her daughter, Cecelia Caska of Niverville; a son, Frank Caruso (Ruth) of Acworth, GA; one brother, Frank DeBiccari of Orange County, CA; four grandchildren, Catherine Caska of Salt Lake City, UT, Thom Caska of New York City, Danielle and Cole Caruso both of Acworth, GA

Funeral services will be held Friday, January 13, 1 p.m. at St. John the Baptist Church, Route 9, Valatie with the Reverend John Molyn officiating. Interment will follow in St. John the Baptist Cemetery.

Relatives and friends may call Thursday, January 12 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. and Friday, January 13 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, Inc. Route 9, Valatie.

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