Shakespeare & Company A Body of Water June-July 2024

OBITUARIES: Woicik, Lazzara, Kolb, Spann, Norton


Cecile Louise Lamalle Woicik

(February 20, 1937 – June 4, 2015)

Cecile Louise Lamalle was born in New York City 78 years ago, the only daughter of Louise and Charles Lamalle. Her mother Louise was a French teacher from Mississippi and her father, Charles Lamalle, was the legendary importer of French cookware who introduced American consumers to copper pots, stainless steel, Sabatier knives and fine French porcelain while also supplying the finest French restaurants.

As a child, Cecile spent her summers in France with her paternal grandparents who were charcutiers in Lons-Le-Saunier. It was from her grandparents that she learned to prepare French peasant cuisine.

Cecile attended Smith College and as a senior won the coveted Prix de Paris (also won in a previous year by Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy), winning $1000 and a job at Vogue magazine. This coup coincided with having a story about the Reveillon celebrations of her childhood published in the prestigious New Yorker magazine. Lightning struck again a few years later when Cecile had a second story published in The New Yorker, thereby cementing her position as an “up and coming young writer”.

Cecile spent most of her life in New York City with a three year sojourn in Belgium where her only child, Juliet Cuming, was born. Cecile always said she loved living in Brussles and “never recovered” from having to move back to the United States. Her first marriage to British businessman David Cuming ended in divorce after 17 years. Cecile’s second marriage to attorney Henry Woicik (now deceased) also ended in divorce after 17 years.

In the late 1970s, Cecile and Henry Woicik bought a weekend home in Claverack NY. In the early 1990s, Cecile left Manhattan and moved to her beloved Claverack full time.

Cecile’s two passions were cooking and writing; she combined them by becoming a food writer at the New York Post and doing freelance articles for numerous publications including Gourmet. Later, Cecile became the food editor at Restaurant Business and Restaurant Hospitality where according to a co-worker “she was much sought after for her tastes and opinions on trends.” Cecile’s 15 minutes of on-screen fame came courtesy of a Gallo Wine commercial featuring her as a prominent food editor (which she was) extolling the virtues of wine, a beverage with which she had always had an enthusiastic but difficult relationship. Not one to take herself too seriously, Cecile was good natured about the ribbing she got for the foolish ad copy and for her distinctive voice, but she vowed, despite offers, to never again appear on-screen.

Cecile was a fan of mysteries and in her 60s started writing a series of Culinary Mysteries. While she wrote 7 books, only the first 3 of the series were published before the publisher folded. The series opener, entitled Appetite for Murder, introduced the character Charly Poisson, an eccentric French chef/sleuth based on Cecile’s own quirky father. Poisson’s restaurant was located in a fictionalized version of Cecile’s 1740 Dutch house in Claverack, NY and the action takes place at various locations in Columbia County.

Over the course of her career Cecile taught both cooking and writing at various community colleges in both New York City and Columbia County. Cecile predated today’s “localvores” by at least 50 years; fresh food from local farmers was always her key to culinary success and she bought much of her meat and produce from local farms. Despite her dalliances with Vegetarianism, Veganism, Macrobiotics etc. she always returned to the French Peasant cuisine of her youth.

Cecile was interested in a wide array of topics, particularly in politics and corruption, she kept the librarians at the Claverack and Hudson libraries busy with frequent and unusual interlibrary loans. Despite her sometimes cantankerous demeaner, Cecile was an animal lover with a soft spot for stray cats, she often wondered if people left cats outside her home, knowing that she would feed and care for them.

Cecile Lamalle’s life was cut short following a single vehicle accident on May 18th on Spook Rock Road while heading to Holmquest farm market. Airlifted to Albany Medical Center, Cecile died there on June 4th from complications related to her injuries. She is survived by her daughter Juliet Cuming, son-in-law David Shaw and two grandchildren, Hunter and Luna Cuming Shaw who have adopted her cats Louis, Wildy and Baby. She is also survived by her step son Joseph Woicik and his wife Patricia, and her large extended Lamalle family in France.   A memorial for friends and family will be held on Bastille Day, please telephone (518) 828-7346 for details and to RSVP. In lieu of flowers please donate to your local Animal Rescue/Care organization or to your library.

Betty M. Lazzara (1927 – 2015)

VALATIE—Betty (DuPont) Lazzara of Columbiaville died Tuesday June 23, 2015 at Barnwell Nursing Home.

Born September 9, 1927 in Hudson, she was the daughter of the late George and Harriet Dupont.

Mrs. Lazzara worked in the pocketbook factory in Hudson, before becoming a fulltime homemaker raising four children.

She was predeceased by her husband, Epiphanio and sister, Mildred (DuPont) Masten.

