Esslie-Frenia Law June 2023 Leaderboard

OBITUARIES: Santana, Merrill, Fiorillo, Corbett, Canning, Laviano, Hunt, Pitcher, Wahlers, Ritchie, Grayson, Oleski


Mary K. Santana (1957 – 2022)

Mary Santana

ALBANY—Mary Kathryn Santana, 65, of Valatie passed away April 29 in Albany.

She was born in Valatie to Shirley Weaver and Andrew Santana February 20, 1957. She went to high school at Ichabod Crane. She went on to earn a degree in community health from Lasell Junior College. She worked the past 14 years for SUNY Systems as an office manager, as well as holding other rewarding positions for Putnam ARC, Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood, Seattle Children’s Home and Arthur Murray dance studios. She found great joy in music, dancing and art. She was truly a larger-than-life force, who fought to be an impactful women’s rights advocate and champion of mental health. She was loved and admired by her many friends and family members for her wit, humor, compassion and sass.

Ms. Santana is survived by: her daughter, Emily Friedlander; son, Zachary Friedlander; grandsons, Cameron, Silas and Max; granddaughter, Ramona; brother, Tim (Linda) Santana; step-brother, John (Christine) Chuley; step-father, Ray (Shirley) Chuley; cousins, Connie (Carl) Bailey, Patricia (Neal) Barber and Michael (Elva) Conner; and her ex-husband and father of her children, Fred Friedlander

She was predeceased by: her loving mother and father, Shirley and Andrew; aunt, Marion Weaver; uncles, Jesse (Hortense) and Gerald Weaver and cousins, Andrew Barber and Jesse Conner.

To donate to the memorial fund and share memories, photos, and stories of Ms. Santana visit:

Celebration of Life services will be held at Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, Sunday, July 17, 2022, 1 to 3 pm. Refer to the memorial site for details.

Jim Merrill

James S. Merrill (1932 – 2022)

VALATIE—James S. Merrill, 90, of Valatie passed away at home Tuesday, June 21, 2022 surrounded by his family.

He was born January 18, 1932 to James and Mary (Haussler) Merrill. “Jim” was predeceased by his parents; brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Maureen Merrill and sister, Eileen Jones. He is survived by: his loving wife of 60 years, Susan; children, Scott (Robin) Merrill of East Greenbush and LeeAnn (Rob) Schaub of La Pointe, Wisconsin; two grandchildren James (Chelsea McGowan) and Robert Merrill; and sister and brother-in-law, Louann and Ray Sheffer; several nieces, nephews and cousins.

He attended Siena College on a basketball scholarship before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. He received his master’s degree in elementary education from SUNY Plattsburgh. Known as “Hooks” Merrill in his hometown of Hoosick Falls, he was a member of the 1955-1956 undefeated championship Plattsburgh State basketball team.

He began his teaching career in Long Island. In 1968 he moved to Chatham. Mr. Merrill retired after 19 years of service as a teacher and principal at the Taconic Hills School District, where he also coached golf and girls basketball. He was dedicated to helping his students succeed and always enjoyed running into his former students as adults.

Upon his retirement, he served as justice for the Town of Ghent and Village of Chatham for 15 years. He was a member of Hudson Elks Lodge #787 and was a past president of the Chatham Lions Club.

He was a devoted Green Bay Packers fan, avid golfer and birdwatcher. He and his wife loved traveling to Scotland, England and Canada. They also enjoyed many winters in Jekyll Island, GA. His family thanks Rene and Abby for their compassion, friendship and skilled assistance in making his final days comfortable and peaceful and thanks to Community Hospice.

Funeral services were held Saturday, June 25 at St. James Catholic Church in Chatham. Private burial was in St. James Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made in Mr. Merrill’s memory to the Niverville Fire Department, P.O. Box 422, Niverville 12130 or Ghent Food Pantry, P.O. Box 98, Ghent 12075. Arrangements were with the French, Gifford, Preiter & Blasl Funeral Home. Condolences may be conveyed at

Domenic Fiorillo

Domenic Fiorillo (1946 – 2022)

ALBANY—Domenic Fiorillo, 76, of Hudson died Thursday, June 23, 2022 at Albany Medical Center. Born January 19, 1946 in Waterbury, CT, he was the son of the late Vincent and Elsie (Cavallari) Fiorillo. He was married to the late Tanya (Torchia) Fiorillo, who died in 2011.

He served as a corpsman in the U.S. Navy during the VietNam War. He worked for the Atlas Cement Co. in Hudson as well as BASF Company in Rensselaer and the Chatham Central School District before his retirement. He is survived by his girlfriend, Darnelle (Dee) Miller; one sister, Susan (Benjamin) Propst of FL; several nieces and nephews.

A traditional Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, June 29, 2022, 11 a.m. at the Sacred Heart/Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Roman Catholic Shrine in Greenport. Burial will follow in Cedar Park Cemetery. Arrangements were with the Sacco Funeral Home, 700 Town Hall Drive, Greenport.

