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Obituraries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, July 27, 2006

Hattie E. Burtt

DUANESBURG — Hattie E. Burtt, formerly of Western Turnpike, died at Ellis Hospital on July 24, 2006. She was 89.

Born in the town of Knox on Oct. 18, 1916, she was a beloved daughter of the late Alvy and Ethel Hotaling White. She was educated in local schools.

She lived in Duanesburg since 1940. Her beloved husband, Ralph Burtt, died on Oct. 13, 1971.

For a time, Mrs. Burtt worked as a custodian for the Duanesburg Town Hall and for the Duanesburg Reformed Presbyterian Church. She was a member of the church for over 50 years.

She is survived by two daughters, Doris Schaeffer and her husband, Bruce, of Duanesburg and June Burtt and her fiancé, Richard Vanwie, of Duanesburg; one sister, Dorothy Woolsey, of Fuquary-Varinna, N.C.; three grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Besides her husband, her sisters — Mildred Nicholson, Hilda Saddlemeire, and Edith White — and one brother, Bernard White, died before her.

Funeral services were held at the Duanesburg Reformed Presbyterian Church on Wednesday. Arrangements were handled by the White Van Buren Funeral Home in Delanson.

Interment was at the Esperance Cemetery in Esperance.

Memorial donations may be made to the Duanesburg Reformed Presbyterian Church Building Fund, Duanesburg, NY 12056

Jo-Ann B. Galusha

EAST BERNE — Jo-Ann B. Galusha, a multi-talented woman who loved to camp and was known for her crocheted baby blankets, died on Sunday, July 23, 2006, after a long struggle with cancer.

She was 61.

The daughter of the late Ida (Hein) and Paul Dooley and J. Willard Brown, Mrs. Galusha was born and raised in Guilderland and was an active member of the Thompsons Lake Reformed Church. Graduating from Guilderland High School in 1963, Mrs. Galusha worked in various positions at the Center for Disability Services for over 23 years.

She served as both vice president and elder for the Thompsons Lake church and her daughter, Paulette Simpson, said she was very active in the Albany Classis of the Reformed Church as well.

"That was a part of who she was while I was a kid," said Mrs. Simpson. "She was always a very spiritual person, and she instilled those values in us."

Simpson described her mother as a "very confident, strong-willed, and organized" woman, who was also good with numbers. "I can remember asking her to balance my checkbook"She should have been an accountant," said Mrs. Simpson.

Mrs. Simpson also described her mother as a hard worker with a dry sense of humor.

"She was known as Sarge to everyone down there," said Mrs. Simpson, referring to the Center for the Disabled, where she worked. "I think they used her nickname more than Jo-Ann. She ran a tight ship.

"She was a sassy character, and no one was free and clear of that," said Simpson, adding that her mother had "the gift of gab. Nobody got away with anything," said Mrs. Simpson. "She kept them all on their toes."

Mrs. Galusha had other talents as well.

"She was a huge crocheter," said her daughter. "She crocheted blankets for every baby born. Everyone always looked forward to receiving their baby’s blankets."

Her children and grandchildren were very important to her, Mrs. Simpson concluded.

Mrs. Galusha is survived by her husband of 42 years, Robert S. Galusha Sr.; two daughters, Michelle Wood and her husband, Timothy, of Voorheesville, and Paulette Simpson and her husband, Sean, of Altamont; two sons, Michael Galusha and his wife, Caren, of Berne, and Robert Galusha Jr., of San Marcos, Calif.; and her sisters, Janet Talleur and her husband, Gustav, Kathleen Comstock and her husband, Gary, and Christine Clark and her husband, John.

She is also survived by many nieces and nephews including: Stephen, Gustav, James, Zachary, Ashley, Matthew, Ryan, Colleen, Gene, Denise, Scott, David, and Pamela; her cousins, Ruth Craver, Cliff Hein, and Gayle Jacobs; her aunt, Evelyn Hein; her grandchildren: Candice, Fallon, Kylee, Isaiah, Jacob, Elizabeth, Benjamin, Laura, Seth, and Olivia; and her good friend Harold Brierley. Her grandson, Aaron, died before her.

