GNH Lumber

Obituaries: Larro, Knabbe, Eaton, Berlin, Hotaling


William R. Larro (1948 – 2013)

STEPHENTOWN—William R. Larro, 64, of Cemetery Hill Road died peacefully at his home surrounded by his loving family, Wednesday evening January 9 under the care of Community Hospice of Rensselaer County.

Born in Springfield, MA, September 19, 1948, he was the son of the late Ralph W. and Helen McIntyre Larro.


Mr. Larro was the loving husband of the former Judith A. Vassallo whom he married in Beverly, MA, December 13, 1986. He lived in Stephentown since 1990 after moving from Gloucester, MA.

Mr. Larro was a 1966 graduate of Cathedral High School in Springfield and was awarded an associate’s degree in machine and tool design technology from Springfield Technical Community College in 1968. He also served in the United States Army during the Vietnam era.

Mr. Larro worked as a tool, mold and plastic designer for many companies through the years, most recently for General Dynamics in Pittsfield. His hobbies included reading, golf, theater movies and music.

He was an avid fan of all of Boston’s sport teams: Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins and Celtics.

Survivors include his loving wife of 26 years, Judy; his three daughters, Jeanette M. Larro of Wilbraham, MA, Suzanne M. (Lenny) Russell of Belchertown, MA, and Kathleen P. Larro of Enfield, CT; three grandchildren, Tyler, Elinor and Christopher Russell; a brother, Ralph W. (Candy) Larro; and a niece, Chelsea Larro of Preston, MN. He was predeceased by a sister, Marie Cochran.

A Time of Remembrance will be held Monday evening, January 14 at 7 p.m. in the Hall & Higgins Funeral Home, 457 State Route 43, Stephentown. Relatives and friends are invited to the funeral home to visit with the family Monday from 4 p.m. until the start of the service. Private inurnment with full military honors will take place at the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville later in the spring. Memorial contributions may be made to Community Hospice of Rensselaer County, 295 Valley View Boulevard, Rensselaer 12144.

Edna Knabbe (1928 – 2013)

HUDSON—On Tuesday, January 8; a sunny winter day, Edna “Nancy” Knabbe departed this life on earth to join her husband of 55 years, Robert C., who predeceased her in 2005 and many relatives and friends. Her three children were at her side as she began this journey.

She will be missed by all who knew her.

Born October 24, 1928, she was the daughter of Elizabeth and John Jones of Chatham, where she lived and attended Chatham Schools.

She was one of 13 children and was predeceased by sisters, Caroline, Margaret, Mary, Dorothy, Florence, Ruth and Jeanette and brothers Peter, John (Jack), Thomas and Robert.

She is survived by: one brother, William; three children, Susan (Thomas) Haug of Staatsburg and their daughters Melissa Westover (Keith Crysler), Rebecca (Shaun) Sproul, twin great-grand-daughters Kyra and Sydney Sproul of Palm Coast, FL, and Caroline Holt of Poughkeepsie, Robert (Joann) Knabbe of Newburgh and their daughters, Lauren of NYC, Megan of Brooklyn and Alison of Newburgh and Michael (Laura) Knabbe and his children Maureen (Nate) Monteiro and Morgun and Evan Knabbe all of New Beford, MA.  Also, surviving are several nieces, nephews and their children.
Mrs. Knabbe was a tireless public servant and community activist. She was a charter member of the Ghent Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary and served as its second president. She was awarded the Nancy Alger award for volunteerism. She was a 60-plus-year member of the Ghent VFW Ladies Auxiliary and over the years served as president, secretary and treasurer.

Mrs. Knabbe worked for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance and the Columbia County Department of Social Services for 25 years as a resource consultant and case management supervisor.

A well-respected leader and volunteer in Columbia County, Mrs. Knabbe served 25 years on the Chatham Central School District Board of Education, from 1975 to 2000, including seven years as board president and three years as vice president. In June 2012, the school district honored her at its annual Mary E. Dardess Elementary School Arbor Day celebration. Surrounded by family and friends, fourth grade students performed a play about Mrs. Knabbe’s life, from growing up in Chatham and attending school when there was only one building, to her 25 years as a Chatham board member and most recently, her work as a BOCES board member.  Mrs. Knabbe was instrumental in starting the Alumni Association for Chatham Central which now boasts over 3,600 members and was very involved in the origin of the Chatham High School Hall of Fame, for which she received honorary recognition in 2010.

A BOCES board member since 1996, Mrs. Knabbe was re-elected by component school boards in April 2012 for a three-year term. She served on the organization’s strategic planning committee and participated in many of the workshops provided for local school board members.  In 2010, Mrs. Knabbe received Questar III’s highest honor, the G. Lucius Cary Annual Service Leadership Award. The award, a tribute to former Board Member G. Lucius Cary, was presented in recognition of Mrs. Knabbe’s outstanding leadership and contributions through volunteer service.

