GNH Lumber Outdoor Living

OBITUARIES: Gagne, McDonald, Bergeron, Rappleyea, Shutts, Stever, Geary, Farrere


Brian H. R. Gagne (1948 – 2015)

ALBANY—Brian H. R. Gagne of Athens, formerly of Old Chatham, died June 27, 2015.

Born February 24, 1948 in Niskayuna, he was son of the late Fernand and Naomi (Gross) Gagne and brother of the late Garry Gagne.

Mr. Gagne grew up and was educated in Niskayuna.

After school, he married and moved to Columbia County where he was the operator and co-owner of the Centre Garage in Chatham and Alaric Auto Parts, with stores in both Chatham and Albany. After the birth of his two children, he sold the businesses and became involved in industrial sales before finding his true passion working in emergency services.

Mr. Gagne served at various agencies across the Hudson Valley and Capital Region, including Greenport Rescue Squad, Community Rescue Squad in Copake and the Chatham Rescue Squad where he served as supervisor. He was past chief of Tri -Village Fire Company, Columbia County Deputy EMS Coordinator of Education, Training Coordinator at REMO, and QA/QI Coordinator for Alamo Ambulance Service. He taught First Aid, CPR, ACLS, and PALS; he was a NYS CIC instructor teaching the next generation of emergency service providers.

Mr. Gagne’s encore career found him working with high school students through Questar III in Greenport and training his TDI-certified therapy dogs (and best friends), H and Rocco. Mr. Gagne was easily more satisfied with his dogs’ training and credentials than his own, and he loved nothing more than taking them for a run at 4-Mile Point, to Stewart’s for ice cream cones, or to the Kinderhook Dog Park. He was an American history buff—especially Civil War history, and he dragged his family through every last battle field to see every last cannon.

Surviving family members include: Lorraine, Darienne, Lee, Ashly, Helena, Michael, Christine, Nicole, Rocco and H — all Gagnes, plus a plethora of cousins, nieces and nephews.

There will be a service to remember Mr. Gagne’s life at the North Chatham United Methodist Church, July 3 at 9:30 a.m. Interment will follow at the Chatham Center Cemetery. After which, all are invited back to the church grounds for a barbecue and time to share memories.

Contributions may be made to any civic organization through which one knew Mr. Gagne (or his dogs) such as: the Tri-Village Fire Company; Everlasting Hope Animal Rescue (; Out of the Pits (; the Columbia-Greene Human Society/ SPCA (

Shane A. McDonald (1960 – 2015)

WEST COXSACKIE–Shane Alexander McDonald, 55, entered into eternal rest June 28, 2015 at his home surrounded by his loving family.

He was born January 4, 1960 in Germantown, the son of the late William and Mona McDonald.

Mr. McDonald graduated from Germantown Central High School. He went on to work as a popular hairdresser in the Albany area, and finished his career as a long-haul truck driver. Mr. McDonald enjoyed photography, watching movies, going to concerts, traveling, watching sports and spending time with family.

He is survived by: his son, Kenny Iannone and his wife Shannon (Murphy); grandsons, Cullen and Riley; his sisters, Janet McDonald and Mary Clark; many loving nieces, nephews and extended family.

Mr. McDonald was proceeded in death by his parents and siblings, William, George, Joseph, Elizabeth (Aiken), Donald, Monica, Sharon, Phillip, James, Kimley.

A memorial service will be held July 7, 2015 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Yadack-Fox Funeral Home, 209 Main Street, Germantown.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to the American Melanoma Foundation, 4150 Regents Park Row, Suite 300, LaJolla, CA 92037 or Community Hospice of Columbia-Greene, 47 Liberty Street, Catskill 12414.

Mr. McDonald’s family sends a sincere thank you to the nurses and staff at Community Hospice of Columbia-Greene.

Cecile Bergeron (1940 – 2015)

EAST GREENBUSH—Cecile R. Bergeron, 75, of East Greenbush died Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at home.

She was born in Winooski, VT, to the late Edward and Pearl (Trombley) Gaboriault.

She worked for the telephone company in her early years and while raising her family, she worked third shift at the Parson’s Home.