A funeral service will be held today (Thursday), at 10 a.m., at the Thompsons Lake Reformed Church, with arrangements provided by the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Center for Disability Services, 700 South Pearl St., Albany, NY 12202.

— Jarrett Carroll

Alice Taylor Albright Pelzer

SLINGERLANDS — Alice Taylor Albright Pelzer, an avid reader and animal lover, died in Albany on July 22, 2006. Mrs. Pelzer was 96.

She worked in the State Education Department for the New York State Library System for 20 years. She loved reading and kept the Bethlehem Public Library very busy.

Mrs. Pelzer was born in Albany to Raymond Albright and Helen Wayne Taylor Albright. She attended Albany High School and went on to graduate from Mildred Elley Business School in 1929.

Amy Baker, Mrs. Pelzer’s granddaughter, carried on her grandmother’s tradition graduating from Mildred Elley in 1986. There was a photograph of Mrs. Pelzer hanging in the hallway of the school. Mrs. Baker says she is proud of that special bond she shares with her grandmother.

Mrs. Pelzer began loving animals as a child; she had many pets growing up. One of the most famous, Peter, was a pure white German shepherd that was shipped in by train in the 1920’s from the midwest.

Mrs. Pelzer met her late husband, William, at a dance in Schoharie. Mr. Pelzer was a local police officer. He would often use his own car to patrol the Helderberg lakes, and would even take his wife along for some company in the 1960’s and ’70’s.

Mrs. Pelzer often cared for odd animals that her husband would bring home. Over the years, she had cats, dogs, gerbils, fish, and bunnies. She also enjoyed the birds and squirrels in her yard.

Mrs. Pelzer loved reminiscing about the time that she spent at a camp she and her husband owned on Thompson’s Lake. They would spend summers there from May to October.

Mrs. Pelzer was a proud Republican and tended the voting booth at local elections. She was a member of the Slingerlands Community United Methodist Church. She was a member of the Slingerlands Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary, the Albany County Republican Committee, and the Women’s Society of Christian Service.

Survivors include her daughter, Dorothy P. Baker, and her husband, James, of Johnstown, N.Y. , her son, Richard Pelzer, and his wife, Sandy, of Middle Grove, N.Y.

She is also survived by five grandchildren, Amy Elaine Baker and her husband, John, of Earlton, N.Y., Betsy Lynn Martineau and her husband, Lance, of Delanson, N.Y., Meredith Jeannine Saltsman and her husband, Lyman, of Lake Luzerne, N.Y., Jason William Pelzer and his wife, Sonia, of Weehawken, N.J., and Michael William Pelzer of Middle Grove, N.Y.; and two great-grandchildren, Zachary James and Taylor Elaine Martineau, both of Delanson, N.Y.

Mrs. Pelzer is also survived by a loving former daughter-in-law, Mary Jane Rau-Pelzer, and her caregiver and friend, Rosemary Murray.

Her husband, William Pelzer, died in 1992.

Mrs. Pelzer was also fond of her cat, Goldie.

Funeral services were held on Wednesday, July 26, at the Applebee Funeral Home in Delmar.

Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Peter’s Hospital Foundation, 319 South Manning Blvd., Suite 309, Albany, NY 12208. Mrs. Pelzer died at the St. Peter’s Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

— Rachel Dutil

Marvin D. Spawn

GUILDERLAND — Marvin D. Spawn, a salesman, died Monday, July 24, 2006, at the Ann Lee Home in Colonie. He was 77.

Mr. Spawn worked as a farm machine salesman until he retired in 1993.

He was a member of many churches throughout his life and most recently attended the Berean Baptist Church in Guilderland Center.

Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Shirley Wolcott Spawn; a daughter, Kathleen Spawn of Guilderland and a son, Bruce W. Spawn of Gallupville; three grandchildren, Andrea Macri and her husband, Frank, Michael Murray and Shawn Murray; and one great-grandson, Parker Francis Macri.

He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

His brother, Alan Spawn, died before him.

A funeral service will be held today (Thursday) at 3 p.m. at the Berean Baptist Church in Guilderland Center. Friends may call on Thursday from 2 to 3 p.m. Arrangements are by the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont. Burial will be in Prospect Hill Cemetery in Guilderland.

Memorial contributions may be made to Community Hospice of Albany, 445 New Karner Rd., Albany, NY 12205; the Ann Lee Home, 875 Watervliet Shaker Rd., Albany, NY 12211; or the Berean Baptist Church Missions Fund, 481 Route 146, Post Office Box 273, Guilderland Center, NY 12085.

Gordon J. Trotter

Gordon J. Trotter, who was born and raised in the Hilltowns and farmed his family’s land for decades, died on July 21, 2006. He was 87.

"He was basically a farmer," said his daughter, Bernice Hart, who said that he worked the land that his parents, the late Edward and Anna Whitbeck Trotter, had farmed.

Since his death, though, she said that she has found a number of awards and certificates of his. One was "from the New York State Thruway for a machine he devised himself," she said.

Mr. Trotter worked as a bridge maintenance welder for the Albany County Highway Department and the New York State Thruway Authority for 20 years.

Assemblyman Neil Kelleher penned the letter of appreciation to Mr. Trotter for his invention in 1944, said Ms. Hart.

"He could take a car apart and put it back together in five minutes," she said of her father’s mechanical abilities. She recalled some of his machines like they were dear friends.

"He had his old tractor," she said, "that was his best friend." Another one of his tractors is now on display at the Knox museum. His Chevy S-10 pickup truck was "his pride and joy," she said. "It had to be red."

One of his favorite trips to take was south to Myrtle Beach, Ms. Hart said. "He drove all over with that trailer," she said.

He was also eager to put his truck to use for his family and friends. "He helped every one of us children move," said Ms. Hart. He worked to instill that spirit of lending a hand in his children. "That was the rule from Gordon," she said. "Go out and help your mom."

Living on the farm, they had chickens; Ms. Hart and her siblings would fetch the eggs for their mother who ran a coffee shop on the farm. Mr. Trotter built the shop, called Knox Coffee, for his wife, Leona Trotter, on the family’s farm.

"All the county workers went there to eat at lunch time," recalled Ms. Hart.

Mr. Trotter’s eagerness to help stayed with him through his old age; he pulled a couple of boys out of the Schroon River a few years ago, even though, by that age, "He was like a turtle," said Ms. Hart.

She told the story of her father and a family friend, Ron Tougas, who was a few years older than Mr. Trotter, rescuing the young fishermen from the rapid spring water in the Schroon River. "Him and Ron got those two boys out of the river before the rescue crews got there," she said.

Mr. Trotter had a cabin by the river, in a place called Schroon River Forest. He plowed the roads around there for years, said Ms. Hart. She said that neighbors "used to call him the Schroon River Forest mayor."

Mr. Trotter is survived by two sons: Kenneth Trotter, of Greenwich, and Charles Palombo and his wife, Janet, of Clifton Park and by three daughters: Bernice Hart of Schenectady, Carol Warner of New York City, and Donna Ostrander, of Knox.

He is also survived by a nephew, Elmer Becker, of Knox, and several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.

His wife died before him as did a son: Glen Trotter, and a sister, Althea Becker.

A funeral service was held on July 25 at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont. Burial was in the Knox Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Hospice of High Peaks, 4314 Main Street, Port Henry, NY 12974. Mr. Trotter died at the Adirondack Tri-County Nursing Home in North Creek.

— Saranac Hale Spencer

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