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Obituaries: VanWagner, Collins, Hacker, Fiero, Day


Jean VanWagner (1932 – 2013)

HUDSON—Jean Marie (Folmsbee) VanWagner passed away October 23, 2013 at Columbia Memorial Hospital with her loving children and grandchildren by her side.

She was born October 13, 1932 to Edson and Nettie (Stribeck) Folmsbee.

She was married to the late James VanWagner for 55 years. Together they had eight children: James (Beth Clark) Van Wagner of Coxsackie, Debbie (Frank) Bevens of Valatie, Harold (Judie) VanWagner of Kinderhook, Eddie VanWagner of Valatie, Nancy (Art) Oliver of Niverville, Myrtle (Timothy) Hotaling of Stuyvesant Falls, Timothy VanWagner and Sally VanWagner, both of Valatie. She was also survived by: 17 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren, all of whom she adored.

She was predeceased by: three brothers, Edson Jr., Robert and Harold; two sisters, Irene and Helen; a granddaughter, Jade Stanhope and a great granddaughter, Faith Cleveland.

Mrs. VanWagner was a member of the Niverville Methodist Church and was employed by Barnwell Nursing Home. Her favorite hobby was spending time with all her grand- and great- grandchildren. She was Gramma Jean to a lot of other children as well.

The funeral and burial will be at the convenience of the family. There will be no calling hours.

Memorial donations may be made to her favorite charity, the Valatie Santa Claus Club, P.O. Box 496, Valatie 12184 or Community Hospice of Columbia-Greene, 47 Liberty Street, Catskill 12414.

Arrangements are with the Raymond E. Bond funeral Home, Valatie.

David B. Collins (1942 – 2013)

ALBANY—David B. Collins “Cricket” of Chatham passed away peacefully October 26, 2013 at Albany Medical Center.

Born July 19, 1942 in Danbury, CT, he was the son of the late John and Lurline Collins.

He came to East Chatham at the age of four and went on to graduate from Chatham High School in the class of 1960. He served in the Army for two years and upon returning worked for the New York State Thruway Authority for a short time.

After that, he went to work as a bus driver for the Berkshire School and would spend the next 39 years in that position. He loved the kids.

Mr. Collins loved so many things, hunting, horse racing, the Yankees, the Giants, but most of all he loved his family and his friends.

He was a member and past president of the Chatham Lions and a member of the American Legion. Mr. Collins was also an avid donor to the American Red Cross Blood Drive.

He is predeceased by his brother, Paul and sister, Maureen.

He is survived by: his siblings, Alton (Gloria), John, Jr., Carl, Cheryl Brill (Edward), Karen Willis (Harold), Keith (Lisa) and Michael; sister-in-law, Diane Collins; his many nieces; nephews; great nieces; great nephews; cousins; aunts; his companion of many years, Lucia Nevai; his childhood friend, Dan Blake; the gang at Jackson’s; as well as numerous friends acquired over his lifetime.

Calling hours will be Tuesday, October 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the French, Gifford, Preiter & Blasl Funeral Home, Chatham. Funeral services will be celebrated at St. James Catholic Church in Chatham, Wednesday, October 30  at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at Cemetery of the Maples in East Chatham. In lieu of flowers contributions in his name may be made to the Chatham Lions Foundation, P.O. Box 216, Chatham 12037. For directions or to convey an online condolence visit

Walter Daniel Hacker, Sr. (1921 – 2013)

ALBANY—Walter Daniel Hacker, Sr., of Valatie passed away peacefully at the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center, October 26, 2013 at the age of 92.

Mr. Hacker served in the 12th Armored Division in World War II and received a Victory Award for his service. He was a long-standing member of the Rensselaer Elks Lodge.

For more than 20 years Mr. Hacker was a teacher at BOCES, where he ushered hundreds of students into the field of auto mechanics.  He loved all things novel and innovative and had a unique ability to fix anything that came his way.

