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Sylvester Close, 86, former Stephentown Town Clerk, fire chief


BENNINGTON, Vt.– Sylvester C. “Si” Close of Stephentown died Tuesday evening at the Vermont Veterans Home where he has resided since July of 2008.

Born in White Creek on July 26, 1925, he was the son of the late George W. and Mary Gates Close.

Mr. Close was the loving husband of the former Vivian M. Jandrow, whom he married on February 5, 1949 in St. Joseph’s Church in Stephentown. He had lived in Stephentown since 1949 and was a communicant and past trustee of St. Joseph’s Church.

Educated in White Creek and Hoosick Falls schools, Mr. Close joined the United States Navy in 1945. He served on the U.S.S. Cebu, which prepared at Pearl Harbor from March 29 to May 11, 1946 for her role supporting the atomic tests of Operation Crossroads at Bikini Atoll (Pikinni Atoll). He was honorably discharged in 1947 at the rank of Fireman Second Class.

He worked at Owl’s Garage in Hoosick Falls (where he met his wife) until 1949; at the Walter B. Sykes Store in Stephentown from 1948 until 1966 as a television repairman and clerk; and at General Electric in Pittsfield in the Defense Department as a Developmental Technician making Bradley tanks and fighting vehicles from 1966 until his retirement in 1987.

Mr. Close has been a member of the Stephentown Volunteer Fire Department since 1949: He held many positions, including chief from 1969 to 1976 and Fire Commissioner since 1978. He also served the Town of Stephentown as Town Clerk from 1974 until 1993.

Mr. Close was a member of the New York State and Rensselaer County Fire Chief’s Association, past member and vice president of the Rensselaer County Town Clerk’s Association, a former Assistant Scout Leader from 1961 to 1967, a member of the Stephentown Republican Club and a member of the Veterans of Stephentown.

Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Vivian M. Close; two children, Rev. John L. Close of Stephentown and Jean M. (Stephen) Kosche of Shaftsbury, Vt.; a granddaughter, Vanessa L. (Howard Amidon) Kosche; a great-grandson Austin Bortell; and three nieces.

Funeral services with full fire departmental and military honors will be on Saturday, March 13 at 10:15 a.m. from the Hall & Higgins Funeral Home, 457 Route 43, Stephentown, then at 11 a.m. in St. Joseph’s Church (across from the funeral home,) where his son, Rev. John L. Close, will celebrate a Liturgy of Christian Death and Burial. Burial will follow in the parish cemetery.

A reception will follow in the Fellowship Hall of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in New Lebanon.

Relatives and friends are invited to the funeral home for visitation Friday, March 12, from 2 to 4 in the afternoon and 7 to 9 in the evening.

Memorial contributions would be appreciated and given to either the Stephentown Volunteer Fire Department, Veterans of Stephentown, St. Joseph’s Church Memorial Fund, the activity fund of the Vermont Veterans Home or Meals on Wheels of Rensselaer County in care of the funeral home, P.O. Box 9, Stephentown, NY 12168.

A Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, March 21 at 3 p.m. in the Four Chaplains All Faith Memorial Chapel of the Vermont Veterans Home. All are invited.




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