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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, August 16, 2007

Nancy Jean Burns

GUILDERLAND — On Aug. 9, 2007, with her loving husband and sister by her side, Nancy Jean Burns died at home after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

She was 63.

"She was a fighter, 100 percent, all the way," said her mother-in-law, Florence Tryon.

"She and my son were together for 27-and-a-half years. Her dying wish was that they be married so they married 15 months ago," Mrs. Tryon said.

Mrs. Burns’s other wish was to die at home. "She was in the hospital but she wanted to come home. My son was her caregiver with help from her sister," said Mrs. Tryon.

Mrs. Burns got her wish.

"I held hands with her; they were like ice," Mrs. Tryon recalled of visiting her daughter-in-law at her home before she died. "She said, ‘I’ll be up in a few days.’ I knew she wouldn’t. She had hope; it kept her going. She had cancer for 15 years. But she really enjoyed life; she was fun to be around."

Mrs. Burns was born on May 31, 1944 in Schenectady to the late Myer and Sophie Friedman. She had two daughters from a previous marriage and nine grandchildren.

"She was a very good mother," said Mrs. Tryon. "When she got into the grandmother business, she said it looked pretty good; she could always send them home," Mrs. Tryon recalled with a chuckle.

Mrs. Burns worked for the Freihofer Baking Company until her retirement in 2006.

"She worked there for 18 years. She was a bagger," said Mrs. Tryon. She went on to quote a fellow Freihofer worker who said, "She could do 90 a minute. She was the fastest worker they ever had. Two people had to take her place."

When she wasn’t working, Mrs. Burns enjoyed traveling with her husband.

"She and Patsy loved to drive around, go places, see things," said Mrs. Tryon. "They went window-shopping in New York City and she was like a child, she was so excited when he bought her something."

She concluded, "My son and her were deeply in love. You could tell just by the way they looked at each other."


Mrs. Burns is survived by her husband, Patsy Burns; sister, Barbara Friedman; daughters, Mona Dinsmore and her husband, Brian LaVare, Kim Dinsmore and her husband, Rob Gross; nine grandchildren; one great-grandchild; a nephew; a great-nephew; a great-niece; an aunt; and cousins.

A private memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family. Arrangements are by the Fredendall Funeral Home of Altamont.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-1942, or to Community Hospice of Albany, 445 New Karner Road, Albany, NY 12205.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

Kalmon R. Dunston

Kalmon R. Dunston, a loving husband with a fondness for square-dancing, died on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2007, at Albany Medical Center Hospital. He was 75.

Mr. Dunston was born in Albany on June 7, 1932.

A lifelong Capital Region resident, Mr. Dunston met his wife, Edna, at a square dance. "We went to Florida and got married 31 years ago," said Edna Dunston. The date was March 15, 1976.

Mr. Dunston served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War.

Mr. Dunston was a mechanic for many years, and was known for his expertise with transmissions. He retired from what was formerly LaDuke Construction in Voorheesville.

He was an "excellent" husband, Mrs. Dunston said. "He was always good to me," she said. "I always came first to him, and I tried to do the same with him."

Mr. Dunston loved his motor home, camping, and watching National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR).

Both Mr. and Mrs. Dunston had children from previous marriages, and "we all got along good together," said Mrs. Dunston. "We always did things together," she added.

Mr. Dunston loved to go fishing, said his wife. "I would even go fishing with him" so that they could spend time together, she said.

Mrs. Dunston said that she will miss most how her husband cared for her. She has a bad leg, she said, and, when she wanted something, "He’d jump up and get it for me."


Mr. Dunston is survived by his wife, Edna Dunston; his children, Catherine Bates, and her husband, Tom, of Altamont; Kalmon Dunston Sr., and his wife, Elizabeth, of Delanson; and David Dunston, and his wife, Holly, of East Berne.

He is also survived by his grandchildren, Kalmon Jr. and his wife, Alisha; Aubree, Courtney, R.J., David R., Kristina, and Brittany; and his great-granddaughter, Kora.

Mr. Dunston is also survived by his stepchildren, Barb Kuhn, and her husband, Doug; and Gail Howe, and her husband, Howie; and also several step-grandchildren.

A son, Rob Dunston, brother William Dunston, and stepson Ed Pitiz, all died before him.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Reilly & Son Funeral Home in Voorheesville. Burial will be in Evergreen Memorial Park in Schenectady. Calling hours will be held on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 85 Watervliet Ave., Albany, NY 12205.

— Rachel Dutil

Richard E. Fisher

HOWES CAVE — Richard Elton Fisher, a dairy farmer and state maintenance foreman, died Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2007, at the home of his daughter and son, Donna and Richard Fisher. He was 91.