Donna Corbett

Donna M. Corbett (1960 – 2022)

RHINEBECK—Donna Marie (Bogucki) Corbett, 62, of Livingston died suddenly at Northern Dutchess Hospital surrounded by her family Thursday, June 23, 2022.

She was born in Hudson, April 19, 1960 to the late Stanaslaw and Elvina (Lasher) Bogucki. She was also predeceased by her brother, David (Nancy) Bogucki.

She leaves behind: two children, her son, Mark (Angela) Corbett and daughter, Marsha (Bob) Bishop; eight grandchildren, Cheyanne, Maura, Mazzie, Diamond, Bella, Colin, Camron and Harmony; one great-grandson, Lucas; her brother and protector, Dwayne Bogucki; her aunt, Lillian (Yogi) Lasher; many nieces and nephews, family members and friends.

Ms. Corbett was a waitress for 40 years at the Eveready Diner. She enjoyed history, genealogy and crossword puzzles. She loved spending time with her family and lived for her grandchildren. Calling hours will be held Wednesday, June 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Sacco Funeral Home, 700 Town Hall Drive, Greenport. Funeral services will be Thursday, June 30, 11 a.m. at the funeral home. Burial will follow in Linlithgo Rural Cemetery.

Jay-J Canning

Jonathan Canning (2006 – 2022)

EAST CHATHAM—It is with great sorrow that his parents announce the passing of their beloved son, Jonathan Canning. “Jay-J.”

He passed away June 17, 2022, unexpectedly. Jay-J was born March 3, 2006 at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany. His loving parents are Amber Stetson and Emmanuel Santana of East Chatham. He was very lucky to also have wonderful siblings, Alivia and Jovanni. He could always count on them, especially to keep his cartoons playing while he was relaxing. His family will sure miss hearing Disney songs playing in the background. Jay-J had a big extended family who also adored him greatly.

In addition to his parents and siblings, he is survived by: his grandparents, Bonnie Stetson, Leon and Carrie Stetson: aunts, and uncles; lots of little cousins and puppies, Layla and Nala.

Jay-J attended the Center for Disabled, Langdon School. He had so much support from preschool through high school. All the staff played a huge role in his life. Every morning when he saw the bus pull up, he would get so excited, which helped his family know that he enjoyed going. He enjoyed movies, swimming in heated pools, loud music, bright lights at the fair and being with his family.

His family will cherish all the wonderful memories they made in Jay’s 16 years of life. He will truly be missed; his laugh and smile were contagious. “As long as he is with his sister Alexis, great mema and papa and all his other loved ones in heaven we will find peace and strength. Jay is no longer suffering and is living in eternal peace.”

There will be calling hours Thursday, June 30 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the French, Gifford, Preiter & Blasl Funeral Home, Chatham. Condolences may be conveyed at

Betty Laviano (1952 – 2022)

Pinky Laviano

ALBANY—Betty “Pinky” Laviano, 69, of Valatie passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family Monday, June 27 at St. Peter’s Hospital.

She was the beloved daughter of James and Isabelle Mazal.

“Pinky,” as she was affectionately known since childhood, attended Ichabod Crane Central School.

June 29, 1968, she married the love of her life, Joseph Laviano. She was a homemaker and over the years, she worked as a school bus aide and teacher’s assistant.

She is survived by: her loving husband, Joseph; her daughter, Patricia (Anthony) Rizzi; her son, Anthony Laviano; two granddaughters, Ashley Laviano and Kristen Rizzi.

She adored being “Gram” to her girls; they were the apples of her eye.

She also leaves behind to cherish her memory: her siblings, Linda Wildermuth of Niskayuna, Ralph Mazal of Florida, Bonnie Rivenburg of Valatie and Lawrence Mazal of Averill Park and several nieces and nephews of whom she thought the world.

In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her son, Joseph, Jr., and siblings, Beatrice, Donna and James, Jr.

Family was everything to her and most often, she coordinated family gatherings and looked forward to every event with excitement. She loved vacationing in Hampton and Myrtle Beach along with camping in the family RV.

Funeral services will be held at the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, 1015 Kinderhook Street, Valatie, Friday, July 1, 2022, 11 a.m. with the Reverend Nick Becker officiating. Burial will immediately follow at Woodlawn Cemetery, Route 203 in Valatie. Visitation will be held Thursday, June 30, 2022 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be made in her name to the Valatie Santa Claus Club, P.O. Box 602, Valatie 12184 or to the Columbia-Greene Humane Society, 111 Humane Society Road, Hudson 12534 or

Walter C. Hunt (1995 – 2022)

GERMANTOWN—Walter C. Hunt, III, 26, of Germantown passed away unexpectedly June 17, 2022.

Born November 30, 1995 in Hudson, he was the son of Walter and Patricia (Robie) Hunt, Jr.

He served honorably in the United States Army (E-4), for four years, completing two tours in Korea. He enjoyed striped bass fishing and loved riding dirt bikes.

