[Home Page] [This Week] [Classifieds] [Legals] [Obituaries] [Newsstands] [Subscriptions] [Advertising] [Deadlines] [About Us] [FAQ] [Archives] [Commumity Links] [Contact Us]

Obituraries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 15, 2007

Michael Bashwinger

Michael Bashwinger, a proud father and grandfather, who enjoyed listening to music and tinkering with computers, died on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2007, at Samaritan Hospital in Troy. He was 47.

Mr. Bashwinger was born on June 2, 1959, and grew up in Rensselaerville.

"He was very loving and very proud," his daughter, April Bashwinger, said.

Mr. Bashwinger adored his four-year-old granddaughter, Angelica Flores, and would often say that she would one day become the first female president.

"She was his pride and joy," said his daughter, Angelica’s mother.

Mr. Bashwinger was very strong-willed and "always gave me the strength to go for it," April Bashwinger said.

Mr. Bashwinger, a quadriplegic since a paralyzing accident when he was 21, "was very smart," his daughter said.

He enjoyed building computers, and, when he was unable to do all the work himself, "He could talk you through it, because you had to be the hands for him," April Bashwinger said.

He will be dearly missed, and remembered by all who knew him as a strong-willed, loving man, his daughter said.


Mr. Bashwinger is survived by his two children: April and Timothy Bashwinger. He is also survived by his granddaughter, Angelica Flores.

He is also survived by his mother, Nancy Freeman; his brothers: Wayne, Fred, and James Bashwinger; and his sister, Paula Ahearn.

His father, Edward Bashwinger, and two brothers, Warren and Walter "Willie" Bashwinger, died before him.

— Rachel Dutil

Julie A. Brate

WESTERLO — Julie A. Brate, a poet with a love of animals who nursed strays back to health, died on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2007. She was 53.

"She loved to write poetry and letters to her many brothers and sisters. She was fond of animals and was always taking in strays and nursing them back to health," her family wrote in a tribute. "The family would like to send a special thank you to the staff of the intensive care unit at Albany Medical Center and their dedicated and loving care."

She was born in Salamanca, N.Y., the daughter of Mark and Mary Ambuske.

In addition to her parents, Mrs. Brate is survived by her husband, George Brate; two daughters, Anne, and her husband, Steve, of Tampa, Fla., and Ginny Lou Brate of York, Pa.; three sons, Darrick Brate, and his wife, Heather, of Westerlo, Joseph Brate and his wife, Chris, and Benny Brate, both of York, Pa.

She is also survived by three sisters, Linda Brown, of Westerlo, Valerie Slingerland, of Westerlo, and Denise O’Brien, of Albany; three brothers, Glenn Ambuske, of Salamanca (Cattaraugus County), Greg Ambuske, and his wife, Sheri, of Salamanca, and Darrell, and his wife, Angie, of West Virginia; 11 grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held on Monday, Feb. 12, with arrangements by Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association, 7 Washington Square, Albany, NY 12205.

Marian G. Duffy

GLENMONT — Marian G. Duffy, 69, of Glenmont, died on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2007, at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany. She was born Nov. 7, 1937 in Rensselaerville, the daughter of Grace Filkins of Rensselaerville and the late Lloyd Filkins.

In addition to her mother, she is survived by her husband, Richard E. Duffy; daughters, Karin A. Duffy of Dallas, Texas; Laurin M. Sgroi of Fort Worth, Texas; and Sharin G. Fadde of Westchester, Pa.; brothers, Ralph, Judson, and Richard Filkins; sister, Barbara Joslin; and grandchildren, Samuel J. and Timothy R. Fadde, and Gabriela G. Sgroi.

A funeral service was held Tuesday at the Applebee Funeral Home. Burial was in Bethlehem Cemetary.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 260 Osborne Rd., Albany NY 12211 or The Seeing Eye (a guide dog school for the blind), Post Office Box 375, Morristown, NJ 07963-0375.

Walter D. Franklin

Walter D. Franklin, a World War II veteran and long-time General Electric worker, died on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2007. He was 86.

Born and raised in Colonie, where he met his wife in a high-school English class, he was the son of the late William and Ioba Franklin. He and his wife, Anna Franklin, moved to the town of Florida in Montgomery County after they were married, when Colonie got too congested, Mrs. Franklin said.

