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OBITUARIES: Gattuso, Gleason, Baker, Degenhardt


Salvatore Gattuso (1929 – 2019)

SHARON, CT—Early Saturday morning, November 2, 2019, Salvatore Gattuso of Copake, proud dad of four daughters, passed away at the age of 90.

“Sal” was born May 18, 1929 in Brooklyn, the first-born son of Charles and Marion Gattuso.

Following high school graduation in Manhattan, he joined the United States Marine Corps April 20, 1948. He proudly served four years as a sergeant and aviation instructor during the Korean War. He was a Medal of Honor recipient and after his discharge April 19, 1952, he married his first wife, Agnes Walsh and together they raised their four daughters.

Despite his passion for aviation, Mr. Gattuso found his way to the NYC police department in 1957 and went on to serve 28 years as a patrolman. He retired in 1984 and after marrying his late wife, Virginia Grathwohl, built their home in Copake to spend their retirement years.

Mr. Gattuso is survived by: his daughters, Ellen Edge, Susan Barton, Mary Givens and Carol Thompson; three grandsons; six granddaughters; 11 great-grandchildren and brothers, Charles and Anthony Gattuso. He also had two sisters, Mary and Lucille, who sadly passed before him.

He had many interests, but his passions were his love of aviation and as witnessed by anyone who crossed his path long enough to be entertained—his art of story-telling. It is in honor of his life well-lived that his daughters invite friends and family to join them as they wish him a safe flight for the last time.

Friends are invited and may call at the Peck and Peck Funeral Home, 8063 Route 22, Copake, Thursday, November 7 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m.

Funeral services will be held at the funeral home, Friday November 8 at 11 a.m. with the Reverend Kenneth Phesay officiating. Burial will follow at the Copake Cemetery.

To send an online condolence visit

Ronald O. Gleason, Sr. (1942 – 2019)

CHATHAM CENTER—Ronald Oliver Gleason, Sr., “Butch,” 76, of Chatham Center left this world, November 2, 2019.

He was predeceased by parents, Ernest and Katie Mae of Chatham Center; siblings, Sam, Elizabeth and grandson, Jordan.

He will always be remembered for his amazing achievements as a motorcycle racer in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Mr. Gleason had an impeccable work ethic, was the owner of Gleason’s farm in Chatham Center, was an avid fisherman and found great enjoyment fishing with family.

He is survived by: his wife, Mary Ann Gleason; his three children, Ronald Gleason, Jr., Lance Gleason and Shannon Steltz (Scott Steltz); nephew, Sammy Gleason (Mary); grandchildren, Cooper Steltz, Brayden Steltz, Laney Steltz and Benjamin Gleason; his nephews, nieces and lifelong friend, John Kratt.

Calling hours will be held at the French, Gifford, Preiter and Blasl Funeral Home, 25 Railroad Avenue, Chatham,

Saturday, November 9 from noon to 2:30 p.m. A prayer service will follow. After the service family and friends are invited to come together and share remembrances at the Tri-Village Fire Department in Chatham Center. In lieu of flowers, contribution in Mr. Gleason’s name may be made to: the Tri-Village Fire Department, St. Jude’s Children Center or Columbia County Pathways to Recovery. Condolences may be conveyed at

Esther M. Baker (1935 – 2019)

CHATHAM CENTER—Esther May Baker, 84, passed away peacefully at her home November 4, 2019, surrounded by her family. She is lovingly remembered.

Born July 19, 1935 in Chatham, she was the daughter of the late Jennie May Schilling and David Thomas Williams. She lived in Chatham until she and her husband built their forever home in Chatham Center in 1981. After graduating Chatham High in the class of 1953 she went on to work for BOCES until retiring in 1989.

Mrs. Baker was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend. She is survived by: her husband of 65 years, James L. Baker, Sr.; sons, James L. (Nancy) Baker, Jr., and John T. (Nancy) Baker; sisters, Dorothy Flood and Joyce Sirani and her grandchildren.

She was predeceased by a sister, Janet Bryant and a brother, Bruce Williams.

She loved bowling, traveling, watching the Yankees and spending time with her family. She was an avid animal lover. She will be missed dearly.

Family will receive friends at the French, Gifford, Preiter & Blasl Funeral Home, 25 Railroad Avenue, Chatham, Friday, November 8 from 4 to 7 p.m. There will be a service at the funeral home on Saturday, November 9 at 9 a.m. Interment will follow at Chatham Center Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers donations in Mrs. Baker’s memory may be made to the Community Hospice of Columbia Greene, 47 Liberty Street, Catskill 12414. Condolences may be conveyed at

Frank W. Degenhardt (1925 – 2019)

GALLATIN—Frank W. “Bill” Degenhardt, 94, of Gallatin passed away Friday, November 1, 2019 at his home.

Born February 1, 1925 in Mt. Vernon, he was the son of the late Frank and Mary (O’Brien) Degenhardt. He married Jessie Shute, August 8, 1953 in Pelham. She survives at home in Gallatin.

He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

Mr. Degenhardt was an accomplished Emmy award-winning technical director with ABC television in New York City for many years.

A longtime Larchmont resident, he was an active volunteer with the Mt. Vernon Fire Company, and was a licensed airplane pilot.

Following his retirement, he, along with his wife, moved to Gallatin in 1989. Locally he was active in the Red Hook-Rhinebeck Lodge 2022 BPOE in Red Hook and served as Gallatin Town Justice for four years.

In addition to his loving wife of 66 years, he is survived by: his children, William Paul (Linda) Degenhardt of Rye Brook, Roberta Diane Degenhardt of Philmont, George Christian (Grace) Degenhardt of Greenwich, CT, and Dwight Donald Degenhardt of Red Hook; his grandchildren, Nicolas William (Whitney) Degenhardt, Eric Paul (Grace) Degenhardt, and Christian Jon Degenhardt; along with many nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and friends.

Two brothers, Robert Edward Degenhardt and Donald John Degenhardt predeceased him.

Friends called at the Burnett & White Funeral Homes, 7461 South Broadway, Red Hook, November 5. Red Hook-Rhinebeck Lodge 2022 BPOE conducted services that evening.

Friends will also be received Friday, November 8, 2019 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Coxe & Graziano Funeral Home, 767 East Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck.

Graveside services and interment will be held Saturday, November 9, 2019, 11 a.m. at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.

Memorial donations may be made in Mr. Degenhardt’s memory to the Milan Rescue Squad, Milan Fire Department Station, 1575 Jackson Corners Road, Milan 12571

For directions or to sign the online guest book visit

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