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Obituraries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, January 4, 2007

Lesley Elizabeth Grapka

ALTAMONT — Lesley Elizabeth Grapka, a lover of music and nature, died on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2007. She was 25.

A 1999 graduate of Guilderland High School, Ms. Grapka excelled as a cellist, playing in the school’s orchestra and the Empire State Junior Strings, her family said. She graduated from Vassar College with a bachelor’s degree in 2003 and from the University at Albany with a master’s degree in 2006.

"She loved animals and conveyed that love to others in her work as a riding instructor at Camp Nassau," her family said in a tribute. She also worked as a veterinarian’s assistant at the Bethlehem Veterinary Hospital.

Her compassion extended beyond that, though. "Perhaps her greatest love was helping those less fortunate than her," said her family. She worked as a vocational rehabilitation counselor at the Northeast Career Planning Center in Troy where she had "an unrelenting compassion and sensitivity for her clients," remembered her family.

Spending time in the outdoors with friends and family was one of her favorite pastimes, remembered Ms. Grapka’s family.

"Lesley had the greatest sense of humor that kept all around her smiling and laughing," her family said in a tribute.

Ms. Grapka is survived by her parents, David and Barbara Grapka, of Altamont and her paternal grandparents, Edmund and Montie Grapka of South Dayton, N.Y.

She is also survived by three aunts: Jenny Brentley and her husband, Brad, of Batavia, Ohio; Carol Westfall and her husband, Bob, of Jamestown, N.Y.; and Marcia Goldstein of Glen Ellyn, Ill. She is also survived by several cousins.

Her maternal grandparents, Tiby and Milton Levitt, died before her.

Calling hours will be held on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society, Oakland Avenue, Menands, NY 12204.

Joyce E. Jansen

BERNE — Joyce E. Jansen, who spent her life caring for others, died of cancer on Dec. 27, 2006 at her home. She was 44.

"Her family was by her side following a courageous battle with cancer," her family wrote in a tribute.

Born in Schenectady to Robert and Gertrude Goodrow, Mrs. Jansen moved to her husband’s native Berne where they raised three children. The couple would have celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on April 28.

"She was very caring," said her husband, Jody V. Jansen. "She would do things for others before herself."

Mrs. Jansen worked as a home health aide, her husband said, a job which she held for a long time.

Around her Hilltown home, Mrs. Jansen kept flower beds and koi ponds, her husband said. Tending to them was one of her favorite things to do, her husband remembered.

Mrs. Jansen is survived by her husband, Jody V. Jansen, of Berne; her daughters Jessica M. Jansen, and her friend, Mike of Berne, and Chelsea J. Jansen of Berne; and her son, Zachary J. Jansen of Berne.

She is also survived by her sister, Barbara Brown, of Summersfield, Fla.; and her brothers Jim Goodrow and Joe Goodrow, both of Rotterdam. Mrs. Jansen is also survived by her mother-in-law and father-in-law, Amy and Clinton Jansen of Berne, and several nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

A memorial service was held on Saturday, Dec. 30, at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont. Memorial contributions may be made to the Community Hospice of Albany, 445 New Karner Rd., Albany, NY 12205 or to Rock Road Chapel, 96 Rock Rd., Berne, NY 12023.

— Saranac Hale Spencer

Edna E. MacDougall

DUANESBURG — Edna E. "Betty" MacDougall — a dedicated volunteer, hostess, waitress, and entertainer — died at the Glendale Nursing Home in Glenville on Dec. 30, 2006.

She was 89.

Mrs. MacDougall was born in Schenectady on Nov. 16, 1917 to the late Floyd and Minnie White Barton. She married her husband, Hugh MacDougall, on Oct. 7, 1939. Mr. MacDougall died in 1979.

During the 1940’s through the 1960’s, Mrs. MacDougall worked as a mail messenger. For many years, she also worked as a hostess and a waitress at the Altamont Manor. Mrs. MacDougall also worked at the Governor’s Motor Inn, the Holiday Inn in Schenectady, and the former Ritz Restaurant.

She was a dedicated volunteer at the Delanson Senior Mealsite, where she would recite poetry and say grace, said her son, Barton MacDougall. She was also a president of the Duanesburg Parent Teacher Association.

Mrs. MacDougall also enjoyed music.

She was a choir master and organist at the Christ Episcopal Church in Duanesburg, and a member of the Octavos Singing Group of Schenectady. In her younger years, Mrs. MacDougall was a singer and an actress in many local variety shows.

Mrs. MacDougall’s son recalled his mother teaching her children old pop standards, with the kids and his father singing around the piano.

"She would play and we kids and my father would sing," said Mr. MacDougall.

Mrs. MacDougall was also a member of the Duanesburg Fireman Women’s Auxiliary, and a member of the Duanesburg Republican Club.


Mrs. MacDougall is survived by her son, Barton MacDougall, and his wife, Linda, of Duanesburg; her daughter, Marguerite MacDougall of Duanesburg, and her husband, Kenneth Wenzel, of Wareham, Mass.; granddaughter, Heather MacDougall, and her husband, Robert, of Schenectady; and her great-grandson, Ian MacDougall, of Schenectady. Mrs. MacDougall is also survived by two sisters: Marguerite Monthie of Cobleskill and Phyllis Brandenburg and her husband, Robert, of Hadley (Saratoga County).

Mrs. MacDougall’s sister, Carletta Reid of Massena (St. Lawrence County) died in 2006, and her daughter, Elizabeth MacDougall, died in 1967.

There are no calling hours. Family and friends are invited to attend a memorial service on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007, at 11 a.m. at the Christ Episcopal Church in Duanesburg. Interment will be at the convenience of the family. The arrangements are by the White-VanBuren Funeral Home in Delanson, NY.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Christ Episcopal Church, Post Office Box 92, Duanesburg, NY 12056, or to the Delanson Senior Mealsite, Post Office Box 219, Delanson, NY 12053.

— Tyler Schuling

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