"He’d been sick for a very long time," said his daughter, Donna Fisher.

For many years, Mr. Fisher owned and operated a dairy farm in West Berne. He spent his last years with his daughter, Donna, and his son, Richard, in Howes Cave.

Mr. Fisher served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II as a Staff Sergeant building and repairing airplanes. While in England from 1942 to 1945, he often stayed with an English married couple. After he moved back to the States, he kept in touch with the family, and both parties sent and received Christmas cards each year.

Once discharged from the Air Corps, he married his sweetheart, Sonia Jane Grant, in July of 1945.

Mr. Fisher told his son, Richard, about his travels while in the service — about the different places he’d seen, said Donna Fisher. Her father won medals, which he never told his family about, she said.

The Fishers owned and operated a dairy farm for many years in West Berne. Mr. Fisher grew beautiful gardens, with many rows of various vegetables. The family had a small farm stand near the road, and Mrs. Fisher canned and froze most of the produce. Mr. Fisher loved raising bantam chickens and showed them at the Altamont Fair, where he won many ribbons.

He also worked for the New York State Department of Transportation in Voorheesville as a maintenance foreman, before retiring in 1981. Mrs. Fisher died in 1988. Two of his sons also died before him.

Since his sons’ deaths, Mr. Fisher lost much of his desire to live, and he didn’t often smile, said his daughter, Donna Fisher. "When Bob and Donny died, that was it"He just missed them so much," she said.

Though without two of his sons, Mr. Fisher found joy in visits from his daughter and son-in-law.

"More than anything, he loved Sylvia, and her husband, Chuck, coming to visit"It was the only time I really saw Dad smile in the last few years," said Ms. Fisher.

Mr. Fisher was also a patriot.

"He was an avid American," his daughter said. "He loved his country and there was no bones about that."


Mr. Fisher is survived by two daughters, Donna Fisher of Howes Cave, and Sylvia Rapoli, and her husband, Charles, of West Berne; one son, Richard Fisher of Howes Cave; his grandchildren, David Sawin, and his wife, Nancy, of Waterford; Cathy, Bobby, Michael, Katie, Holly, Nattie, Carly, Sonia, and Robert; several great-grandchildren, including Madeline Marie Sawin (due in the fall), several cousins and several nieces and nephews, including Linda Briggs of Schoharie and Richard Osterhout of Indiana; and his extended family, Phillip Wickert, and his wife, Barbara, and their son, Joel, of Colonie.

His sons, Robert James Fisher, and Donald Elton Fisher, died before him as did two sisters, Estella Smith and Doris Osterhout, and his parents, Nellie and Elton Fisher.

A graveside service with military honors was held Tuesday at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Berne. Arrangements were by the Fredendall Funeral Home of Altamont.

Memorial contributions may be made to Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care (Cobleskill branch), 542 Main St., Oneonta, NY 13820.

Michael D. Romano

GUILDERLAND — Michael D. Romano, the loving son of James and Carolyn Romano, died on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2007, at the Albany Medical Center Hospital.

He was 31.

Mr. Romano graduated from Guilderland High School in 1996 and was an active participant in the Center for the Disabled on New Karner Road.

He enjoyed coaching football for 20 years with his father in the Guilderland Pop Warner League; woodworking with his brother, David; bowling and camping in Wells, N.Y.; and he especially loved visiting Disney World. His favorite holiday was Halloween.

Mr. Romano was an avid fan of the Carolina Panthers and the Albany Patroons. He enjoyed working at the Albany Armory with his father.

He was loved by his many friends, including those in the Albany and Guilderland police departments.

The family would like to thank Albany Medical Center Hospital intensive care unit for its outstanding care. "He had a lasting impression on everyone’s life that he touched," his family wrote in a tribute.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by his brothers James L. Romano and his wife, Carol, of Gansevoort, N.Y. and David J. Romano and his wife, Michelle, of Guilderland, and his nieces and nephews, Amanda, Nicolas, Emily and Matthew. He is also survived by several aunts, uncles, and cousins.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, Aug. 18, at 12:30 p.m. at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont. Calling hours are prior to the service from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Burial will be in Prospect Hill Cemetery in Guilderland immediately following the service.

Memorial contributions may be made to Make a Wish Foundation, 950 New Loudon Rd., Suite 280, Latham, NY 12110.

James W. Steadman Jr.

EAST BERNE — James W. Steadman Jr., who worked for the county and a pizza shop, died unexpectedly Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2007. He was 45.

"He worked really hard to support his children," said his companion, Wendy Sample.

Born in Albany, Mr. Steadman was the son of James Sr. and Carol Steadman (nee Moran) of Colonie.

Mr. Steadman was a messenger for the Albany County Department of Social Services and the long-time delivery man for Lou-Bea’s Pizza in Albany.

