Columbia Memorial Health (1) Careers

OBITUARIES: Crellin, Elliott, Boyer, Kirsch, Oleynek, Leach, Jefferson, Card

Pete Crellin

Peter G. Crellin

SOUTH CAROLINA—Peter G. Crellin of Surfside Beach, SC, formerly of Chatham, passed December 19, 2020, due to Lewy Body Dementia and complications from Covid-19.

He is survived by: his wife, Pamela Skinner; son, Ryan (Anita); grandson, Colton of North Carolina; daughter, Robin; grandchildren, Ellie, Chester Ryan and Skylar of Chatham; sister, Jane (Tom) of Tennessee; and brother, Dan (Cindy) of East Chatham. He was predeceased by his parents, Richard and Dorothy and eldest brother, Richard “Steve”.

He was a graduate of Chatham Central High class of 1966. He then enlisted in the U.S. Navy (1967-1971), serving on the USS Sphinx in Vietnam and the USS Simon Lake in Scotland. After an honorable discharge, he joined Frito Lay working as a salesman, until his retirement.

“Pete” was an EMT in the Chatham Rescue Squad. In his spare time he enjoyed horse shows, Lebanon Valley Speedway and fishing at Queechy Lake. In retirement he worked at The Racing Edge, fulfilling his love of NASCAR. Mr. Crellin, his wife and their dog rarely missed a daily walk on the beach.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Chatham Rescue Squad, Chatham; Lewy Body Dementia Association or Grand Strand Humane Society in Myrtle Beach, SC. To send online condolences visit

Sara Elliott

Sara A. Elliott (1936 – 2020)

OLD CHATHAM—Sara Ann Elliott, 84, of Old Chatham died December 20 at her home.

Born October 14, 1936 in Pittsfield, MA, she was the daughter of the late Winthrop and Hilda (Steuerwald) Foss. She graduated from New Lebanon High School in 1954 and soon thereafter met her husband, John C. Elliott, Jr. of Old Chatham. They were married for 67 years.

She resided in Chatham most of her life and was employed at Chatco in Chatham or many years. She had a love for pleasure horses and she and her husband worked with harness racing horses.

Besides her husband, John C. Elliott of Old Chatham, she is survived by: three children, Shawn Elliott of Canaan, Jay D. Elliott of Philmont and Lisa Friss of Saugerties and a sister, Marcia Jensen of Canaan.

Mrs. Elliott was predeceased by an infant son, Joel D. Elliott. Services will be private at a later date. Memorials may be made to American Cancer Society. Arrangements are with the Wenk Funeral Home, 21 Payn Avenue, Chatham. Send online condolences at

Edward Boyer, CSC

Edward Boyer, CSC (1941 – 2020)

VALATIE—Brother Edward Richard Boyer, CSC, a brother of Holy Cross, died after a brief illness early the morning of December 19, 2020 at St. Joseph Center in Valatie.

He was born February 5, 1941 in Cohoes, the second son of Edward T. Boyer and Matilda J. Finger.

Because Cohoes was home to a large French-Canadian population, half the day’s lessons were conducted in French in the parish school; “Ed,” his family and friends were fluent in French and communicated naturally in that language.

He chose to attend The Vincentian Institute for high school, part of the large parish complex of St. Vincent DePaul Parish in Albany. Br. Boyer thrived at “VI” (as it was called) and was impressed by his religious teachers. He decided to try life as a brother in the Congregation of Holy Cross.

August 23, 1959, he made his first vows, and was assigned to study at the University of Notre Dame. His first assignment as a teacher was to Holy Cross High School in Flushing, where he taught French and was the assistant band director. From 1962 to 1981, he was transferred back and forth between Holy Cross in Flushing and Cardinal Mooney High School in Rochester.

From 1980 to 1985, he was a member of the Provincial Council, and then he returned to teaching French, religion and music. From 1985 to 1989, he served as principal at Cardinal Mooney until it closed in 1989, when he returned to Flushing. He was appreciated as a kind, generous, creative, hardworking and loving religious who gave his all for students and their families.

In 2005 he was appointed to St. Joseph Center in Valatie as the community director and administrator of the center and its programs. In his retired years, from 2009 forward, he did not rest idle, teaching CCD in the local parish, volunteering at the box office at the Mac-Haydn Theatre in Chatham, and leading Bible study groups. He was also involved with programs that ministered to aging and retired religious and priests at Misericordia College in Dallas, PA.

“His illness took him quickly, and with his death we lost a good and talented brother, who was kind and fun-loving, and who used his creative vision and his personal experience of the Divine to image the Glory of God for us.”

There will be a closed funeral liturgy at St. Joseph Center in Valatie in keeping with current safety guidelines. Burial will follow in St. Joseph of Holy Cross Cemetery. A public liturgy will be held once that is possible for Br. Boyer and all those who have died during the pandemic.

