Columbia Memorial Health (1) Careers

OBITUARIES: Rifenburgh, Tkacy, Coons, Fredericks, Keyes, Serra-Lima, Scalley, Shumsky, Blair


Alfred D. Rifenburgh (1924 – 2020)

CATSKILL—Alfred D. Rifenburgh, 95, of Greenport died peacefully Friday, March 20, 2020 at The Pines at Catskill. Born in Hudson June 10, 1924, he was the son of the late Frederick and Ruby (Eidelman) Rifenburgh. After graduating from high school, “Al” joined the United States Marine Corps. He was a construction foreman with Pin Oak Construction in Red Hook for many years. He was predeceased by his beloved wife, Mary A. (Kendall) Rifenburgh.

He will be missed by: his daughters, Deborah (Robert) Sitser, Andrea Rifenburgh (George Brown); grandchildren, David June, Robert Sitser and his girlfriend Patty Bowes, Tiffeny Cantu, Mary Jo Burger, Danielle Kush, Heather Jennings, Shalayne Jennings, Aaron Jennings, Tyler Brown, Zyan Brown and Rylee Brown; also his great-grandchildren, Victoria, Ayden, Emma, Skyler, Addison, Kaden, Alycia, Jalyn, Jason and Noah, Mason and Marah. He was predeceased by his daughter, Nancy Wright and his brother, Ace Rifenburgh.

Calling hours will be private. Following cremation, his ashes will be buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Stuyvesant Falls. Arrangements are with the Sacco Funeral Home, 700 Town Hall Drive, Greenport. To leave online condolences visit

Donald Tkacy (1922 – 2020)

HUDSON—Donald “Dinge” Tkacy, 97, of Hudson passed away Wednesday, March 18, 2020 under Hospice care at the NYS Volunteer Firemen’s Home.

Born April 7, 1922 in Hudson, he was the son of Stanislaw and Mary (Skalaczka) Tkazch. A lifelong Hudson resident, he was a 1939 graduate of Hudson High School, serving as class president. “Don” was honorably discharged from the United States Navy as an aviation ordinance man having served tours in Africa and Okinawa. Earlier careers included working at Universal Match Corp., Pulver Gas and Oil and Swiss Farms. He was best known for his careers in local politics, from which he retired December 31, 1995. Offices he held included Columbia County Coroner, Treasurer, Clerk, Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, Commissioner of Jurors and Fifth Ward Supervisor. Throughout his career in local politics, Mr. Tkacy received many awards and accolades. He was a communicant of Sacred Heart Church, and a member of its Men’s Club, Communicant of Holy Trinity Church / St. Mary’s Parish, a member of CH Evans Hook & Ladder, Hudson Elks #787, the Federation of Polish Sportsmen, Kalicoonte Rod & Gun Club, American Legion, and Knights of Columbus. He was also an honorary member of the Watertown Fire Department.

He was an avid NY Yankee and Duke basketball fan, an avid trout fisherman (fishing every day of the season if possible), he was an excellent dancer and enjoyed polka hops, listening to and singing to polka music, walks with his signature hat and lapel flower, playing euchre and penny ante poker, casinos and slot machines, horse racing at Saratoga, and in his younger years, small game hunting and ice fishing.

Left to cherish Mr. Tkacy’s memory are: his beloved wife, Beatrice (Cripps) Tkacy; son, Philip M. (Sherry) Tkacy; daughter, Mary Tkacy (George) Duntz; grandchildren, Philip Tkacy Jr., Heidi Tkacy Gaschel (J. Thomas), Pamela Tkacy Jantz, Erik Tkacy, Karri Tkacy Nichols (Jason), Julianne Duntz, George Duntz Jr. (Kate), Katrina Duntz Sullivan (Austin), Christopher Duntz (Tiffany) and Gregory Duntz; 14 great- grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his siblings Anthony, Walter, Frank, Joseph, Philip, Brun and Bronka (Betty).

