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Margaret E. Skarka, 91, talented, capable, loving outdoorswoman



PHILMONT–Margaret (Peggy) E. Skarka, 91, of Hudson, died Thursday, July 9, 2009 at Pine Haven Nursing Home.

Ms. Skarka was born July 30, 1917 in Willimantic, Conn. to Charles (Karol) Skarka and Anna Misovich Skarka. The family moved to New York City when Ms. Skarka was five, where she lived and worked until she relocated to Columbia County and purchased her own home in the hamlet of Mellenville around 1949.

An intelligent and artistic woman, Ms. Skarka received high honors in school, as well as recognition and awards for her artwork. Prior to relocation to Columbia County, Ms. Skarka was employed by the Department of the U.S. Navy and was a recipient of a Governmental Certificate of Acknowledgment and Appreciation for her contribution to work on the Norden Bomb Sight Project.

After relocation to Columbia County, Ms. Skarka opened her own business, Peggy’s Beauty Salon in Philmont,which further expanded into Peggy’s General Store. Margaret operated the businesses until her retirement.

Ms. Skarka became a member of the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Philmont and contributed a great deal of time and effort to the design and care of the church gardens.

Ms. Skarka was an accomplished business woman, pianist, gardener, seamstress and avid reader. As well as being athletic and a lover of the outdoors, animals and nature, she enjoyed bowling, swimming, and horseback riding. She was a talented, exceptionally capable, strong, loving and generous woman with a delightful sense of humor–and she will be greatly missed.

Surviving are two daughters, Charlene Jane (Akelaitis) Jones of Cary, N.C. and Lorraine Beth (Akelaitis) Rizzi, as well as one grandson, Michael Ryan Rizzi and Ms. Skarka’s beloved son-in-law, Thomas M. Rizzi (all of Ghent). She is also survived by several cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Two sisters, Irene (Skarka) Martin and Bessie (Skarka) O’Reilly, her brother, Charles Skarka Jr., and her ex-husband, Peter George Akelaitis died previously.

A memorial service will be Saturday, August 1, at 10 a.m. at the Ghent Reformed Church, Route 22, West Ghent. Pastor Nancy McClure-Long will officiate. Burial of ashes will follow in the West Ghent Rural Cemetery.

Arrangements are with McDonald Funeral Home, Hudson.


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