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OBITUARIES: Small, Jahn, Schmidt, Friedrich, Colarusso, Shumsky, Craft


Willie Mae Small (1936 – 2016 )

CATSKILL—Willie Mae Engram Small, 79, of Hudson died Thursday, September 15, 2016 at The Pines in Catskill.

Born in Evanston, FL, she was the daughter of the late Dallas and Mattie B. (Huff) Engram.

Ms. Small was employed for many years with Universal Match Company in Hudson until its closing. She was a member of the Bethel Church of God and Christ in which she was a part of every aspect of the church. She also donated to various charities as well as to her community and friends. She donated words of wisdom, spiritual guidance and genuine love for whomever she encountered.

Ms. Small is survived by: her two children, Shedel Latson Hughes of Hudson and Hamp Sylvester Johnson (Debra) and their father, Warren Latson, Jr., of Ocala, FL; grandchildren, Trecel (Phenese) Johnson, Shatara Johnson, Jazzlyn Hughes, Deanna Hughes, Lyle Hughes, Jr., Lynn and Tasha Hughes; great-grandchildren, Andre, Jr., Dominque, Jahmeeka, Leila, Tymel, Micalyn, Ky’ree, Khori and Jaiden as well as great-great-grandchildren, Karma, Amari, Amilah and Tiala.

She was predeceased by her siblings, Dallas Engram, Jr., and Carrie Bell Ingram and one great-grandchild, Micah Corprew.

Calling hours will be Thursday, September 22, 2016, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Beth El Church of God and Christ, 91 Hooker Avenue, Poughkeepsie. Funeral services will begin at 1 p.m. at the church.

Repast will also be in the church following the services. Burial will be at the convenience of the family.

Arrangements are with the Sacco-McDonald-Valenti Funeral Home, 700 Town Hall Drive, Greenport.

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Dr. Karen F. Jahn (1943 – 2016)

RHINEBECK—Dr. Karen F. Jahn died September 14, 2016 at Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck at the age of 72.

She is survived by her husband, George Jahn of Red Hook; son and his wife, Scot Jahn and Kit Alderdice of Portland, OR; daughter and her husband, Robyn and Chris Fee of Ossining; grandchildren Alex and Elisabeth of Ossining; and brother, J.D. Frost of Owensboro, KY.

She was born in Seattle, WA, October 27, 1943 to Marion L. Frost of Seattle, WA and Ruth Gunn Frost of Seattle, WA.

She graduated from Dobbs Ferry High School in 1961. She attended Syracuse University and left school to get married and raise a family. Later, she returned to school, completing her BA at Oakland University in 1972 and earning a MA (1974) and PhD (1981) in English literature from University of Detroit. In 2013, she earned an MFA in creative nonfiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

She taught for 30 years, first at the Calhoun School in New York, then at St. Peter’s College in Jersey City, NJ, and finally at Assumption College in Worcester, MA, until her retirement in 2004.

She and her husband met singing in church choirs as teenagers and their bond of music never ended.

They were co-founders of a renaissance choral ensemble in Westchester in the 70s. Later in her career, Dr. Jahn discovered the blues and they became one of her academic specialties. Whatever the genre, music filled the house and her life.

Her passion for the blues led her to develop a specialty in African-American literature, with a particular focus on the work of novelist and essayist John Edgar Wideman. She was a co-founder of the John Edgar Wideman Literary Society.

For more than three decades, Dr. Jahn lived with her husband, George, in Spencertown, where she was a board member of the Spencertown Academy Arts Center and sang in the Broad Street Chorale and the Hudson Valley Choral Society, among others.

After moving to Dutchess County in 2014, Dr. Jahn began teaching again at the Lifetime Learning Institute at Bard College, where she loved introducing her students to blues music and the artists of the Harlem Renaissance.

Her passions included teaching and mentoring. Her advice was legendary, with the feedback often exceeding the length of the original essay. She was generous with her time and supportive of those seeking to improve.