Private funeral services with burial in Cedar Park Cemetery were Monday, March 23, 2020. A celebration of his life will be held on a date to be determined. Memorial contributions may be made to the Firemen’s Home Activities Fund.

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

Marian D. Coons (1953 – 2020)

HUDSON—Marian D’Onofrio Coons, 67, a lifelong resident of Hudson, passed away peacefully at Columbia Memorial Hospital, Saturday, March 21, 2020.

Born in Hudson, she was the daughter of the late Anthony J. and Mary M. (Flanagan) D’Onofrio.

She was a deeply religious person and a faithful communicant of St. Mary’s/ Holy Trinity Parish in Hudson. She had no enemies, always had a kind word for everyone and was a loving and caring person.

She worked as a nurse’s aide at Columbia Memorial Hospital for 45 years until illness forced her retirement in 2017. She treasured the days she spent helping others. She will be greatly missed by: her loving husband, Edward T. Coons; stepsons, Tommy Coons, Jeffrey (Cindy) Coons, Adam (Katie) Coons and Andrew (Jessica) Coons; her much-loved grandchildren, Rian, Logen and Lily Coons; her sister, Patricia (Bob) Wright; sister-in-law, Alice (Chuck) Hoffman and family; brothers-in-law, Jack (Jean) Coons, James Coons and family; niece, Michelle Wright Nappi (Michael); nephew, Raymond (Melissa) Wright and children; many cousins, especially Paul, Joe, Tom and Gennarino D’Onofrio and extended family members whom she loved dearly.

She was predeceased by her brother, John Anthony D’Onofrio and her nephew, Robert Wright June 20, 2002.

The family acknowledges all of Mrs. Coons’ co-workers from CMH and numerous friends who showered her with cards, visits and calls during her illness. She treasured those friendships. Also, special thanks to the staff at The Pines at Catskill where she and Eddie made many new friends, the CMH- ER staff and especially ER Nurse Justine LaValley. With all the concerns and issues faced by the medical facility, they went above and beyond with compassion and kindness. Due to recent events, calling hours and burial at Cedar Park Cemetery will be private. A Memorial Mass at Holy Trinity Parish will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions are requested to Holy Trinity Parish, P.O. Box 323, Hudson 12534. Arrangements are with the Sacco Funeral Home, 700 Town Hall Drive, Greenport. To leave online condolences visit

Harold W. Fredericks (1949 – 2020)

ALBANY—Harold William “Hal” Fredericks, 71, of Kinderhook, NY, died Saturday, March 21, 2020 at St. Peter’s Hospital.

Born February 4, 1949 in Albany, he was the son the late Harold T. and Anne (Reith) Fredericks.

“Hal” was a retired call center representative at the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance in Albany.

He was an avid New York Yankees fan and enjoyed watching his grandson play baseball and basketball. He loved spending time with his family and was looking forward to the birth of his twin grandchildren expected in April.

He is survived by: his wife of 44 years, Kathy J. (Cowin) Fredericks; two sons, Brian Fredericks (Jennifer) of East Greenbush and Kyle Fredericks (Ryann) of Castleton; a brother, John T. Fredericks of East Greenbush; three sisters, Deborah Reehl of East Greenbush, Regina Ashby and Joanne Craver of Castleton, a grandson, Lucas B. Fredericks and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Calling hours and a Celebration of life will be held at a later date in order to protect the health and wellbeing of his family and friends. Burial will be in Stuyvesant Falls Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Valatie Rescue Squad or the Valatie Food Pantry. Arrangements are with the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, 1015 Kinderhook Street, Valatie.

Leonard C. Keyes, Sr. (1944 – 2020)

GHENT—Leonard C. Keyes, Sr., 75, of Niverville died Friday, March 20, 2020 at Whittier Rehabilitation Center.

