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Obituraries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, July 13, 2006

Diane LeBuis Chamberlain

Diane LeBuis Chamberlain was an energetic and creative woman who welcomed visitors and kept in touch with her family in the Hilltowns no matter how far away she lived.

"She wrote hundreds of letters," said her sister Marlene Boomhower of Westerlo. "I got a letter every week...She always wrote her grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters."

Mrs. Chamberlain died in Scottsdale, Ariz., where she had lived for 20 years, on June 30, 2006 after a courageous battle with cancer. She was 69.

"Diane was a very kind woman who had a lot of love to give to the world," her family wrote in a tribute. "She raised four children, became a successful saleswoman, a business owner, a wonderful cook, a doll-maker, and a seamstress.

"She did a million different things in her lifetime," her family said, "and she was always busy creating something unique with her hands."

She was born on June 5, 1937, the second of seven children of the late Leo and Doris LeBuis.

"We grew up right in the village," not far from the school in Berne, said her sister. "Diane was very involved with whatever was going on at school. She played the cornet in band. She always told me it was a cornet, not a trumpet."

Her sister Charis Cummings said Mrs. Chamberlain had been both a cheerleader and a majorette in high school, graduating from Berne-Knox in 1955.

She was also a member of the Berne Reformed Church and belonged to the Junior Grange of the Foxenkill Grange, which was very active at the time, said Mrs. Boomhower.

During high school, she also worked as a waitress in South Westerlo, when the summer resorts were bustling, her sister said. "She met her first husband when she worked as a waitress at a dude ranch on Lake George. He was a cowboy with the rodeo," said Mrs. Boomhower.

"He was from Montana. And she went to work at the Grand Canyon as a waitress," said her sister. The couple eventually settled on a ranch in Montana, where they raised their four children.

"She did a lot of hard work on the ranch," said Mrs. Boomhower. "The ranch women depended on each other in those wide-open spaces.

"She made her own clothes and the children’s clothes. Her touch was always there. You could always tell it was something Diane did because it was beyond your average mind."

After her divorce, she met Merritt Chamberlain in Billings, Mont., where she was working as a waitress. The couple "got tired of shoveling snow," Mrs. Boomhower said, and moved to Arizona, where Mrs. Chamberlain sold real estate and owned a dress-making shop with a friend.

"She was really creative. She did everything well," said Mrs. Boomhower. Among other things, Mrs. Chamberlain made porcelain dolls in period clothes and also repaired antique dolls, her sister said. Other crafts she mastered included knitting, cross-stitching, and flower-arranging.

Mrs. Chamberlain loved to dress up and often wore costumes to parties, not just at Halloween, said Mrs. Boomhower. She was always open to visitors and welcoming, said her sister.

Part of her personality was comical, said Mrs. Boomhower. "She would show up at a party in something very unusual and appear nonchalant," she said.

The Chamberlains were a devoted couple. "She and Merritt were extremely close. They were each other’s best friend," said Mrs. Boomhower.

Mrs. Chamberlain remained active up until her death, said her sister. "In the past few years, she was working as a seamstress," said Mrs. Boomhower. "I was there two weeks before she died, and she was sewing."

Mrs. Chamberlain was also warm and welcoming until the end. Her sister said, "She kept very close even though she was far away."

She is survived by her husband, Merritt Chamberlain; her sons, Brian Riley and Clark Riley; and her daughters, Kim Kolstad and Kelly Nelson and her husband, Glen.

She is also survived by her eight grandchildren, Aimee, Jessica, Loren, Jill, Janene, Quentin, Natasha, and Nicole; and her five great-grandchildren.

She is survived, too, by three sisters, Janice Bassler and her husband, Fred P., Marlene Boomhower and her husband, Dennis, and Charis Cummings and her husband, Dennis; three brothers, Robert LeBuis and his wife, Roberta, Donald LeBuis and his wife, Donna, and Dennis LeBuis; her uncle and aunt, Clyde and Margaret Filkins; 16 nieces and nephews; and numerous grand-nieces, grand-nephews, and cousins.

A celebration of her life was held on Saturday, July 8, at Messinger Pinacle Peak Mortuary in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 East Flower Street, Phoenix, AZ 85014.
A gathering to celebrate her life will be held in Berne at a later time.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

Leon V. Goodfellow

BERNE — Leon V. Goodfellow died Tuesday, July 4, 2006. He was 83.

He attended Berne-Knox High School and graduated from Hudson Valley Community College with a degree in electrical drafting.