He was always happy and always had a smile for others, said Ms. Sample. Mr. Steadman, she said, worked two, sometimes three, jobs and only had Saturdays off.

Mr. Steadman loved spending time with family and going to fairs — in Saratoga, in Altamont, and The Big E. in West Springfield, Mass., said Ms. Sample. He also worked for the Altamont Fair.

Mr. Steadman enjoyed vacationing in Wildwood, N.J., which is on the boardwalk. He also enjoyed visiting the A & W Root Beer Drive-in in Lake George, where the workers still come to your car in roller skates, said Ms. Sample. When going to The Great Escape, a Six Flags theme park, Mr. Steadman stopped for root beer floats, she said.

Mr. Steadman and Ms. Sample met in 1996. They lived in East Berne.

"We were happy together," Ms. Sample said. "He enjoyed his quiet time with his family"He just worked so hard."


Mr. Steadman is survived by his children, Michelle L. Steadman, James W. Steadman III, and Matthew Russell Steadman; his brother, Michael Steadman Sr.; his nephew, Michael Steadman Jr., his goddaughter, Rose Bushane; and companion, Wendy A. Sample.

Services were held Friday, Aug. 10, with a Christian burial at Our Lady of Angels Cemetery in Colonie. Arrangements were by Dreis Funeral Home in Albany.

— Tyler Schuling

Paul Jacob Tryon

Paul Jacob Tryon was a hardworking accountant who also knew how to have fun.

He died on July 26, 2007 in Poughkeepsie where he lived. He was 78.

"He was a clown for the Shriners," said his brother, George Tryon, of Guilderland. "He liked to make people laugh."

Paul Tryon was also the first in his family to go to college. "He put himself through, working at Stewart’s in Delmar," said his brother. Mr. Tryon studied accounting at Albany Business College and, right out of college, in 1955, got a job at Central Hudson Gas and Electric Company in Poughkeepsie.

He stayed with the company for his entire career, retiring after 35 years.

"He had an office, all to himself," said his brother with admiration.

Mr. Tryon was born in Delmar on July 19, 1929, the son of the late Ernest and Oliva Tryon. He had one sister and three brothers; another brother died when he was just 21 days old.

"We grew up all over the place," said George Tryon, recalling how the family moved from Delmar to Voorheesville to Guilderland. Their father worked delivering coal and then for Albany Casting in Voorheesville.

Mr. Tryon was a serious student. "When he was younger, he never played too much with us," his brother recalled. "He always had his nose in a book."

Mr. Tryon graduated from Voorheesville’s high school and then served in the United States Navy from 1948 to 1952, including duty on the USS Midway.

"He loved the traveling," George Tryon said of his brother’s years in the Navy.

Mr. Tryon met his wife-to-be, Barbara Sebeth, through her mother. The couple wed in Poughkeepsie on Sept. 14, 1958 and were happily married for more than 48 years. They had a son, Jeffrey Paul, and a daughter, Jane Barbara.

"He always said that being a father was the best accomplishment of his life," recalled his brother.

Mr. Tryon was also active in his church and in community organizations. He belonged to the Poughkeepsie United Methodist Church since 1958.

He was a member and past master of Wappingers Lodge #671, Free and Accepted Masons. He first joined the Masons in Altamont, his brother said.

Mr. Tryon was also a member of the Cyprus Temple Shrine, Scottish Rite, and R. Malcolm Hunter Masonic War Veterans Post Lodge. And he was a member of the Cascade-Vassar Chapter #347 of the Eastern Star of Wappingers.

He served as patron many times and held offices four different times in the Order of the Eastern Star, State of New York, and was part of the Mid-Hudson Tres-Dias Community.

"He loved being in the Masons," said his brother. "He went through all the chairs to the top line."

George Tryon concluded of his brother, "He was a good man."


Mr. Tryon is survived by his wife, Barbara Sebeth Tryon; his daughter, Jane Barbara Brooker; his son and daughter-in-law, Jeffrey Paul and Patricia Tryon; and his two grandsons, Garrett Michael Brooker and Patrick Michael Tryon.

He is also survived by two brothers, George Tryon, and his wife, Florence, of Guilderland, and Walter Tryon and his wife, Carolyn, of Schenectady; and by three nieces, two nephews, four grandnieces, and a grandnephew.

A funeral was held at the Poughkeepsie United Methodist Church with burial in the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery, with a graveside tribute by the Masonic War Veterans.

Arrangements were by the Timothy P. Doyle Funeral Home in Poughkeepsie. On-line condolences may be sent to www.doylefuneralhome.com.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Poughkeepsie United Methodist Church, 2381 New Hackensack Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

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