Mrs. Bergeron was an active school mother with her children attending St. Mary’s. Later in life, she worked for 20 years at the Albany Medical Center. She also enjoyed working at Columbia High School and interacting with the students during their lunch time.

She loved her gardens and always had the most amazing tomato plants. She could “bring a twig back to life.” She was devoted to her family and especially loved interacting with her grandchildren. She listened with her heart to all that sat at her kitchen table. “She will live on in our hearts and memories.”

She was predeceased by her husband, Marcel P. Bergeron and her siblings. Mrs. Bergeron is survived by: her four sons, Mark P. (Katrina) Bergeron of Clifton Park, Dan T. (Nora) Bergeron of Valatie, Shawn M (Mona-Jean) Bergeron of Manassas, VA, and Christian S. (Cheryl) Bergeron of Manchester, CT. She is also survived by 12 grandchildren and one great-grandson. Relatives and friends are invited to attend her memorial service Tuesday, July 7, 10 a.m. from the Church of St. Mary, 163 Columbia Turnpike, Rensselaer. Entombment will be in St. Agnes Cemetery. Contributions may be made to Community Hospice of Rensselaer County, 295 Valleyview Boulevard, Rensselaer.

Arrangements are with the William J. Rockefeller Funeral Home, Inc., 165 Columbia Turnpike, Rensselaer.

Thomas Rappleyea (1931 – 2015)

HUDSON—Thomas Rappleyea was born October 13, 1931 in Hudson to Harold and Martha Rappleyea. He departed this life July 2, 2015.         .

After graduating from high school, Mr. Rappleyea served in the U.S. Air Force including a tour in Greenland.

Returning home from the military, he attended Hudson Valley Community College. For the majority of his life he worked in the insurance business establishing Rappleyea’s Insurance Agency.

Mr. Rappleyea was a devoted family man creating many memories of special family events and fun vacations that will be cherished forever. It was a great joy to be around him. His outgoing personality and sense of humor will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Mr. Rappleyea was a member of the Hudson Elks Lodge, the Federation of Polish Sportsmen, the Hudson VFW, the American Legion, and Becraft Fire Company #2.

He is survived by: his two daughters, Susan (Gary) and Diane (Ralph); his two grandchildren, Alison and Nick; many beloved nieces and nephews and their families; and his loving partner Adrienne Lustiber.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Dolores “Ollie” Rappleyea in 2003; his parents, Harold and Martha Rappleyea; brother, Hap Rappleyea; sisters, Margaret, Jackie Nack, Jeanette Hapemen and Cody Halstead.

“The family extends its heartfelt appreciation to Adrienne for her excellent care and compassion for Dad during his last challenging years. Also we would like to acknowledge the attention and kind support from Martha Pizza, David Halstead, Firemen’s Home and Hospice Services.”

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered Monday, July 6, 10 a.m. at Holy Trinity Parish, St. Mary’s Church, 429 East Allen Street, Hudson. Interment will be in Cedar Park Cemetery in Hudson.                     .

Arrangements are with the Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson.

Visit to leave condolences.

Helen Shutts (1937 – 2015)

ALBANY—Helen B. Shutts, 78, of Hillsdale passed away Thursday, July 2, 2015 at St. Peter’s Hospice Inn in Albany.

Born in Hudson May 23, 1937, she was the daughter of the late Viggo and Margaret Fritz.

Mrs. Shutts was a homemaker and enjoyed spending time with her family , gardening and canning. She was a member of the Columbia Greene Sportsmen’s Association, the NRA, and was a coach for the Philmont Junior Girls Softball Team.

She was predeceased by her husband, Donald Shutts and her brother, Arthur Kelley.

Mrs. Shutts is survived by: her older brother, Richard Fritz of Red Hook; her children, Donald Shutts, Jr., (Erin) of Herkimer, Michael Shutts of Hillsdale, Lori Runyon (Kendrick) of Claverack and Tracy Closi (Donald) of Hillsdale; nine grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.

Calling hours are Monday, July 6, 4 to 8 p.m. at the Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson.

Services will be held Tuesday, July 7, 10 a.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be in the Mellenville Union Cemetery.

Donations may be made to Community Hospice of Albany, 315 South Manning Boulevard, Albany 12208.

Visit to leave condolences.