He attended the First Baptist Church of Westerlo

Survivors include his loving wife, Jean Crocker Goodfellow; his beloved son, David L. Goodfellow of Pittsfield, Mass.; his loving daughter, Dawn Jordan and her husband, Ronald, of Berne; four dearly loved grandchildren, Katherine and Rebecca Goodfellow and Jeremiah and Rachel Jordan; a devoted niece, Joyce Thomas and her husband, Ted; and a twin niece and nephew, Shirley Mott and Alan Goodfellow.

A brother, Marvin Goodfellow, died before him as did a sister, Beatrice Northrup, and two nephews, Reid Northrup and Gordon Goodfellow.

A memorial service was held on Saturday at the First Baptist Church of Westerlo. Arrangements are by Fredendall Funeral Home of Altamont.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, 965 Albany-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110 or to the Hilltowns Community Resource Center, County Route 1, Westerlo, NY 12193.

Shirley A. Herzog

COBLESKILL — Shirley A. Herzog, 62, died suddenly Wednesday, July 12, 2006 at Bassett Hospital in Cobleskill.

She is survived by her husband of 42 years, Fritz R. Herzog; five children, John Herzog and his wife, Donna, of Catskill, Christina Russo and her husband, Rob, of Hernando, Fla., Joshua Herzog and his wife, Sarah, of Altamont, Jeffrey Herzog, and Sarah Herzog, both of Cobleskill; one sister, Mary Ellen Baker of Glenmont; four grandchildren, Caleb, Hanna, and Caden Russo and Brianna Taylor Herzog.
A brother, Robert Butler, died before her.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont. Friends may call on Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. Burial will be in Prospect Hill Cemetery in Guilderland. Memorial contributions may be made to Community Hospice of Albany, 445 New Karner Road, Albany, NY 12205.

Anne M. Hoffman

BERNE — Anne M. Hoffman, a long-time worker for the Berne-Knox-Westerlo schools, died Tuesday, July 4, 2006 at her home in Berne. She was 84.

She died peacefully, her family said, "surrounded in love."

"Anne will always be remembered for her gift of making people laugh with a ready joke and her radiant smile," her family said in a tribute.

Mrs. Hoffman retired from Berne-Knox-Westerlo schools as a bus driver in 1995. She also worked as a clerk in the high school office and the cafeteria.

She enjoyed many years of traveling and outings with the Hilltowns Seniors.

Her parents, John and Anne VanCura, and her husband, George Hoffman, died before her.

She is survived by four sons, John Hoffman and his wife, Claire, of Wareham, Mass.; George Hoffman and his wife, Connie, of Palm Beach, Fla., James Hoffman and his wife, Rosemary, of Berne, and Matthew Hoffman and his wife, Connie, of Cottage Grove, Minn.; and the man she called her "sixth son," Donald J. Anderson of Lady Lake, Fla.

She is also survived by many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Her son, Kevin Hoffman, died in 1972.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Saturday at St. Bernadette’s Church in Berne. Arrangements were by the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont. Burial was in Woodlawn Cemetery, Berne.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Hilltowns Seniors, care of Mrs. Robert Snyder, 259 Goodfellow Road, Westerlo, NY 12193.

Paul C. Reinhart

MIDDLEBURGH — Paul C. Reinhart was born into a life he loved — farming.

"I’ve seen him go out in the middle of a field of corn or oats and stand in awe in the field," said his wife of 51 years, Eleanor Reinhart.

Mr. Reinhart died on July 2, 2006, following a long illness, at his home on East Hill Road. He was 73.

He was born on April 25, 1933 in the town of Broome, the son of Guy and Minnie (Schanz) Reinhart.

"Paul was born here," said his wife of the farm on which he had lived his entire life. It is a dairy farm and, she said, while her husband "never really cared too much for milking cows," he was very interested in and active in all aspects of farming.

He served as director of the Dairymen’s League and was a committeeman for the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS) and Agway. The ASCS was a system of farmer-elected county committees set up by Congress in the Depression as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal to control farm production to avoid surpluses and to stabilize farmers’ incomes.

To supplement his own farming income, Mr. Reinhart worked a number of other jobs. At one time, he was assessor for the town of Broome and he served as its highway superintendent from 1984 to 1985 and then worked as a laborer for Broome. He retired from Baumann’s Brookside in Greenville, where he was a groundskeeper.

Mr. Reinhart met the woman who would become his wife, Eleanor Mercer, when they both attended the Middleburgh Central Schools.