Many associate Mr. Hacker with Knickerbocker Lake where he lived for more than 70 years with his beloved wife, Elsie.  He loved the lake and always enjoyed the yearly return of the heron, the swans and the local fisherman. He was known for his kindness and friendliness to all he met.

Mr. Hacker is survived by: a son, Christian Louis (Mina) Hacker; daughter, Lynda Hacker (Carlos) Araoz; his grandchildren, Gregory (Barbara)Hacker, Tasha (Ryan) Hacker Horsnail, Martin Araoz, and Rodrigo Araoz and his great-grandchildren, Adam, Andy and Aiden Hacker. He was predeceased by his wife, Elsie; his son, Walter, Jr.; his grandson, Walter, III, and seven brothers and sisters.

The family is grateful to the staff of the VA Hospital, They warmly cared for him over the years. Mr. Hacker will be missed deeply by his family and all those who had the good fortune to know him.

Calling hours will be at the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, Route 9, Valatie, Wednesday, October 30 from 6 to 8 p.m. A memorial service will take place at the funeral home Thursday, October 31 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Valatie Rescue Squad.

Edward W. Fiero (1943 – 2013)

PHILMONT—Edward W. Fiero, 70, of Chatham died Sunday, October 27 at Pine Haven Nursing Home, where he had been a resident for several years.

He was born January 16, 1943 in Philmont, the son of the late Leonard and Doris (Mulchay) Fiero.

Mr. Fiero worked at the Firemen’s Home, the Chatham Central School District, The Cottage Restaurant, Houston Speech School in Warner Robins, GA, and in recent years he worked for the Chatham Bakery, where he gained many friends.

Mr. Fiero had a heart of gold and loved his family. “He would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it.”

He is survived by: his brother, Richard (Barbara) Fiero of Chatham; sisters, Patricia Mayes of Copake and Barbara Merwin of Balston Spa and many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by brothers, Leonard, Jack and Ronald Fiero. Memorial services will be held Saturday, November 2, 1 p.m. from the Wenk Funeral Home Chatham. Inurnment will be in the Chatham Rural Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Parkinson’s Disease Research Fund at A.M.C. c/o Dr. Eric Molho, A.M.C. Neurology Department, MC 70 47 New Scotland Avenue, Albany 12208 or the Chatham Fire Department, Chatham 12037. To send online condolences visit

Shirley W. Day (1939 – 2013)

RHINEBECK—Shirley W. Day, 74, a lifelong area resident, passed away Sunday, October 27, 2013 at Northern Dutchess Hospital.

Born September 25, 1939, in Lafayetteville, she was the daughter of the late William Myers.

She married Robert L. Day, Sr., June 12, 1958 in St. John’s Episcopal Church in Barrytown. He predeceased her September 22, 2004.

For more than 69 years, Mrs. Day worked in number of capacities at Bard College, most recently working as a cashier at the Green Onion on campus.

She was a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Barrytown and enjoyed bingo, reading and watching “Dancing with the Stars.”

She is survived by her loving family, including: her children, Carol and her husband Charles L. Hapeman of Rhinebeck, Robert L. Day, Jr., and his companion Cynthia Sickler of Kingston, Timothy M. Day of Rhinebeck, Brian Day and his companion Donna Withrow of Livingston, and Sean H. Day and his wife Lori of Red Hook; 17 grandchildren; a brother, Nelson Myers of Livingston; a sister; Irene Moore of Red Hook; a brother-in-law, Chet Day of Red Hook; nieces, nephews and countless friends.

In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by: a sister, Maryann Miller and a brother, William Myers

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, October 31, 2013 at the Burnett & White Funeral Homes, Red Hook. The Reverend Bruce Chilton will officiate. Burial will be in the Elizaville Methodist Cemetery, Elizaville.

Friends may call at the Burnett & White Funeral Homes Wednesday, October 30 from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m.

Arrangements are under the direction of Burnett & White Funeral Homes 7461 South Broadway, Red Hook.

For directions, or to sign the online guest book visit




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