Elizabeth J. Stever (1918 – 2015)

VALATIE—Elizabeth J. Stever, 97, of East Greenbush and formerly of Claverack died Monday, June 29, 2015 at Barnwell Health Facilities.

Born April 22, 1918 in Westerlo, she was the daughter of the late Ford C. and Evalena (Atkins) Braman.

Mrs. Stever was a 53-year-resident of Claverack. She was a loving mother and grandmother and enjoyed playing cards and traveling.

She is survived by: four children, Janet Stever Comstock (William) of East Greenbush, Neil Stever (Kathleen) of Kinderhook Lake, Sharon Stever Hamm (James) of Castleton and Michael Stever of Schenectady; 16 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; 2 great-great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her husband, Delmar M. Stever and her daughter, Linda Stever Seversen.

Funeral services will be held Monday, July 6, 10 a.m. at the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, 1015 Kinderhook Street, Valatie, with the Reverend James Slater officiating. Burial will follow in the Reformed Dutch Church of Claverack Cemetery. Calling hours will be Sunday, July 5 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the funeral home. Contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 1 Penny Lane, Latham 12110.

Ellen P. Geary (1919 – 2015)

VALATIE—Ellen P. Geary, 95, of Valatie died Friday, July 3, 2015 at Barnwell Health Facilities.

Born September 15, 1919 in Galway, Ireland, she was the daughter of the late John and Sara (Collins) Stephens.

Mrs. Geary was a nurse at Mercy Hospital in Rockville Centre, as well as the Nassau County Nursing Home in East Meadow. She was a communicant of St. John the Baptist Church in Valatie and a member of the St. John’s Elves.

She is survived by: four children, MaryEllen Blette (John) of West Windsor, NJ, John Joseph Geary (Louise) of Waterford, Ireland, Kathleen M. Kelly (James) of Ballston Spa, Doreen M. Geary Boland (James) of Hillsborough, NJ; 11 grandchildren, Jessica, Monica, Alison, Laura, Sarah, Kristen, Rachel, Meaghan, Kevin, Justine and Shane; 14 great-grandchildren, Lillian, Daniel, Jack, Fiona, Henry, Rosalie, Alexandra, Niamh, Billy, Ronan, Cadence, Grace, Makaila and Josephine. She was predeceased by her husband, Maurice Geary.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday, July 7, 11 a.m. at St. John the Baptist Church, 1025 Kinderhook Street (Route 9), Valatie, with the Reverend George Fleming officiating. Burial will follow in St. John the Baptist Cemetery.

Calling hours will be Monday, July 6 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, 1015 Kinderhook Street, Valatie.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. John’s Elves, c/o St. John the Baptist Church, 1025 Kinderhook Street, Valatie 12184.

Albert A. Farrere (1923 – 2015)

ALBANY—Albert Angelo Farrere, 92, of Hillsdale passed away Wednesday July 1, 2015 at the Albany Medical Center Hospital.

He was born February 4, 1923 in New York City to the late Angelo and Serafina (Gardella) Farrere.

He moved to Hillsdale in 1928 and graduated from Roeliff Jansen High School in 1942.

Mr. Farrere worked on the family farm, at the Hillsdale Foundry, Lane Construction, First National Grocery and then for 35 years with General Electric until his retirement in 1986. He also was a realtor in Columbia County for more than 50 years.

Mr. Farrere had a love of tending to his gardens, hunting and was an avid lifelong fan of the New York Yankees.

In 1946 in Hudson, he married his beloved wife, Anna (Svingala) Farrere who survives him at home.

Also surviving are: his children, Ronald Farrere of Hillsdale, Philip Farrere of Hillsdale, Carol Farrere of Kinderhook and Michael Farrere of Canton, MI; his grandsons, Brian and Michael, Jr.; a great-granddaughter, McKenna, as well as, a sister, Enes Svingala of Millerton.

Friends and family are invited and may call at Our Lady of Hope Parish, 8074 State Route 22 in Copake Falls, Monday, July 6, 2015 from 10 to 11 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Monday with the Reverend George Brennan officiating.

Interment will follow in new St. Bridget’s Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Community Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 327, Copake 12516 or the Hillsdale Fire Company, Hillsdale 12529.

Arrangements are with the Peck and Peck Funeral Home, Copake.

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