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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, June 7, 2007

Virginia K. Albright

ALTAMONT — Virginia K. Albright, a long-time school cafeteria worker who was active in many community groups, died Wednesday, May 30, 2007, at the Guilderland Center Nursing Home. She was 83.

Born in Richmondville, N.Y., she was the daughter of the late Allen and Minnie Lape. She moved to the Capital District in 1933.

She worked for the Guilderland Central High School as a cafeteria worker from 1971 to 1986.

She was a longtime member of the Helderberg Reformed Church and its Young at Heart Group. She was a life member and past president of the Boyd Hilton Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary and was past president of the Albany County VFW Ladies Auxiliary.

She was past president of the Guilderland Center Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary and was active in the Guilderland Seniors and Altamont Senior Citizens. She was also a member of the former Guilderland Home Bureau.

Her husband, Chet Albright, died in 1994.

She is survived by one daughter, Doris C. Derby, of Clifton Park; one son, Donald C. Albright, of Guilderland Center; two grandsons, Victor K. Pickard and his wife, Jackie, of Waterford and Donald T. Pickard and his wife, Maryanne, of Albany; and four great-grandchildren, Vegas, Paris, Alyssa, and Victor.

She is also survived by several nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, great-great nieces and great-great nephews.

In addition to her husband, her three brothers — Arnold, Kenneth, and Lee Lape — and one sister, Emma Felts, all died before her.

A funeral service was held on Tuesday at the Helderberg Reformed Church in Guilderland Center. Burial was in Memory’s Garden, Colonie. Arrangements are by the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Boyd Hilton VFW Post, the Guilderland Center Fire Department, or the Helderberg Reformed Church.

Barbara Elizabeth Evans

ALBANY — Barbara Elizabeth Evans, an artist and art teacher who appreciated different cultures, died on Thursday, May 31, 2007, at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany after a brief illness.

She was 88.

"She traveled extensively to Panama and Egypt and was active in the Albany International Center. She appreciated diverse cultures and enjoyed making friends from around the world," her family wrote in a tribute. "She was a talented artist and also enjoyed volunteer work throughout her lifetime."

Born June 11, 1918, she was the daughter of the late Benjamin and Elizabeth Evans and was a lifelong resident of Albany.

She was a competitive golfer at Albany Country Club in the 1930’s.

She graduated from Connecticut College for Women in 1940 and taught art at St. Agnes School for Girls and the Kenwood Academy of the Sacred Heart in Albany. She later was employed by the Albany Institute of History and Art.

She is survived by two nieces, Elizabeth Burlingame Seay and her husband, Steven, and Barrie Burlingame Rosinus and her husband, Edward; one nephew, Rufus W. Burlingame and his wife, Marjorie; and a brother-in-law, Rufus W. Burlingame Sr.

She is also survived by her extended family, the Nagengasts, Debra, Ron, Robin, Derek, Wil and Callee.

Her sister, Nancy Evans Burlingame, died before her.

Private funeral services will be held at the convenience of the family. Arrangements are by Fredendall Funeral Home of Altamont.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Salvation Army.

Julius A. Gesek

ALTAMONT — Julius Gesek, an auto-body worker with a soft spot in his Polish heart for polkas, died unexpectedly on Sunday, June 3, 2007, at his home. He was 87.

When the late Marcel and Anastasia Gesek emigrated from Poland, they bought a farm and filled it with seven children; among them was Mr. Gesek. Work on the family farm in Delanson took Mr. Gesek out of school by the 10th grade, said his son, Julius Gesek Jr.

"I know he didn’t want to work on the farm anymore," said his son of how Mr. Gesek got into doing auto-body work.

He left the farm to serve in the United States Army Air Corps in the Asiatic Pacific Theater from 1942 to 1945. There, he climbed the ranks to become a sergeant. As a young soldier, Mr. Gesek was stationed in New Jersey, where he met his wife, Kathleen. Having dated her for six months, Mr. Gesek asked her to marry him, said their son.

"The priest said, ‘Hey, if you don’t know him by now, you’re never going to know him,’" their son recounted. They were wed on June 2, 1945.

In 1957, the couple moved to Altamont, where they lived in the same house for most of their 64 years of marriage.

Mr. Gesek and his business partner, Jim Riggi, owned State Body Works in Schenectady for 40 years; Mr. Riggi did the painting and Mr. Gesek did the body work, said his son.