Arrangements are with the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, 1015 Kinderhook Street (Route 9), Valatie. To send condolences visit

Donald Kirsch

Donald I. Kirsch (1940 – 2020)

CHATHAM—Donald I. Kirsch, 80, of Chatham, formerly of Niverville died Saturday, December 19 after a battle with lung cancer.

He was born July, 27, 1940 in Rensselaer to the late Joseph and Marion Kirsch. “Don” was a graduate of Columbia High School, and enjoyed his work on local farms including Smith Farm in Nassau and Wildermuth Farm in Valatie.

He was predeceased by his loving wife of 57 years, Pauline Bessman Kirsch; his brothers, William(Grace) Kirsch, Robert (Cathy) Kirsch, and Thomas Kirsch.

He is survived by: his daughters of who he was extremely proud, Debbie (Steve) Oleynek, Jodi (Ron) Haier and Beth Barnes; his brother, Glenn (Gayle) Kirsch; his greatest source of pride and joy his six grandchildren, Erin (Cody) Farr, Stephen Oleynek, Anthony (Brittany) Barnes, Andrew Haier, Joseph Oleynek and Katelyn Barnes; many nieces, nephews and friends.

He was a lifetime member and past chief of the Niverville Fire Department and was also an active member of the Kinderhook Democratic Committee. He most recently was employed by the Town of Kinderhook as the building inspector and by the Ichabod Crane School District Maintenance Department. Mr. Kirsch enjoyed time with family and friends and having political debates with anyone that dared to engage, even if it meant yelling at TV correspondents. He was known by many as a jokester and loyal friend.

Services will be private at this time with a memorial to follow in the summer. The family requests that friends and family send cards with stories or memories of Mr. Kirsch to help them celebrate his life. Donations can be made to the Chatham Rescue Squad. Arrangements are with the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, 1015 Kinderhook Street (Route 9), Valatie. To send condolences visit

Gloria Oleynek

Gloria F. Oleynek (1927 – 2020)

SPENCERTOWN—The world yelled a final goodbye to Gloria “Dodi” Oleynek, nee Florio, who peacefully left us December 17, 2020, while at home and surrounded by her family.

She was the beloved wife of the late Fred Oleynek and much loved mother of Joe Oleynek (Renee), Jeanne Oleynek, Paula

Bednarcik (Ed), Fred Oleynek (Amy), Margy Gauthier (Russ), Steve Oleynek (Deb), Gloria Murphy (Todd) and Sue Geel (Bryan).

She was a loving “Nana” to Lauren, Ted, Erin, Jessica, Kelsey, Meg, Stephen, Joseph, Michael, Matthew, Maria, and great-granddaughter, Sofia.

She packed a lot of life in her 93 years which began February 26, 1927 in the Bronx. She grew up in a close-knit Italian family, the youngest of eight children in a house on the waterfront in the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx. She attended high school at the Villa Maria Academy, and college at Notre Dame on Staten Island where she earned graduate degrees in chemistry and psychology.

Following graduation, she opened the first independently owned electroencephalography lab in the country at Montefiore Hospital.

She first had a crush on her future husband at 13 years old, when he would visit Throggs Neck in the summers.

They remained friends while he served in World War II, and began dating after the war. They were married in 1952 at St. Raymond’s Church and moved into their first home on Linden Avenue in the Bronx. The newlyweds quickly became a family of six, and moved into 3099 Bevy Place in Fort Schuyler. Life at Bevy Place was a love-filled experience since Mrs. Oleynek’s mother, “Noni” and father lived downstairs, and her six siblings, Louis, Jean, Aldo. Hugo, Pappy, and Olga all lived nearby with their growing families. Sundays were special as Noni’s kitchen served as the command center for the cacophony of laughter, music and dozens of little kids running through a room fragrant with the aromas of classic Italian cooking.

Mr. and Mrs. Oleynek purchased their summer home in Spencertown in 1959. Thus began the idyllic summers “up the country” with Mrs. Oleynek’s niece and best friend, Tootsie, and all of their 13 children.

In 1970 the Oleyneks moved to Spencertown permanently and lived in the small cottage, while Mr. Oleynek rebuilt the main house that was destroyed in a 1964 fire. As soon as they moved to Spencertown, Mrs. Oleynek was scooped up by her new neighbor and soon to be lifelong friend, Frieda Gabel, who dragged her to her first St. Peter’s Tower Club meeting. She remained active in the club for 30 years and enjoyed a lifetime of friendships and activities.

In 1988, after all her children left the nest, Mrs. Oleynek had the opportunity to follow her lifelong passion for books and reading. She established the world famous Hock-it Books Store in Chatham, which was a thriving business on Main Street for 30 years. She was an active member of the Chatham Business Alliance for many years, and for several years served on the board.