"We were classmates," said Mrs. Reinhart. "I knew him for the four years of high school. We graduated the same year. On our senior trip, the kids all paired off. I paired off with him."

The couple married on Dec. 22, 1954. They had four children — a son and three daughters.

"To top it off, my brother married his sister," said Mrs. Reinhart. "They live right here on the hill with us," she said. "Their kids are like our kids and our kids are like their kids."

Mrs. Reinhart said her husband was a stern father. "He never really showed a lot of affection, but he made sure they learned good values," she said.

Their son, Timothy, is now taking over farming duties, she said.

The stern father turned into a doting grandfather, said Mrs. Reinhart. "As a grandfather, he was different," she said. "He just loved having his grandchildren around."

Mr. Reinhart was a quiet man, his wife said, who "always wanted to help people." "That was his goal. He’d give them the shirt off his back, so to speak," she said.

She gave the example of the many times, in rough winter weather, when someone would drive off the road. "If someone was stuck in a ditch, he would pull them out and never charge a thing," said Mrs. Reinhart.

At the end of his life, when he was ill, many people offered to help her husband in return for the many kindnesses he had shown them over the years, said Mrs. Reinhart.

"It was hard for him to accept help," she said, explaining he was the one who was used to helping others. "In the end," she said, "he humbly accepted it."

Paul C. Reinhart is survived by his wife, Eleanor (Mercer) Reinhart; a son, Timothy Reinhart of Middleburgh; three daughters, Arleen Kingsbury and her husband, Doug, of Middleburgh, Alyce DeCotes and her husband, Scott, of Altamont, and Lorraine Troy and her husband, Kenny, of Montgomery, N. Y.

He is also survived by five grandchildren, Chelsea Kingsbury, Kiera and Devin DeCotes, and Brittni and Ryan Troy; two step-grandchildren, Jeff and Jennifer Kingsbury; and six step-great-grandchildren.

He is also survived by a twin sister, Pauline Reinhart Mercer of Middleburgh and her husband, Maurice; two brothers-in-law and their wives, Skip and Jennie Mercer of Latham, and Bud and Edna Mercer of Albany; and by several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

The funeral service and burial were private with arrangements by Palmer & Shaylor, Inc. Funeral Home of Middleburgh. On-line condolences may be made at: www.palmershaylorfuneralhome.com.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Catskill Area Hospice Hope Foundation, 327 West Main Street, Suite 3, Cobleskill, NY 12043.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

Elizabeth Short

GUILDERLAND — Elizabeth Short died peacefully on Thursday, June 15, 2006, at the Guilderland Center Nursing Home, following a lengthy illness. She was 85.

Survivors include her daughter, Gladys M. Short of Altamont; one brother, Marshall Vinehout of Altamont; three grandchildren, Virginia Stewart of Delanson, Connie Short of Long Island, and James H. Short II of Delanson; and two great-grandchildren, Gregory and Kevin Stewart.

A graveside service will be held on Saturday, July 15, at 1 p.m. at the Knox Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Community Hospice of Schenectady, 1411 Union St., Schenectady, NY 12308 or to the Guilderland Center Nursing Home, Post Office Box 36, 428 Route 146, Guilderland Center, NY 12085.

Frances M. Szatkowski

Frances M. Szatkowski, formerly of Guilderland, died Saturday, July 8, 2006, at the Loudonville Home for Adults, following a long struggle with lung disease. She was 78.

"She had many passions in her life, first and foremost her family, and she was also an avid bingo player," her family wrote in a tribute.

She was born and raised in Schenectady, the daughter of the late Frank and Sophie Sobieski Wnuk. She graduated from the former Draper High School in Schenectady.

Her husband, Arthur Szatkowski, died in May of 2006.

She is survived by two daughters, Carol S. Cowan of Altamont and Catherine Szatkowski and Ken Johnson of Guilderland; two granddaughters, Jade Wesolowski Angelo and her husband, Michael, of Guilderland and Alexandra Fagan of Guilderland; three grandsons, Zachary, Christopher and Matthew Cowan, all of Altamont; three great-grandchildren, John, Michael and Nicholas, all of Guilderland; and one sister, Lorraine Platt, of Colonie.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Wednesday at the Church of Christ the King in Guilderland. Arrangements are by Fredendall Funeral Home.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Lung Association of Northeastern New York, 3 Winners Circle, Suite 300, Albany, NY 12205-1187.

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