OBITUARIES: Johnson, Walters, Gott, Curry, Kessler

Walter Johnson

Walter L. Johnson (1943 – 2021)

HUDSON—Walter Lee Johnson, 78, of Hudson died Thursday, September 16, 2021 at his home.

Born in Delway, NC, March 18, 1943 he was the son of the late James and Inetta (Murphy) Johnson.

Mr. Johnson was a railroad maintenance worker for Conrail (Consolidated Rail Corporation) until his retirement.

He is survived by: his children: Walter, Eugene, Jimmy, James, Laura, Darlene, Felicia, Christina and Doreen; his step-daughters, Caroline and Melissa; sisters, Shirley Moore and Annie Fennell; brothers, Donald and Ronnie Johnson.

He was predeceased by siblings, James Johnson, Jr., and Juanita Johnson.

Arrangements are with the Sacco Funeral Home, 700 Town Hall Drive, Greenport. To leave online condolences visit

Al Walters

Alfred G. Walters (1949 – 2021)

VALATIE—Alfred “Al” G. Walters, 72, of Valatie passed away September 20, 2021 after a long battle with cancer. He was surrounded by family and friends.

He was born in Brooklyn, September 14, 1949 to Alfred and Dorothy Walters. He worked as senior maintenance for 16 years at DPS in the East Greenbush School District. He enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren. He was patriotic and a dedicated Republican. Mr. Walters shared a strong faith in God.

He is survived by: his wife, Eileen of Valatie; children, Melaney (Paul) Szklenka, Beth (Brad) Clevenger, Joshua (Joanna) Walters, Allison (Anthony) Contento, Mark Sorokey and Justin Walters; grandchildren, Marc, Emily (Christopher), Juliette, Alexandria, Alivia, Abigail and Summer; sibling, Louise DiCarali, Marilyn Bickelman, Deborah Cincotta and Gerard Walters, as well as, many friends and extended family.

Funeral services will be held Sunday, September 26 at 3:30 p.m. from the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, Valatie. Visitation will be from noon to 3:30 p.m. prior to the service. Memorial donations may be made to the Epilepsy Foundation NENY, 3 Washington Square, Albany 12205 ( The family is grateful to NY Oncology Hematology.

Daniel Gott (1942 – 2021)

SPENCERTOWN—A memorial service for Daniel Gott of Copake Lake will be held at St. Peter’s Presbyterian Church, 5219 County Road 7, Spencertown, September 24, 2021 at 2 p.m.

Mr. Gott passed away September 6, 2021.

His complete obituary appeared in the September 9 issue.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Peter’s Church. To send online condolences visit

Valerie Curry

Valerie S. Curry (1965 – 2021)

VALATIE—Dr. Valerie Sharon Curry, affectionately known as “Val,” passed from death unto life, Thursday, September 16, 2021 in the Hudson Valley, surrounded by her special sisters in Christ, who held her hand, read scripture and sang her into the loving arms of her husband, the King of Kings.

She was born January 9, 1965 in Baltimore, MD. She was raised by loving parents, Joseph and Elizabeth Gordon. She attended Arlington Baptist School, graduating in 1982. It was there, as a young girl, that she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. She lived a life of Christian dedication and service.

She attended the University of Maryland College Park, receiving the Bachelor of Science in zoology. Upon graduating from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, she completed her postdoctoral training in pediatrics at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, VA.

Prior to relocating to New York, she practiced medicine at Children’s Hospital in Richmond, VA, and University of Maryland, Department of Pediatrics in Baltimore, MD. In October 2002, she joined the practice of Greitzer & Marks in Chatham. After Dr. Greitzer retired, she assumed leadership of the practice in 2014.

Starting that year, she also served as the physician to Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth in Canaan and the Chatham School District. In January 2021, the practice merged with Columbia Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Curry was respected and loved by the community. It is well-known that she had a special affinity for babies.

Her sole purpose in life was to serve and share the love of Christ through her vocation and through ministry. She was a member of Grace Fellowship Church and served in the Women’s Ministry. She was also involved in Women’s Prison Ministry and International Ministries. She supported many children through Compassion International. Her desire to reach the world for Christ was exemplified through her mission trips around the world to places including Kyrgyzstan, India, Haiti, Uganda Africa.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a special aunt, Marie Beatrice Starks and one very onery cat, Lovey.

Her memory will be cherished by: her brother, Virgil Curry; cousins: Leslie Griffin, Alvin Curry and Louis “Tubby” Curry, III; her “other mother,” Elizabeth “Betty” Krott; special sisters in Christ, Shyvetta Lesane-Brewster, Janet Chadbourne, Sue Tomlinson-Steigler and Margot Mosier-Swartz; as well as many friends.

A celebration of life will be held October 2, 2021, 11 a.m. at the Kinderhook Reformed Dutch Church, 21 Broad Street, Kinderhook.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA),

Her family and friends thank the staff at CMH for their kindness and support.

Arrangements are under the direction of Simple Choices, Inc. Cremation Service. To leave a special message for the family visit

Robert Kessler

Robert J. Kessler (1933 – 2021)

HILLSDALE – Robert J. “Bob” Kessler of Hillsdale passed away Thursday, September 16, 2021. Born and raised in New York City, he was the son of Frank Kessler and Sonya Stimer. He attended the High School of Music and Art and graduated from Queens College.

Bob was a professional songwriter for the first part of his working life, with a special love for musical theater. He started out writing songs with his school buddy Martin Charnin for summer stock, Off-Broadway musical reviews, and trade shows. He composed the music for the restoration musical “O Marry Me!” which played in New York and at Theater Royal Windsor in England. He worked as a staff songwriter for the iconic Broadway composer Frank Loesser at Loesser’s publishing house Frank Music. In addition to show tunes he wrote pop songs and songs for several Hollywood movies. He also wrote songs for the PBS television show “Feeling Good.” He collaborated on songs with Hoagie Carmichael, Michael Kamen, Bobby Scott, and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson. His songs were recorded by Dionne Warwick, Bernadette Peters, Gregory Hines, Lena Horne, The Everly Brothers, Ellie Stone, and Waylon Jennings, among others. Some of his music can be found at

In 1977, along with his sister and brother-in-law Claire and Barry Brook, Bob established Pendragon Press, a highly regarded publisher of scholarly books on musicology. Until his death, Bob served as managing editor of the press and handled book acquisition and production. To date, Pendragon has released over 500 titles that have contributed to the discipline.

In 1986, Bob and his wife, Janet Lincoln, moved to Columbia County, living first in Stuyvesant and then in Hillsdale. In both places, Bob was an energetic and enthusiastic participant in civic and political affairs and the arts community. He was active in the Democratic Party and served as Chair of the Town Democratic Committee in both Stuyvesant and Hillsdale. For a time, he was a leading member of the Columbia County Council on the Arts, organizing a film festival that was an early precursor of the current series FilmColumbia. Among other activities, he served as Hillsdale’s representative to the County Environmental Committee and as Board of Election Custodian for the Town of Hillsdale.

Bob will be remembered as an inveterate optimist, a rabid New York sports fan, and a prolific punster. He had the unusual gift of holding strong opinions while being able to communicate effectively across cultural, religious, and other differences.

He is survived by Janet, his wife of 44 years; his daughter, Amanda Udis-Kessler, and daughter-in-law, Phoebe Lostroh; and several grand-nieces and grand-nephews and their children. He was predeceased by his sister Claire Brook, his nephew Jonathan Mann, and his niece Lisa Mann.

A memorial service will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Roeliff Jansen Community Library in Hillsdale. PAID OBITUARY

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