For his service in the Army during World War II, Mr. Franklin was awarded both the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. He didn’t talk much about the war, said his wife, but, "He landed in Africa, went to Italy, France, Germany, and Austria," she said. "He ended at Hitler’s Berchtesgaden."

After returning home, he joined the Helderberg Post #977 American Legion, the 100th Chapter of the Disabled American Veterans, and the Boyd Hilton Post #7062 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Altamont, where he served as the commander, Mrs. Franklin said.

Mr. Franklin began working for the General Electric company in 1947; he held several different posts before retiring in 1980.

When he wasn’t working, he was hunting or fishing, recalled his wife. He’d bring home deer and trout, she said. Once, he brought back a giant cod from a deep-sea fishing trip out of Gloucester, Mass.

Mr. Franklin is survived by his wife, Anna L. Franklin, and his children: James D. Franklin, and his wife Theresa, of Charleston, N.Y.; Robert E. Franklin, and his wife Mary Jo, of Clifton Park; and Janice Opal, and her husband Jeffrey, of Morrisonville, N.Y. He is also survived by five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. His son, David W. Franklin, who lived in Canajoharie, died before him.

A funeral service will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont. Calling hours are today (Thursday) from 6 to 8 p.m. Burial will be in Saratoga National Cemetery.

— Saranac Hale Spencer

Robert Quay

ALTAMONT — Robert Quay, a World War II veteran and an engineer who held patents, died on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2007, at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Albany. He was 83.

Born in the town of Knox on May 24, 1923, he was the son of the late Daniel Webster Quay and Bertha Bradt Quay. He graduated from Berne-Knox Central School, valedictorian of the class of 1941. He earned a bachelor of electrical engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy in June, 1952 and a master of science degree from Union College in Schenectady in June, 1963.

Mr. Quay was an Aviation Radioman First Class of the United States Navy - Bombing Squadron Thirteen, commissioned in November of 1943. He trained at N.A.S. Wildwood, N.J. until January, 1944 then transferred to N.A.A.S. Oceana, Va.

His group was officially attached to U.S.S. Franklin in February of 1944 and sailed from Norfolk in March of that year. After an intensive training period in the Gulf of Paria, Trinidad, the ship returned to Norfolk, Va., in April of 1944.

On May 5, 1944, the ship left Norfolk for San Diego, Calif. and left there June 1, 1944 for Pearl Harbor. They continued to train in Purcene, Maui. The ship made a short stay at Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands and then departed for its first combat mission in June of 1944.

Enlisting in the Navy in June, 1942, Mr. Quay was in active duty from October of 1942 to January of 1946 and was discharged with the following awards: Good Conduct Medal; American Theatre; Asiatic-Pacific, three stars; Philippine Liberation, one star; Air Medal; and Victory Medal.

After graduating from RPI in 1952, he worked for the Bureau of Reclamation, Grand Coulee Dam project in Ephrata, Wash. In 1954, he started work at Schenectady General Electric, large Steam Turbine Division. He transferred to EML Division at Malta, N.Y. and retired as manager in 1986 with 33 years of service.

He received two patents while employed at GE. He was a licensed professional engineer in New York.

The then purchased a farm/ranch in San Jon. N.M. in 1991. After much restoration, he and his wife, Ruth, moved there in 1994 from Campbell Ave. in Schenectady.

In May of 2000, they returned to their present home at Weaver Road in Altamont.

Mr. Quay was a former member of Trinity Reformed Church in Rotterdam, serving as elder, deacon, and Sunday school superintendent.

He was interested and active in several veterans’ organizations. A dedicated and life member of the American Legion for 42 years, joining Post 1091. He held many offices in the post, county, district and became 1st Vice Commander of New York in 1989.

He was a life member of Veterans of Overseas Service of America. He presently was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Clovis, N.M.

He was a brother of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge 2157 of Rotterdam, a district commander and Historian of Post 77 in Logan, N.M.

He was a current member of GE. Elfun Society; GE. Hall of History; Mensa of New York; National Rifleman’s Association, Whittington Center, Roswell, N.M.; Schenectady Voiture #759 40/8; Sanford World War II Vets; Tau Beta Pi-Electrical Engineering Society; and B-K-W Alumni Association.

