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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, June 28, 2007

Ruth M. Alexson

ALTAMONT — Ruth May Gustavson Alexson, a family-oriented woman who loved to travel abroad and garden at home, died on June 26, 2007, in a car accident. She was 72.

Growing up in the Hilltowns, Mrs. Alexson graduated from Berne-Knox-Westerlo High School in 1953. Later, she worked for the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles as a clerk, her family said in a tribute.

After Mrs. Alexson retired in 1998, she traveled with her sister, Beatrice J. Russell, who also died in the accident.

Mrs. Alexson is survived by her two sons, Thomas K. Alexson and Warren D. Alexson and his wife, Marie, both of Altamont. She is also survived by two sisters, Alice Wood of Altamont and Helen Pelepzuck of Schoharie, and many nieces and nephews.

Her brother, John Gustavson, died before her, as did a half sister, Anna Tiedeman, and two half brothers, William and Robert Tiedeman.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, June 30, at noon at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont. Friends may call on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at the funeral home. Burial will be in Schenectady Memorial Park.

Joseph C. Fritz Sr.

RENSSELAERVILLE — Joseph C. Fritz Sr., a war veteran who was active in his community, died at the Daughters of Sarah Nursing Home in Albany on June 21, 2007. He was 86.

"He was the leader of the whole family. He watched over us day and night," said his grandson, Stephen Fritz Jr.

He was married to Ruth C. (nee Spielmann) Fritz for 60 years. They raised three sons and a daughter on their farm in Rensselaerville. His wife died on Oct. 18, 2005.

Mr. Fritz was born in Rumania on Sept. 26, 1920, the son of the late Matei and Katherina (nee Hinterholtz) Fritz.

He served in the United States Navy in the South Pacific as a cook during World War II.

"[The war] wasn’t something that he talked about," said his grandson. The family only discovered his four medals of honor, and war-time pictures over the weekend, his grandson said. One ship he sailed on was the Claiborne, out of New Orleans, he said.

Mr. Fritz was a general mechanic and worked at Camp Cass in Rensselaerville before retiring. Active in his community, he was a member, past commander, and past adjutant of Clark White Post American Legion #589, and a member and past secretary of the Rensselaerville Volunteer Fire Company.

Mr. Fritz was also active in his church, serving as a vestry member of the Trinity Episcopal Church. He was also a treasurer for the Hilltown Senior Citizens.

Mr. Fritz visited his grandson, Stephen Fritz Jr., and his son, Stephen Fritz Sr., who live near one another, each day. Apart from living a short time in Manhattan, and five years of military service, Mr. Fritz lived most of his life on his farm in Rensselaerville, said his grandson.

"He loved the United States, his family, and God," he said.


Mr. Fritz is survived by two sons, Joseph C. Fritz Jr., and his wife, Janet, of Sunset Beach, N.C.; and Stephen L. Fritz Sr. of Rensselaerville; five grandchildren, Wendy Lanaro, and her husband, Joseph; Stephen L. Fritz Jr., and his wife, Jenny; Jennifer Fritz, and her husband, Don; Janeen Spencer, and her husband, Bryan; and Jeffrey Fritz, and his wife, Kate.

He is also survived by five great-grandchildren, Amanda and Andrew Mnich, Ryan Fritz, and Ian and Carli Spencer.

His daughter, Judith Anne Fritz, and two brothers, Peter and Matthew Fritz, died before him.

A funeral service was held Wednesday at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Rensselaerville. Interment was in the Rensselaerville Cemetery.

Arrangements were by the Cunningham Funeral Home in Greenville.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Trinity Episcopal Church Memorial Fund or to the Community Hospice of Albany.

— Tyler Schuling

Paul G. Kling

VOORHEESVILLE — Paul Kling, an honest worker with a kind heart, died on June 9, 2007. He was 88.

"He was always a nice guy, kind of on the serious side," said his wife, Lucy Kling. "He got over that after he knew you for a while."

She met her husband when she was 19; he was eight years her elder. They moved to Voorheesville when they had their first son in 1950, she said.

Mr. Kling’s father, the late Grover Kling, had moved his family to Voorheesville when Paul Kling was 5. Grover Kling sold his grocery store and bought a farm where they kept an apple orchard and grew blueberries, Mrs. Kling said.

As a young man, Mr. Kling worked at the old Duffy Mott cider mill in the village, she said, before he joined the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. He was the second man from Voorheesville selected from the lottery for service, she said. "We always joked it was the only lottery he every won."

When Mr. Kling moved his family to Voorheesville, like his father before him, it was to the same farm where he grew up. He and his wife built a house on his father’s land, Mrs. Kling said. "That’s where we raised our family."

Mr. Kling worked as an air-conditioning and refrigeration engineer, which was a much different business back then, Mrs. Kling said. He was a member of the Union Local #7 in Albany. He did a lot of traveling, from Albany to Buffalo, and he could never take a vacation over the summer; he always took a week in the winter, she said.

"He loved Voorheesville," she said, and he was loyal to it. For a time, he served as a trustee in the village, helping to build the firehouse. He was also on the zoning board and active in the New Scotland Presbyterian Church, where he was the Sunday school superintendent and on the board of deacons.

"He believed in it. He believed in the church. He believed in the religion," Mrs. Kling said of her husband.

Mr. Kling got involved in community organizations after he retired in 1986 to Barefoot Bay, Fla. He was a member of the German Heritage Club, the British Heritage Club, and the Moose Lodge, in Sebastian, Fla.

As he got older, the warm weather of the South began to appeal, Mrs. Kling said. If it weren’t for that, he might never have left Voorheesville. "I don’t know if he would’ve wanted to live any place else," she said.


Mr. Kling is survived by his wife of 60 years, Lucy Pitman Kling of Barefoot Bay, Fla.; his sons, Dennis Kling and his wife, Mary Ann, of Loudonville and Peter Kling of Orlando, Fla. He is also survived by his sister, Betty Simonton of Oxford, Fla.; three grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

Mr. Kling’s siblings — Grover Kling, Francis (Red) Kling, Jeannette Coughtry, and Jean Kling — died before him as did his parents, Grover and Anna Aschenbrenner Kling.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 30, at the New Scotland Presbyterian Church at 2010 New Scotland Road in Slingerlands. A private interment will take place in St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery in Colonie, with arrangements by the Reilly & Son Funeral Home of Voorheesville.

Memorial contributions may be made to the New Scotland Presbyterian Church Memorial Fund, 2010 New Scotland Rd., Slingerlands, NY 12159, or the Hospice of Health First, 3462 N. Harbor City Boulevard, Melbourne, FL 32935.

— Saranac Hale Spencer

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