She is survived by: her sons and daughter, Philip and (Debbie) Lazzara of Hawaii, Robert and (Cathy) Lazzara of Columbiaville, Mark and (Barbara) Lazzara of Columbiaville, Jill and (Richard) Van Alphen of Columbiaville; grandchildren, Jeremy, Jonathan, Jessica and Jennifer; several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held Friday, June 26, noon at the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, 1015 Kinderhook Street, Valatie, with the Reverend Kathi Jones officiating. Burial will follow in Stuyvesant Falls Cemetery. Calling hours will be Friday, 10 a.m. to noon prior to the funeral.

Charles R. Kolb (1954 – 2015)

CASTLETON—Charles R. Kolb, 60, of Castleton died Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at home.

He was born December 1, 1954 in Albany, the son of Charles and Barbara Kolb.

He was raised in Niverville and graduated from Ichabod Crane. Mr. Kolb was a gold and gem prospector and avid camper, fisherman and traveler. He was known for his outlandish antics and will be missed by all who knew him.

Mr. Kolb is survived by: his wife, Linda M.(Hewitt) Kolb; children, Angi (Matt) Plescia, Jenni (Shawn) Riley, Marissa (Roy) Jacobsen and Joe (Jenn) Kolb. He was the proud “Poppy” of Brandon, Haleigh, Samantha, Eva, Jenna, Breanna, J.J. and Grace; brother of Charlene (Tim) Gaylord, Lori (Loren) Speer and David (Vaughn) Kolb. He also leaves many nieces, nephews and extended grandchildren.

Friends are invited to his calling hours Saturday afternoon, June 27 from 2 to 5 at the Rockefeller Funeral Home, 165 Columbia Turnpike, Rensselaer.

Services and interment will be private at the convenience of the family.

Cleveland Spann (1940 – 2015)

GREENPORT—Cleveland Spann was born July 27, 1940, the oldest of nine children. He passed away June 20, 2015 at his home.

Born and raised in Winter Haven, Florida, he attended Jewett High School there prior to relocating to New York State in his early 20s. He eventually settled down in Hudson where, on March 6, 1965 he was united in holy matrimony to Lucy Hughes of Hudson, with whom he had four children.

He served his country by joining the United States Army while in his early 20s and was stationed in Korea.

He loved bowling and football, and was a member of the Columbia County Vikings football team for many years. He had a passion for jazz music and attended numerous music festivals.

He was employed by the Universal Atlas Cement Plant in Hudson for several years prior to accepting a position in New York State government. He was employed with the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (formerly the Division for Youth) at Brookwood Secure Center, where he worked for more than 20 years prior to retiring in 2002.

He enjoyed being in the company of family and friends and cherished time spent with his grandchildren. He was a proud and devoted father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

He was predeceased by his father, Woodrow Spann.

He leaves to cherish his memory: a loving mother, Lilly B. Drayton; a loving and devoted wife, Lucy Spann; four children, Cleveland Spann, Jr., Darlisa Spann, Veronica Spann and Donia Spann; five siblings, Jonn McKenzie of Auburndale, FL, Sharon Spann of Winter Haven, FL, Cindy Hilaire of Tallahassee, FL, Earl Hendry of Postville, Iowa, and Rodney Hendry of Winter Haven, FL; seven grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, six godchildren, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, and many other relatives and friends.

Funeral services will be held at Shiloh Baptist Church, 14 Warren Street, Hudson. Calling hours are from 11 a.m. to noon with funeral services to commence at noon Monday, June 29, 2015.

The family has placed their trust in the loving care of the Bates & Anderson Funeral Home, 110 Green Street, Hudson. Visit to leave condolences.

Alice M. Norton (1917 – 2015)

Alice M. (Pinkowski) Norton, age 98, of Stuyvesant passed away June 26, 2015.

Born June 1, 1917, she was the daughter of the late Stephen and Sarah Pinkowski.

Mrs. Norton was predeceased by her beloved husband, Vernon J. Norton and their son, John D. Norton. She was also predeceased by her two sisters, Agnes Stevens and Frances Phillips.

Mrs. Norton worked at the Fort Orange Paper Company in Castleton. She was a member of the ladies auxiliaries of the Stuyvesant Fire Company, Columbia Memorial Hospital, Stuyvesant Falls VFW and a member of the Tri-Village, Stuyvesant and Stockport senior citizens’ groups. Mrs. Norton was a communicant of the Church of St. Joseph in Stuyvesant Falls.

She is survived by: her daughter-in-law; two grandchildren, Jessica and Michael Norton; several nieces and nephews.

Calling hours will be held at the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home, 1015 Kinderhook Street, Valatie, Tuesday, June 30, 2015, 8 to 8:40 a.m. A Mass to celebrate Mrs. Norton’s life will follow at 9 a.m. at the Church of St. Joseph, 1820 Route 9, Stuyvesant Falls. Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Stuyvesant Falls.

Her family thanks the staff at Camphill Ghent for their loving care over the past four years.

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