Mr. Quay is survived by his wife of 49 years, Ruth Tubbs Quay; two sons, Jeffrey Quay of Texas, John Quay of Schenectady and companion, Denise Gentile; two grandsons, John Robert Quay of Schenectady and Michael Robert Quay of Texas, the son of Susan Quay who died in February of 2002.

He is also survived by one granddaughter, Renee Gentile, of Idaho; three brothers, Thaddeus Quay of Galway, N.Y., Donald Quay of Connecticut, and Richard Quay of Tennessee; two sisters, Helen Coulter and Rosemary Tubbs of Altamont; and one half sister, Bessie Dunleavy of Scotia.

In addition to his daughter, Susan, his brother James died before him in 1971.

A funeral service will be held Saturday at noon at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont. Calling hours are prior to the service from 10 am. to noon. Burial will be in Knox Cemetery in the spring.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Altamont Free Library, Post Office Box 662, Altamont, NY 12009.

LeRoy P. Vanderburgh

VOORHEESVILLE — LeRoy P. Vanderburgh, a man of music and joy, died on February 1, 2007. He was 98 3/4 years old.

"My mother always said music was his first love," said his daughter, Shirley Greene. "She was his second." He and the late Eleanor S. Davies Vanderburgh were married for 73 years.

As a young man in the 1920’s, Mr. Vanderburgh played the piano and organ for silent movies. He’d sight read the scores for each film, playing at a rapid clip for chase scenes and playing slowly for romantic ones. At one area theater where he played, Mrs. Vanderburgh’s sister worked as an usher. "She introduced Mom to Dad and the rest is history," said Mrs. Greene.

The couple soon married and kept their home full of music. "When talkies came, it put him out of work, so to speak," said Mrs. Greene. When movies with sound were introduced, Mr. Vanderburgh took in students, his daughter said. A boyhood friend of his, Ray Heindorf, asked him to go west so the two of them could play music together in Hollywood. Mr. Vanderburgh, then a newlywed, stayed in Albany and Mr. Heindorf went on to win two Academy Awards, said Mrs. Greene.

The Vanderburghs made their life in the Albany area and spent weekends in Vermont, at his favorite place, Lake St. Catherine. He built a camp there, which has become a home, his daughter said. He loved music best, but, "There was nothing Daddy wasn’t interested in," said Mrs. Greene"— boats, astrology, cameras"— everything interested him. He built five boats to use on Lake St. Catherine, she said.

"He was a daredevil," Mrs. Greene said. "He dated my mother in a canoe with a fur coat and she couldn’t swim a stroke."

Walking home from a football game at the age of 16, Mr. Vanderburgh went spontaneously blind, his daughter said. That’s when he really started playing the piano, which he had learned as a child. He was born in Syracuse to the late Harry and Mabel Vanderburgh. His mother tutored him so that he could graduate from high school despite his blindness and then he went on to the Troy Conservatory to study music. He got some of his sight back, but not enough to write out the three musical scores that he had composed so he paid another student $25 to write them down for him. His granddaughter’s husband now hopes to have his music students perform those scores, said Mrs. Greene.

"It’s just always music, music, music," said Mrs. Greene, herself a piano teacher for 51 years.

Mr. Vanderburgh was the organist at St. Matthews Lutheran Church for 48 years, as well as a respected piano tuner for 40 years. While living at Our Lady of Mercy Life Center, he entertained the residents by playing early pop hits on the organ.

Of her father’s taste for music, she said, "He truly believed the music should be life-sized."


Mr. Vanderburgh is survived by his daughter, Shirley Greene, and her husband, Waldo, of Voorheesville, and by his grandchildren: Cindy Curley and her husband, Glen; Sherrie West; Sue Vitale and her husband, Frank; Beth Blaufuss and her husband, Jay; and Sally Morgan and her husband, Patrick. He is also survived by nine great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

His wife, Eleanor S. Davies Vanderburgh, died before him as did his son, Ronald P. Vanderburgh.

Funeral services were held on Feb. 6 at New Comer-Cannon Family Funeral Home in Colonie and internment was in Memory’s Garden.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Northeast Association of the Blind, 301 Washington Ave., Albany, NY 12206; Our Lady of Mercy Life Center, 2 Mercycare Lane, Guilderland, NY 12084; or Community Hospice of Albany, 445 New Karner Rd., Albany, NY 12205.

— Saranac Hale Spencer

[Return to Home Page]