Born September 23, 1944 in Albany, he was the son the late Leon and Sally (Rings) Keyes. He worked for Valente Sand and Gravel for a time and was the owner of Keyes Automotive in Niverville. He was a former member of the Niverville Fire Department.

He is survived by: his wife, Judith A. (Miers) Keyes; one daughter, Pamela Coons (Richard) of Kinderhook; two sons, Leonard C. Keyes, Jr., (Neva) and Wayne C. Keyes, both of Niverville; a sister, Joyce Keyes of Duanesburg; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; several aunts, uncles and cousins. He was predeceased by his brother, Leon Keyes.

Calling hours and a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date in order to protect the health and well-being of his many family and friends. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St Jude’s Childrens Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-9959 or the Alzheimer’s Association, 4 Pine West Plaza, Suite 405, Albany 12205. Arrangements are with the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, 1015Kinderhook Street, Valatie.

Rev. Dr. Federico Serra-Lima (1929 – 2020)

CHATHAM—The Rev. Dr. Federico Serra-Lima died March 22, 2020.

He was born in Argentina to Federico and Elena (Dixon) Serra-Lima. Though he emigrated to the United States to attend Columbia University, he returned to Buenos Aires many times to visit family and friends. It pleased him still to see a Serra-Lima name plate on elegant town car taxis, his father having had the first Ford dealership in Argentina.

He earned his undergraduate degree in French, his PhD in Spanish and initially taught at Barnard. In the late 1960s, he was recruited by Hartwick College in Oneonta to teach Spanish language and literature, eventually chairing the Department of Modern and Classical Languages.

In 1980 he returned to NYC spending a year at the General Seminary of the Episcopal Church and in 1984 was ordained priest in the Albany Diocese by his Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Wilbur Hogg. For years Dr. Serra-Lima taught at Hartwick while Fr. Serra-Lima ministered to the congregation of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Franklin. After retiring from college teaching, he continued to pastor several small parishes (Chatham, Cohoes, Ashland) around the Albany Diocese, serving also on the diocesan Commission of Ministry.

He earned a Phi Beta key, and always eager to learn, took courses at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary in Yonkers, also engaging in profound discussions with a new Buddhist friend Monk Krishna. He cherished his memberships in the Holy Cross Society and the Order of St. Luke the Physician.

His greatest satisfaction came in teaching and preaching, source materials coming both from his voluminous library as well as the internet. He loved chess, poetry and writing—for several years publishing his own theological newsletter—The Wood Bridge. He was fond of crafting letters to the editor in The Living Church and other magazines, each word, each phrase labored over for the perfect “bon mot.” His conversation too was that of a wordsmith, laced liberally with puns and other witticisms.

He came full circle, spending his latter years back in Oneonta, first as a resident of Hampshire House, the last several months living at home on East Street enjoying his windows on the world of squirrels and deer.

He is survived by: his wife, Margaret Serra-Lima; daughter, Denise (Jose Luis) Gonzalez; granddaughters, Eileen and Joyce; son, Jack Paul (Mary); goddaughter, Graciela Victorica and her family. Fr. Serra-Lima’s cremains will be interred within the columbarium, Cathedral of All Saints, Albany at a later date. Memorials may be sent to Doctors

Without Borders, an organization for which he had passionate concern. Arrangements are with the Wenk Funeral Home, 21 Payn Avenue, Chatham. Send online condolences at

Philomena B. Scalley (1930 – 2020)

HUDSON—Philomena (Bucci) Scalley, “our beloved Nanny,” age 90, of Hudson passed away peacefully Sunday, March 22, 2020. She was born February 4, 1930 and was the daughter of Fredrick and Theresa (Molinksi) Bucci.

A life-long resident of Hudson, she loved being outdoors, gardening, ice fishing and spending summers on Saratoga Lake with her husband, family and friends. She enjoyed puzzles and could always been found in the early evening working through the daily jumble and word searches, but most of all enjoyed spending time with her family and watching the Yankees.

