Columbia Memorial Health (1) Careers

OBITUARIES: Calder, Losa, Wiggins


Gail Ann Calder (1936 – 2015)

SPENCERTOWN—Gail Ann Calder, 78, died peacefully at home in Spencertown, Saturday, October 24, surrounded by her family and friends.

Born in the Bronx, in 1936 to Leonard and Helen Finkel, she grew up in Larchmont and attended Mamaroneck High School. After earning a BA in astronomy from Wellesley College in 1958, Ms. Calder worked as an assistant to the astronomer and ufologist, J. Allen Hynek, at the Harvard Observatory in Cambridge, MA. During this time, she married Stephen Wald of Brookline, MA, where they had two children, John and Alison.

Ms. Calder taught elementary school French at the Town School in Manhattan, and met her second husband, Fred Calder. They moved to Philadelphia, where she worked as a college guidance counselor at Germantown Friends School for 14 years. In 1986, she and Fred left Philadelphia for rural Spencertown, where she fell in love with the area and became a valued volunteer in the community.

Ms. Calder was involved with the Spencertown Academy, the Austerlitz Historical Society, and the Chatham Film Club. She was also a poll watcher during elections, and hosted visiting musicians for the Columbia Festival Orchestra.

Ms. Calder loved to watch the stars and planets at night and birds during the day. Her home was filled with the quilts, rugs and bedspreads she made, and her garden was overflowing with the plants and flowers she collected locally from friends, neighbors and strangers. She loved good writing and poetry, especially that of Mary Oliver, Billy Collins and Edna St. Vincent Millay. A wordsmith herself, Ms. Calder was a stickler for proper grammar and concise language, entertaining many people with her humorous and clever prose.

She is survived by: her daughter, Alison Wald; sister, Leslie Gabosh; brother-in-law, Karl Gabosh, and her beloved cat, Milo.

Her son, John Wald, died in 1996.

Services will be held Monday, October 26, noon at the Sharon Memorial Park Chapel in Sharon, MA; internment will follow.

Following the service, the family will be receiving guests at the home of Wynn Calder and Phyllis Dininio at 45 Forty Acres Drive, Wayland, MA.

Donations in Ms. Calder’s memory may be made to the John Wald Ecological Endowment, The Nature Conservatory of Rhode Island, 159 Waterman Street, Providence, RI 02906-3126.

Arrangements are with the French, Gifford, Preiter & Blasl Funeral Home, 25 Railroad Avenue, Chatham.

To convey a condolence visit

Michael Emil Losa, Sr. (1942 – 2015)

CHATHAM—Michael “Mike” Emil Losa, Sr., 72, of Ghent and Chatham passed away October 26, 2015 at home after a long battle with cancer.

He was born November 4, 1942 and was the son of the late Emil and Loretta Losa of Ghent. He was a 1961 Chatham High School graduate and a 1963 graduate of Cobleskill College.

Mr. Losa faced his diagnoses one year and six months ago with amazing strength and acceptance. He honestly never complained and fought his battle with cancer with every ounce of determination and courage he had.

Mr. Losa leaves behind his loving and devoted partner and best friend of 36 years, Betsy (Hodge) Kneller of Chatham; daughter, Ellen Losa Dykeman and husband Robert of Craryville; son, Michael Emil Losa, Jr., and wife Maria of Union, NJ; step-sons, Philip Kneller and wife Ronwyn of Westport, Kirk Kneller and wife Susan of Ghent, and Richard Kneller and wife Carrie of Ghent; his brother, Charles Losa and wife Suzanne of Coxsackie; nephew, Marc Losa; niece, Melinda Rowley; his cherished grandchildren, Chase and Paige Dykeman, Matthew Losa, Brooke, Lauren, Daniel, Philip John, Gabriel and Tyler Kneller and his beloved dog, Ruby.

Mr. Losa’s career included working for Associated Milk, Hudson Valley Cement, Mobil Oil, Columbia Boxboard, owning his own business, Losa Trucking and the Town of Ghent Highway Supervisor from 2002 until he retired in 2014. He also served as foreman for Town of Chatham DPW after retiring from the Town of Ghent.

He was a 50-year member of the Ghent Volunteer Fire Department where he held the position of chief from 1981 to 1982, 1986, 1993 to 1994 and 1999. He was a past president in 1990 and was on the clam bake and truck committees. He received the Edgar Stickles award in 2014 for his commitment to the Ghent Fire Department and Ghent community. He was a life-member of the Columbia County Fair Association and the Hudson Valley Old Time Power Association. He coached Chatham Little League in the 1970s and volunteered his time to help build the current Little League complex in Chatham.

Mr. Losa enjoyed gardening, ice fishing, raising turkeys and pigs for the family to enjoy, and collecting antique farm items. He enjoyed tractor pulling and was a lover of antique tractors and trucks. He loved spending time in his shop tinkering on his Farmall H wide-front tractor and a Mack B61 truck, which happened to be the same model of truck he first ever drove. He was an avid beekeeper and was proud to share his honey he named, “Betsy’s Best Bees Honey” with family and friends. He was a staunch fan of the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots. He loved vacationing in Hampton Beach, NH, and taking cruises with Betsy. But, his biggest joy was being “Poppy” to all his grandchildren. He was a communicant of the St. James Catholic Church in Chatham since childhood. Anyone that knew him knew that he loved the simple country life, living life with a positive attitude, and great sense of humor.

Family will receive friends Thursday, October 29 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the French, Gifford, Preiter & Blasl Funeral Home, 25 Railroad Avenue, Chatham. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, October 30, 10 a.m. at St. James Church. Interment will follow at Chatham Rural Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Community Hospice of Columbia and Greene Counties, 47 Liberty Street, Catskill 12414 and the Ghent Food Pantry, Ghent Town Hall, Route 66, Ghent 12075. To read the full obituary or to convey a condolence visit

Kenneth Wiggins (1942 – 2015)

LIVINGSTON—Kenneth Wiggins, 72, of Canaan died October 19, 2015 at the Livingston Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

He was born December 29, 1942 in Idaho.

He has served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam era.

Survivors include: his son, Lucas Wiggins of East Chatham and several friends in the Columbia County area.

Services will be private at the Linlithgo Rural Cemetery in Livingston.

There are no calling hours.

Memorial donations are requested to the Wounded Warrior Project, 370 Seventh Avenue, Suite 1802, New York City 10001.

Arrangements are with the Yadack-Fox Funeral Home, 209 Main Street, Germantown.




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