Outside the classroom, her love of learning and teaching continued. She loved to travel with her husband and friends and continued to do so in spite of physical limitations imposed by her health.

She also continued to write and saw several of her personal essays published in literary journals.

When Dr. Jahn asked people how they were, it was never an idle question. She was an attentive, engaged listener whose insightful questions showed her authentic interest in the experiences and opinions of family members, friends, and brand new acquaintances.

Social justice and racism were also high on her list of concerns. In line with that, the family asks that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the Southern Poverty Law Center at 400 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104 or at

A public celebration of her life will be held Saturday, October 29, 11 a.m. at the Spencertown Academy, 790 State Route 203, Spencertown.

Halle Paige Schmidt (1995 – 2016)

COPAKE—Halle Paige Schmidt, 21, of Copake passed away unexpectedly Saturday, September 3, 2016.

She was born June 4, 1995 in Great Barrington, MA, to Angela Concra and Ronald Schmidt.

Although she was with us for a short time, it was filled with so many memories and good times.

She was a free spirit who lived her life exactly the way she wanted. She walked her own path and created her own sunshine. She was selfless when it came to her family and friends whom she cared so much about and put before everything.

Ms. Schmidt had a weakness for animals and loved her “fur babies,” Ganja and Romeo and considered herself an “Auntie” to her brother’s dog, Biggs.

Never judgmental, she was outgoing and positive. She lived with no regrets and never wasted time on negativity. She was a creative and artistic soul that saw the world like a blank canvas that she wanted to paint with beauty and vibrant colors.

Survivors include: her mother, Angela Concra and her significant other Ron Love of Copake; her father, Ronald Schmidt of South Carolina; her brother and sister, Kyle and Jade with whom she was very close. She also leaves a huge family of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who cared for her deeply.

There will be a Celebration of Life to honor Ms. Schmidt. Details will be released at the discretion of the family.

Contributions in memory of Ms. Schmidt may be made to assist the family during this difficult time c/o Peck and Peck Funeral Home, P.O. Box D, Copake 12516.

Frank P. Friedrich (1934 – 2016)

HUDSON—Frank Paul Friedrich, 81, of Craryville died September 18, 2016 at Columbia Memorial Hospital.

He was born December 4, 1934 in Hudson to the late William and Sophie Friedrich.

Mr. Friedrich was first and foremost a farmer. He worked alongside his father on the Friedrich Farm since he was a child and later with his son, Michael and brother, William.

After retiring from farming, Mr. Friedrich worked a short time for Merle Oil, but then returned to his love of farming at the Hess Farm. He enjoyed transforming his former barn into a home, cutting wood, going for rides to inspect the local road work and spending time with his family.

Mr. Friedrich will be remembered by all for being a quiet, kind and gentle man. He will be missed dearly by his family.

He is survived by: his wife of 51 years, Helen; four children, Tammy Havlik and husband Timothy, Brenda Weigelt and husband BJ, Tracy Johnson and husband Kirk, Michael Friedrich and wife Stacie; nine grandchildren, Stephanie, Tommy, Nicole, Ryan, Mikie, Kylie, Ava, Tanner and Emily and his sister, Elsie.

He was predeceased by his brother, William.

The family thanks the nursing and PCA staff of Columbia Memorial Hospital for taking such good care of their “Poppy,” father and husband.

Visiting hours are Thursday, September 22 from 10 a.m. to noon at Bates & Anderson Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson. Funeral services and interment follow immediately at Mellenville Union Cemetery.

Memorial contributions in Mr. Friedrich’s name may be made to the Columbia Memorial Health Foundation or Community Hospice of Columbia/Greene.

Peter G. Colarusso, Jr. (1927 – 2016)

HUDSON—Peter G. Colarusso, Jr., passed away September 14, 2016 at his home, with his wife of eight years Kathy. He was 89.