Mrs. Scalley is survived by: her twin sister, Joan (Floyd “Lully”) Turek of Florida; her beloved grandchildren, Louis (Deidre) Rolon and Angela (Jodie) Rolon; her great-grandchildren, Hailey, Louis Jr. and Attley; nieces, nephews, additional family and friends who will sadly miss her.

She was predeceased by her loving husband, John Scalley; her daughter, Linda; husband, Louie Rolon and sister, Marion (Charles) Leggett.

In light of current events the family is holding a private memorial.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial donations be made to The Community Hospice of Columbia / Greene, 47 Liberty Street, Catskill 12414.

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

 James J. Shumsky, Sr. (1941 – 2020)

PHILMONT—James J. Shumsky, Sr., 78, of Claverack passed away peacefully March 23, 2020 at Pine Haven Nursing Home. He was born in Hudson, December 26, 1941, the son of Stephen and Thelma (Albright) Shumsky.

“Jim” was a furnace technician, and plumber for many years before becoming the senior building maintenance worker for the Columbia County Public Safety Building. He will be remembered for his hard work, and dedication to helping people. In his spare time, he enjoyed watching the Rams, both in St. Louis and Los Angeles. He also was an avid baseball card collector. Above all else, he was a loving and caring husband, and a devoted father.

Mr. Shumsky is survived by: his wife, Jeanette; his sons, James Shumsky, Jr. (Robert Ramirez) and Michael Shumsky; his sisters, Marsha (Ray) Himmell and Reginia (Roy) McCune; brothers, Thomas and Joseph Shumsky; his beloved Jack Russell, Lexi, in addition to many nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was predeceased by his parents, and brother and sister-in-law, Stephen and Ann Shumsky.

Visitation and memorial services are planned for a future date. Interment will take place in Cedar Park Cemetery. Arrangements were with the Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson.

Marion E. Blair (1929 – 2020)

NASSAU—Marion E. (Ringer) Blair, 90, of Nassau entered into eternal life on Sunday, March 22, 2020.

She was born December 17, 1929 to Louis and Charlotte (Marshall) Ringer of Hudson.

She graduated high school and went on to enjoy a career in nursing for 48 years. She was the beloved wife of the late Robert F. Blair, Sr. The couple cherished a loving union for 56 years. She was an active member of the Nassau Grace United Methodist Church and community, carrying on her compassionate and loving work in Outreach, Witness and Crop Walk For Hunger. She also loved politics and served as a Republican Committee president for many years.

Mrs. Blair was also an active den mother for more than 20 years with the Boy Scouts of America. She enjoyed planning family gatherings and holiday parties, at times with more than 70 guests in their home. She was in the Red Hatters Club in Hudson and was known as “Lady Marion.” She loved her RV camping trips beginning in 1982 in Lake George and retiring in 2018 from Woodland Hills Campground in Austerlitz.

Mrs. Blair is survived by: her eight children, Sharon Calhoun of FL, Robert F. Blair, Jr., of FL, Charlene (Ron) Eigenbrodt of SC, Wayne (Cindy) Blair of Kinderhook, Kevin (Anita) Blair of Chatham, Jeff Blair of Brunswick, Laurie (Kyle) Shuhart of East Greenbush and Lisa (Daniel) Eames of FL; 19 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; eight great-great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews and by her godson, Nathaniel Ringer of Fort Hunter. She was the eldest sibling to Ruth Huntzinker of Ghent, Roger (Liz) Ringer of Fort Hunter and the late Louis Ringer, Jr., of CA.

At this time when social and physical distancing is the safest option for all, services will be limited to immediate family. They will celebrate Mrs. Blair’s beautiful life with all family and friends who loved her at a more appropriate time. Private interment will take place in the Cemetery of the Maples in East Chatham. Cards may be sent to the Family of Marion Blair, 33 Clinton Street, Rensselaer 12144. Arrangements were with the Thomas P. Mooney Funeral Home, 11 Elm Street, Nassau.

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