Elaine Relyea

Elaine Relyea

Elaine Relyea

BERNE — “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Elaine Relyea, completing her journey of life on earth and passing into heaven,” her family wrote in a tribute.

She died peacefully on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023, with her loving children by her side. She was 87.

“Most commonly called Bushie because of her Ukrainian heritage, she was the devoted family matriarch,” her family wrote.

She was born in New York City on April 6, 1935, daughter of the late Harry “Deedie” Kott and Mary “Boobo” Tymchyn Kott.

“Her family moved to their Voorheesville farm in 1939,” the tribute said. “Elaine attended the local one-room schoolhouse and graduated from Voorheesville’s high school in 1952. Elaine married Clifford E. Relyea, settled in Voorheesville, raised three children — Peter, Susan, and Alison — and moved to Berne in 1965.

“Elaine drove school bus for many years at Berne-Knox, being the first permanent woman bus driver.  Elaine was active in the community. She loved living in the beautiful and close-knit community of the Hilltowns.

“Elaine loved reading, sewing, cooking, and baking. Hosting family and friend gatherings, Elaine entertained most holidays and after basketball games, up to 80 people.

“Our family has been very blessed having Mom / Bushie in our lives, continuing family traditions. Her spirit will live on in her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.”


Elaine Relyea is survived by her children, Peter Relyea and his wife, Jean; Susan Conklin and her husband, Charles; and Alison Mesick, and by her siblings, Harry Kott Jr. and his wife, Joyce, and Victoria Martin.  

She is also survived by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Darby and Morgan Relyea, Carey Raymond and her husband, Brent, and Grant, Ella, and Calvin; Andrew Conklin and his wife, Angela, and Molly; Lindsay Kolysko and her husband, Dave, and Aubrey and Claire; and Tyler Mesick and his wife, Sara, and Joey.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association; Macular Degeneration; or funds or books to the Berne Public Library, 1763 Helderberg Trail, Berne, NY 12023.

“Please join us for a service and celebration of Mom’s life, sharing memories, on April 15, 2023,” her family wrote. The service starts at 11 a.m. at St. Matthew’s Church at 25 Mountainview Street in Voorheesville.

More Obituaries

  • KNOX — Guy M. Marhafer loved the open road, whether driving a truck or riding a Harley Davidson. Yet he always put his family first. He died on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2023. He was 69.
    He was born in Niskayuna, the son of the late Charles Sr. and Wilma Marhafer.

  • Joseph E. Huth, a boy from Yonkers, grew to love plants and, even after retiring from Albany County’s Cornell Cooperative Extension, continued gardening.
    He lived in Colonie and Venice, Florida and died on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, at the age of 91.

  • KNOX — Archie H. “Sonny” Martell Jr., a civil engineer who served in the Air Force and loved the outdoors, died peacefully on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. He was 84.

    A son of the late Archie and Olive VanWie Martell, he was born on March 12, 1938.

The Altamont Enterprise is focused on hyper-local, high-quality journalism. We produce free election guides, curate readers' opinion pieces, and engage with important local issues. Subscriptions open full access to our work and make it possible.