He leaves behind: three daughters, Kallie, Katelyn and Kaylee; his parents, Patricia and Walter Hunt; three sisters, Jessica (Brian) Rouse, Alisha (Michael) Barratt and Joanie Senior; two brothers, Derek and Joshua; grandparents Beverly (Walt predeceased) Hunt, Clinton and Elizabeth Robie; godparents, Timothy and Kerry Hunt; longtime friend, Peter Jennings; several nieces and nephews.

Visitation at the Bates & Anderson-Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home will be Wednesday, June 29, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Interment with military honors will be in the Cairo Cemetery.

Clayton L. Pitcher (1933 – 2022)

HUDSON—Clayton L. Pitcher, Jr., age 89, passed away peacefully Monday, June 20, 2022 at his home in Hudson after a yearlong battle with cancer.

He was born April 19, 1933 in Copake to Alta Hotaling-Plass and Clayton Pitcher. He worked for the Taconic Hills School District for 35 years as a bus driver and mechanic. He then continued driving for Michael Johnston’s bus company until 2021. Mr. Pitcher is survived by: his sister, Lillian Edwards Albany; his children, George Pitcher of Copake, Pamela (Bill) Harmon of Hollowville, Richard Pitcher of Hudson, Susan Pitcher of North Carolina, Michael Pitcher of North Carolina, Gary Pitcher of Pittsfield, MA; several grand- and great- grandchildren.

Family and friends gathered at the Bates & Anderson –Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson, Friday, June 24, 2022. Committal services followed at the West Copake Reformed Church Cemetery.

Ramona L. Wahlers (1963 – 2022)

HUDSON—Ramona Liza Wahlers passed away suddenly at 58 years old June 20, 2022 in Hudson.

She was the youngest of four children born to Karl and Margaret Wahlers.

Her life was filled with helping and caring about others. She was loving, genuine and thoughtful. She had a joy of knitting, drawing, crafting and creating new recipes. She will be remembered for her selflessness, unconditional love and always reaching out to loved ones, always making sure she told you several times how much she loved you. Most of all she enjoyed spending time crafting with the her “sweeties,” who were lucky enough to call her “Grandma.”

She was preceded in death by: her siblings, Stewart and Karla; her mother and father and life partner, Charlie.

Her love will be carried on by her only child, Shannon; her grandchildren, Savannah, Sean, London and Zella-skyy; her brother, Duane (Judy); sister-in-law, Barbara and several nieces and nephews.

Viewing was at Bates and Anderson June 27. Burial followed at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Stuyvesant Falls.

Bill Ritchie

William H. Ritchie (1940 – 2022)

CLAVERACK—William H. “Bill” Ritchie, 81, passed away June 22, 2022 surrounded by his family.

He was born in Hudson, August 3, 1940, son of the late Wilbur and Jeanette (Pulver) Ritchie. He graduated from Ockawamick Central School in 1959. After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He was a lifelong member of the Philmont Rod & Gun Club and American Legion Post 252. He owned and operated the Hilltop Hotel in Philmont. He later started his business, Bill Ritchie and Daughters Poured Foundations, which he operated until his retirement. His passion in life was pouring concrete and, most importantly, his family and friends.

Mr. Ritchie is survived by: his wife of 55 years, Sherry (Brewer) Ritchie; his two daughters, Wendy Ritchie LaMont (husband Henry) and Brandi Ritchie as well as his cherished granddaughter, Megan Taylor, who will forever remember him as “Poppy.”

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Everlasting Hope Animal Rescue, 180 Prach Road, Hillsdale 12529 or the Mellenville-Philmont Food Pantry, P.O. Box V, Mellenville 12544. At his request, there will be no calling hours. Join his family for a Celebration of Life to be held Saturday, August 13 at Kozel’s Restaurant beginning at 2 p.m. Visit to leave condolences.

Sylvia P. Grayson

SHARON, CT—Sylvia P. Grayson, 90, of Copake passed away at Sharon Hospital Monday, June 27, 2022.

Calling hours will be held at the Peck & Peck Funeral Home, 8063 Route 22, Copake, Friday, July 1 from 3 to 5 p.m. A Memorial Service will be held at the funeral home at 5 p.m.

For a full obituary visit

Joyce Oleski

Joyce M. Oleski (1946 – 2022)

NIVERVILLE—Joyce M. Oleski, 75, of Niverville passed away at home, June 25, 2022.

Born in Rockingham, VT, she was the daughter of the late William and Ruth Trevorrow.

She was a homemaker who enjoyed spending time with her beloved husband, Edward Oleski, who survives her.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by: her son, Robert A. Thomas of NH; daughter, Tamara Thomas of CT; brothers, William Trevorrow of CT, Paul Trevorrow of WV, Roy Trevorrow of WV and two grandchildren.

She was predeceased by: her son, Billy Joe Thomas; brothers, James Trevorrow of VT, and Ernie Shogen and sister, Ruth Chiasmore of TN.

A funeral service will be held at the Thomas P. Mooney Funeral Home, 11 Elm Street, Nassau, Thursday, June 30 at 11 a.m. Relatives and friends are invited to call at the funeral home Wednesday evening from 4 to 7 p.m. Interment will be in Nassau Schodack Cemetery. Leave condolences at

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