In the bookstore, customers were greeted with a cheery hello and entertained with endless stories, jokes and advice on personal problems, career choices and parenting.

During these years, Mrs. Oleynek became a “Nana” to her 11 grandchildren. She was the most loving, caring and fun “Nana” that a child could ask for. Christmases were filled with love and laughter, and many games and presents. She also began the tradition of the Thanksgiving Family Talent Show. She cherished each grandchild and lovingly knitted each one an afghan for their beds when they went off to college.

In recognition of her lifelong love of books and reading, her family will establish a local chapter of The Imagination Library in her memory. It is an organization that sends free books to eligible children under 5 years of age. This seems appropriate as we have all heard her yell, “Take a free book from the basket on your way out” of her bookstore.

Memorial donations may be made to The Imagination Library and sent to: John Connor, Jr., Esq., P.O. Box 427, 76 Green Street, Hudson 12534 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105. A private celebration of Mrs. Oleynek’s life will be held when “we are all allowed to hug each other and remember our mom/Nana the way she would have wanted, and truly deserved.” Arrangements are with the Wenk Funeral Home, 21 Payn Avenue, Chatham. Send online condolences at

Therese G. Leach (1966 – 2020)

ALBANY—Therese Geddes Leach, 54, of Niverville died December 16, 2020 at Albany Medical Center.

Born January 7, 1966 in Albany, she was the daughter John and Carole Lee (Salzer). She was an LPN and worked for Barnwell Health Facilities and Visiting Nurses of Albany. She enjoyed music, going to concerts, being around people and especially loved her dogs, Schmoopie, Buddy and Miss Beasley.

She is survived by: her husband, John F. Leach. Jr.; five children, Derek Geddes, Matthew Geddes, Michael Geddes, Christopher Geddes and Courtney Geddes, all of Niverville; three grandchildren, Jacob, Logan and Annabelle Geddes.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday, December 29, 11 a.m. at St. John the Baptist Church, Valatie with the Reverend George Fleming officiating. A private burial will follow in Our Lady Help of Christian’s Cemetery in Glenmont. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. John the Baptist Church, Route 9, Valatie 12184. Arrangements are with the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, 1015 Kinderhook Street (Route 9), Valatie. To send condolences visit

Dicel Jefferson

Dicel L. Jefferson (1974 – 2020)

HUDSON—Dicel L. Jefferson, 46, a lifelong resident of Hudson, died peacefully at home Thursday, December 24, 2020.

Born in Hudson October 19, 1974, he was the son of Mildred Royal and the late David Jefferson and a brother to the late Dana D. Walker.

Mr. Jefferson was a teacher’s aide for the Hudson City Schools, he was also a football and basketball coach for many years.

He is survived by: his mother, Mildred Royal; his three sons, Anthony, Carter and Emry; his three nieces, Shountell, Da-Naysia, Aziara; his nephew, Willie Walker, III; his brother-in-law, Willie Walker, Jr.; two great-nieces, Amya and Breille and three great-nephews, Javaughn, Nyvaughn and Eli. He was well-loved and will be missed by many family and friends. Funeral services are incomplete at this time. Burial will be in Cedar Park Cemetery. Arrangements are with the Sacco Funeral Home, 700 Town Hall Drive, Greenport. To leave online condolences visit

Charles Card, Jr.

Charles Card, Jr. (1939 – 2020)

PHILMONT—Charles Card, Jr., 81, of Philmont passed away Saturday, December 26, 2020.

Born February 3, 1939 in Hudson, he was the son of the late Charles and Eleanor (Tanner) Card.

He was a graduate of Ockawamick Central School and the General Electric Drafting Apprenticeship. After working for both GE and IBM as a draftsman, he spent 26 years as a Prudential Insurance Agent. He retired from Prudential in 1998 and then spent the next 13 years working for Michael S. Johnston, as a school bus driver.

Mr. Card was a 56-year member and past chief of the Philmont Volunteer Fire Company and a member of the Philmont Methodist Church. He enjoyed vacationing in Hampton Beach, NH, and spending time with friends and family, especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He is survived by: his companion of 34 years, Marjorie Tice; his daughter, Judy (Jake) Tice; granddaughter, Jackie (Dan) Sweet; grandson, John (Bud) Tice; great-grandchildren, Ella and Bentley Sweet; his brother, Donald (Palma) Card, several cousins and Marge’s family.

Funeral services will be private. Memorials may be made to the Philmont Methodist Church, P.O. Box 466, Philmont 12565. Arrangements are with the French, Gifford, Preiter & Blasl Funeral Home, 25 Railroad Avenue, Chatham. Condolences may be conveyed at

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