She was also an active member of the Columbia County School Board Association for 25 years, including six years as president of the organization. She previously served on the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) Rural School Committee, BOCES Ad Hoc Committee and the Distinguished Service Committee.

Mrs. Knabbe also served on the Columbia County ARC Board of Directors and volunteered for the Columbia County United Way Board of Directors.

Calling hours will be Sunday, January 13 from 2 to 8 p.m. at St. James Church in Chatham, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m., Monday, January 14.  Funeral arrangements are under direction of French, Gifford, Preiter & Blasl Funeral Home, Chatham. For directions or to send an online condolence visit

In lieu of flowers and at the family’s request donations may be made payable to the Nancy Knabbe Scholarship Fund and mailed to: Chatham Central School District, ATTN: Lauren Phillips, 50 Woodbridge Avenue, Chatham 12037. This fund was set up on the occasion of her 80th birthday several years ago and is given to a deserving Chatham High graduate.

Arthur F. Eaton (1925 – 2013)

GT. BARRINGTON, MA—Arthur F. Eaton, 87, of Valatie died Thursday, January 10, 2013 at Fairview Hospital.

He was born November 12, 1925 in Woodsville, NH. He is the son of the late Charles H. and the late Ethel (Hackett) Eaton and the husband of the late Rebecca (Emerson) Eaton.

Mr. Eaton was a carpenter, employed by CT Brickman Associates in Colonie. He was also a life-member of both the Niverville Fire Company and the Tri-Village Rod & Gun Club.

He is survived by: four daughters, Geraldine Gregg (Keith) of East Chatham, Jacqueline Robinson (Dale) of Valatie/Ghent, Patti-Jo Wright (James) of South Ryegate, VT, Wendy Ordway (Arthur) of Valatie; two sons, Timothy Eaton (Bonnie) of East Falmouth, MA, Wesley Eaton (Patti
) of Woodsville, NH; 14 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.

He is also survived by many sisters-and brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews. Besides his parents and wife, Mr. Eaton was also predeceased by a son, Wayne Eaton, a grandson, Wade Eaton, a great grandson, Ethan Gregg, a brother, Harold Eaton and a sister, Betty Jane Eaton.

Calling hours will be Thursday, January 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, Inc., Valatie. Interment will be in West Bradford, VT.

Memorials may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-1942.

Donald Michael Berlin (1948 – 2013)

HUDSON—Donald Michael Berlin, 64, of Williams Street, Kinderhook completed his journey on earth, Thursday, January 10, 2013

Born March 10, 1948 in Hudson, he was the son of the late Raymond L. and Margaret S. (Hickey) Berlin.

Mr. Berlins was a self-employed contractor in the Kinderhook area for 30 years. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and loved spending time with his children and grandchildren.

He is survived by: his wife, Ruth (Stockholm) Berlin: four children, Robert Berlin (Sandy) of Kinderhook, Michael Berlin (Robyn) of Kinderhook, Nicholas Berlin (Maryann) of Kinderhook, Rebecca Keegan (Michael) of Kinderhook; three grandchildren, Mitchell Keegan, Adam and Samuel Berlin and two nephews. He was predeceased by his sister, Joan Vedder and his brother, Raymond Berlin.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held 11 a.m., Thursday, January 17 at St. John the Baptist Church, Route 9, Valatie. Calling hours will be Wednesday, January 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, Inc. Valatie. Memorial contributions may be made to the Columbia-Greene Humane Society, 125 Humane Society Road, Hudson 12534 or a charity of one’s choice.

Joan F. Stevens Hotaling (1935 – 2013)

CASTLETON—Joan F. Stevens Hotaling, 77, formerly of Claverack, passed away Thursday, January 10, 2013 at the Riverside Center.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, May 19, 1935, she was the daughter of the late Grace (Barthlomew) and Laurence T. Stevens, Sr.

Mrs. Hotaling graduated from New Lebanon Central School in 1953. She joined the U.S Navy, September 28, 1954 and graduated from Hospital Corpsman School in 1955. She became an operating room technician in 1957 and then went on to graduate from Berkshire Business College in 1967.

She was a senior typist in the Columbia County Solid Waste Department, retiring in 1998. Previously, she worked in the Columbia County Planning Department.

Surviving are: two daughters, Deborah Collins of Albany and Karin Silvernale of Spencertown; her brother, Laurence T. Stevens, Jr., and his wife, Jean of Selkirk; several grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her husbands, Elmer Fonda and John Hotaling.

Services will be conducted in the spring. Burial will be in the Reformed Dutch Church Cemetery in Claverack.

Donations may be made to Community Hospice of Columbia Greene or the Reformed Dutch Church of Claverack. Arrangements are with the Bates and Anderson-Redmond and Keeler Funeral Home, Hudson.

Visit to leave condolences for the family.


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