He was the oldest son of Peter G. Colarusso, Sr,. and his wife, Mary Weeks Colarusso. He was born in Hudson, August 17, 1927. He attended Hudson schools and enlisted in the Army Airborne division. He served his country on the Island of Guam in the South Pacific and was honorably discharged. He was married to Dolores “Mickey” LaBrie Colarusso in 1948. They had four children.

Mr. Colarusso, along with his brother, Robert, operated the family business, which was founded in 1912 by their grandfather Antonio; A. Colarusso & Son, Inc., a heavy highway construction, aggregate and asphalt business in Hudson, which proudly served Columbia County and surrounds. Many of the roads and bridges built within a 100-mile radius of Hudson are by-product of the Colarusso family of companies. Mr. Colarusso was active in the business up until the time of his death, noting that he lived long enough to see many roads his father built, rebuilt again with the passage of time.

Mr. Colarusso was treasurer of the NYS Asphalt Pavement Association and a member of the Hudson Elks 787.

His passion was hunting, fishing and his dogs. He was a member of the Hudson Fish and Game Club, as well as the Ten Mile River Preserve with his wife, Kathy. He hunted ducks in Mexico with his sons, Peter and Paul, and went on numerous hunting trips with them and his lifelong friends, Al Bartolotta, Russell Bartolotta and Frank Kozel, also known as, the “Rat Pack” a group of men who were friends for more than 75 years.

In addition to his parents and Mickey, Mr. Colarusso was predeceased by his son, Peter G. Colarusso, III, and his brother, Robert (Nancy) Colarusso.

He leaves behind his wife, Kathy; son, Paul (Paula) Colarusso; daughters, Pam (George) Malchow and Lisa (Justin) McCarthy; grandchildren and great-grandchildren who will always call him “Papa.”

Calling hours and funeral services were September 17 at the Bates & Anderson Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson. Burial immediately followed.

At the family’s request, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Community Hospice of Columbia/Greene Counties. The family is grateful for the nurses and aides that provided comfort, support and care during this difficult time.

Memorials may also be sent to Shriner’s Hospital and Columbia-Greene Humane Society.

Ann Shumsky (1941 – 2016)

HUDSON—Ann Shumsky, 74, of Claverack died Wednesday September 14 at Columbia Memorial Hospital.

Born November 29, 1941 in Hudson, she was the daughter of Michael Beecher and Irma (Koeppe) Beecher.

Mrs. Shumsky was a homemaker, and she applied her domestic skills at several local facilities including COARC group homes and the Home for the Aged. She was a caregiver, and loved preparing meals for the residents.

Mrs. Shumsky’s number one priority was her grandchildren. She cherished every moment she was able to spend with them.

She is survived by: her two sons, David Shumsky and Stephen Shumsky and his wife Jennifer; five grandchildren, Heather, Ali, Kirsten, Tory and Mia.

Mrs. Shumsky was predeceased by her husband, Stephen, and two brothers, Frederick and Michael Beecher.

Funeral services were Monday, September 19 from the Bates & Anderson Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson. Interment was in West Copake Cemetery.

Memorial contributions in Mrs. Shumsky’s name may be made to the American Cancer Society.

Dennis E. Craft (1954 – 2016)

CASTLETON—Dennis E. Craft, 61, of Castleton died Monday, September 19, 2016 at his home.

Born October 16, 1954 in Colorado Springs, CO, he was the son of the late Chauncey Craft and Barbara (Vedder) Craft, who resides in Castleton.

Mr. Craft worked at Hamilton Press in Castleton for a time and was a member of the Rensselaer Elks Lodge #2073

Besides his mother he is survived by his sister, Judy Craft of Castleton; one uncle and several cousins.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, September 24, 2 p.m. at the Rensselaer Elks Lodge. Burial will be at the convenience of the family.

Arrangements are with the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, 1015 Kinderhook Street, Valatie.

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