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OBITUARIES: Westfall, Burns


Shawna R. Westfall (1994 – 2019)

COPAKE—Shawna Rae Westfall, 25, of Copake passed away unexpectedly September 3, 2019.

She was born May 16, 1994 to Martin and Patricia (Hart) Westfall in Sharon, CT.

She was a Daisy and Brownie in the Girls Scouts of America. She was also in the Hoofers 4H group and showed her calf at the Chatham Fair and she would later train the calves for the fair.

She was baptized at the Ancramdale Presbyterian Church and had her First Communion at St. Bridget’s Church, Copake Falls.

She was a 2012 graduate of Taconic Hills High School and played on the volleyball team and went through the CNA program there.

She was engaged to Joe Vossler of Copake and they were eagerly planning their wedding for October 2020.

It was her greatest joy in life to share many good times together with Joe and her family.

Ms. Westfall worked several years at the Church Street Deli in Copake and more recently at the Swiss Hutte in Hillsdale and at the Troutbeck Conference Center in Amenia.

She loved all animals especially dogs, and most especially Wheatie, her parents’ Wheaten Terrier. She dreamed of becoming a marine biologist and had a fascination for dolphins.

She was a nature lover and liked going to the woods on four-wheelers with her fiancé, Joe. And she liked working with her father outdoors in his property management business.

Ms. Westfall loved country music and enjoyed going to concerts.

She was especially proud of completing the New Hope Manor Rehab Program in June. She was cited for being consistently punctual, perfect attendance and excellent participation.

She leaves an immense void that can only be filled by her loving memory in the hearts of her parents, Marty and Pat Westfall; her brothers, Scott and James; her fiancé, Joe Vossler; her aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and co-workers.

There will be a Celebration of her Life, Saturday, September 14 at the Parish of Our Lady of Hope, 8074 State Route 22, Copake Falls. Deacon Al Manzella will officiate, with a time of visitation beginning at 10 a.m. and a service beginning at 11 a.m. A reception follows in the church hall.

Interment will take place later at the convenience of the family.

The family invites you to share in this Celebration.

In memory of Ms. Westfall, kindly consider a donation to Narcotics Anonymous, the Columbia-Greene Humane Society or Our Lady of Hope Parish.

Arrangements are with the Peck and Peck Funeral Home, 8063 Route 22, Copake. To send an online condolence visit

Jeffrey C. Burns (1956 – 2019)

HUDSON—Jeffrey Carver Burns, 63, passed away with family and friends at his side September 7, 2019, at Columbia Memorial Hospital after a long battle with cancer.

He was born April 11, 1956 in Hudson, along with his twin sister, Pamela J. Burns-Hotaling.

Mr. Burns is survived by: his wife, Jo Ann Burns of Rushville, Indiana; his son, Jonathan (Michelle) Burns of Chicago, Illinois; his sisters, Pamela (Earl) Burns-Hotaling, Phyllis “Sandy” (Bobby) Kisselbrack; his nephew, Jeffrey (Dinha) Shea and nieces, Summer Shea and Laurie (Tim) Robertson who all live locally.

Mr. Burns worked at a variety of jobs from owning his own commercial cleaning business while living in Vermont to being a computer operator at IBM. After receiving an associate’s degree in accounting he worked in accounting at various places including Taconic Farms in Germantown for 5 years before eventually moving to Indiana after accepting a promotion with Taconic Farms.

Throughout his life, he volunteered much of his time to the Bible education work of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Even during his final months of life he spent several hours every month visiting people at their homes in Columbia County often needing to bring his oxygen tank with him. He and his wife also volunteered their time on construction projects in El Salvador and Guatamala in the late 1980s. He was well-known for his spirit of self-sacrifice, his kindness and intelligence.

A memorial service will be held Sunday, September 22, 3 p.m. at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 391 Fairview Avenue, Hudson. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Community Hospice of Columbia and Greene Counties (

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

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