Growing up on the farm made his father a hard worker, said Mr. Gesek Jr.; he would rebuild antique cars for people in his free time, he said. But, Mr. Gesek Jr. said, "He never missed the Polish program on Sunday morning." Every Sunday, from 9 a.m. until noon, Mr. Gesek would listen to the polkas played on the Siena College radio station. He would go to polka shows and attend the annual polka dance at the Mohegan Sun Casino.

Also a hunter, Mr. Gesek once brought home an eight-point buck, said his son. He was a member of the Dunnsville Rod and Gun Club and part of the Service Club League at the Boulevard Bowling Alley in Schenectady. "He had a pretty good average for a while," said his son. "He’s bowled most of his life."

Mr. Gesek was also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion as well as being a communicant of St. Lucy’s Roman Catholic Church in Altamont.

"He was fair," Mr. Gesek Jr. said of his father. "He was tough at times," but, he reiterated, "He was fair."


Mr. Gesek is survived by his wife, Kathleen (nee Schwegel) Gesek, and his son, Julius Gesek. He is also survived by his brothers: Stanley, Al, Clem, and Ralph; his sisters, Mary Askew and Stephanie Riley; as well as many nieces and nephews.

A mass of Christian burial was celebrated on Wednesday at St. Lucy’s Church in Altamont. Arrangements were by the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont and burial will be in Saratoga National Cemetery.

— Saranac Hale Spencer

Elting Raymond "Bill" Gossman

WESTERLO — Elting Raymond "Bill" Gossman was a family man with deep roots in Westerlo who traveled widely. He died unexpectedly on June 5, 2007 at his home in Westerlo. He was 86.

"Bill believed, ‘A man does what he has to do,’ and this guiding maxim underscored his support for his family," his family wrote in a tribute.

"Bill lived in Westerlo his entire life, the sixth generation of Gossmans to do so," said his family. He died roughly a mile from the house at Van Leuven’s Corners in Westerlo where he was born on March 14, 1921.

Mr. Gossman was the second child and only son of the late Raymond Gossman and Mabel Somers Gossman.

"Bill attended school in Westerlo and Greenville, and he worked from the time he was eight years old. He married Pauline Mary Wayman before a standing-room-only crowd of friends and relatives on Sept. 2, 1956, at the United Methodist Church in Schenevus [Otsego County]," said his family.

"Bill worked for the Albany County Highway Department, and he and Pauline moved into half of Phil and Delite Stewart’s farmhouse (now the Boone Farm) in Westerlo." Later, he joined Hannay Reels, and, in 1966, moved his family into their current home, which was purchased by his father in the 1930s.

"Bill could fix anything and learned very early in life how to drive a team of horses and to skin and butcher a cow. He later taught his children how to surf-cast on Cape Cod, shoot, and ride a bike," said his family. He pulled their big toboggan up May’s hill, and religiously drove them to the Rensselaerville Library, they said.

Mr. Gossman retired from Hannay Reels in May of 1989. His wife died on Nov. 11, 1989.

He was a member of the Westerlo Volunteer Fire Department and enjoyed his friends at the Helderberg Senior Center.

Mr. Gossman traveled widely, through all of New England, New York, and Pennsylvania, to the Florida and North Carolina coasts, the San Juan Islands in Washington state, and all of eastern Canada.

Mr. Gossman also took two trips to Europe, and visited England, the Netherlands, France, Austria, Italy, Germany, and the Slovak Republic. He also visited Belgium, including the city of Westerlo, Belgium.

"He made memories for others on both sides of the Atlantic when he crashed a business party in Rothenberg, Germany, and stayed for three hours, enjoying libations with American-country-music-singing Germans," said his family.

"Last, but not least, he took the classic All-American road trip to California and back with two friends in his twenties," they said.


Mr. Gossman is survived by his daughter, Jean, of Washington, D.C.; his sons, Robert Gossman, and his wife, Amy, of Greenville (Greene County); William Gossman, and his wife, Cheryl, of Seattle, Wash.

He is also survived by his grandchildren, Amanda Gossman of Greenville and Connor, Hunter, and Elizabeth Gossman of Seattle; his younger sister, Kathryn Wagoner, and her husband, Olin, of Rensselaerville; and his nephew, Dean Wagoner, and his wife, Mariann, of Middleburgh (Schoharie County).

His older sister, Marion Gossman Mean Anders, died in 2000.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday at the Cunningham Funeral Home in Greenville at 11 a.m. Friends may call on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. Interment will be in the Westerlo Rural Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Westerlo Rescue Squad, 571 County Route 401, Westerlo, NY 12193.

— Tyler Schuling

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