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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, August 23, 2007

Patricia A. Dralle

GUILDERLAND — Patricia A. Dralle, a devoted mother and homemaker, died unexpectedly on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2007, during a brief stay at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany.

Born in Albany, she was the daughter of the late William and Helen St. Pierre.

"Pat enjoyed flowers and her home and was devoted to her family and her grandchildren," her family wrote in a tribute.

She and her husband wintered in Florida for a number of years.

She is survived by her husband of 50 years, Theodore F. Dralle; her children, Carol Carter and her husband, Robert, of Colonie, William T. Dralle of Clifton Park; and her grandchildren, Robert Carter, Tracy Carter, and Meghan Dralle.

Her brother, Terry St. Pierre, and her sister, Nancy St. Pierre, died before her.

A private funeral service was held on Monday with burial in Prospect Hill Cemetery in Guilderland. Arrangements are by Fredendall Funeral Home of Altamont.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 260 Osborne Road, Loudonville, NY 12211.

Helen Flagler

WESTERLO — Helen Flagler, a life-long homemaker who helped her husband run their Westerlo dairy farm, died on Aug. 19, 2007 at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany.

She was 86.

She was born on Oct. 6, 1920, the daughter of the late George P. and Hazel (Stewart) Messer.

"Helen was an avid bowler and also enjoyed fishing, watching sports on TV, and crocheting," her family wrote in a tribute. She also attended the Westerlo Reformed Church.

Her husband, Clifton F. Flagler, died before her as did a granddaughter, D. Rachel Flagler.

She is survived by her son Duwane C. Flagler and his wife, Hazel, of Westerlo; her grandchildren, D. Reneé Fisher and her husband, Timothy, D. Robin Smith and her husband, James, D. Cameron Flagler, Devin S. Flagler and his wife, Mary, and D. Scott Flagler; her great-grandchildren, Jessica and Justin Fisher, Aaron and MacKenzie Smith, Austin, Kaitlyn, Kya and Alyssia Flagler.

Service and interment in the Westerlo Rural Cemetery will be at the convenience of the family. Arrangements are by the Cunningham Funeral Home in Greenville.

Kathleen E. Gesek

ALTAMONT – Kathleen E. Gesek, an avid gardener who loved to cook and never missed a Mets game, died on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2007, at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady. She was 87.

"She was the best mom," said her son, Julius Gesek.

Mrs. Gesek was born in Millville, N.J. on March 13, 1920, to Harry and Agnes Schwegel.

She met her husband, Julius, at the air base in Millville and the couple married six months later in 1945. They moved to Altamont in 1957.

Before their wedding, the priest said to Mrs. Gesek, "If you don’t know him by now, you’ll never know him," her son recalled.

Mrs. Gesek was a homemaker. "She only worked during the war, in a glass-bottling plant," her son said. She made Old Spice bottles, he said.

Before they were married, Mr. Gesek told her that if he didn’t make enough money to support them both, they shouldn’t be together, said her son.

Mr. Gesek died on June 3, 2007, the day after the couple’s 62nd wedding anniversary, their son said.

"She never got over him," he said. "She missed him a lot" There wasn’t a minute she didn’t think about him.

"I think she died of a broken heart more than anything," said Julius Gesek.

The younger Julius Gesek was the first person in either of his parents’ families to go to college, he said. "That was the proudest day of their lives — when I graduated from Saint Rose," he said.

But Mrs. Gesek relished much in life.

She enjoyed taking bus trips to the Mohegan Sun Casino, said her son. She was also a big fan of the New York Mets baseball team, he said. "She never got to Shea Stadium, but she never missed a game on TV," he said.

She also liked to talk, her son said, especially when she got together with her two sisters, whom she didn’t see all that often. "You couldn’t get a word in, when the three of them started talking," he remembered.

"The thing I’ll miss most is the home-cooked meals," Julius Gesek said, adding that he misses his mother more than anything.

"It was difficult when my dad died, but she was still here," he said. The Geseks are buried side by side, he said. "They’re together and that’s where they were for 62 years."


Mrs. Gesek is survived by her son, Julius Gesek; her sisters, Ellen Gallagher and Agnes Beckman; and her brother, William Schwegel. She is also survived by her in-laws, Ralph Gesek, Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Gesek, Rose Shwegel, Mr. and Mrs. Al Gesek, Mr. and Mrs. Clemens Gesek, Mary Askew, and Mr. and Mrs. Richard Riley.

She is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Her brothers, Francis and Harry Schwegel and Charles Ottinger died before her.

A mass of Christian burial was held Tuesday at St. Lucy’s Church in Altamont. Funeral arrangements were provided by Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont. Interment was in the Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville.

-— Rachel Dutil

Lorene Jackson

KNOX — Lorene Jackson, a beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, died on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2007. She was 53.

She is survived by her loving husband, Gregory; daughters Kiona Foster of Las Vegas. Nev. and Sarah Mbango and her husband, Colin, of Colonie; grandchildren Tehilla and Joshua Mbango; her sisters Marlene Wynkoop of Apex, S.C. and Carol White of Rapid City, S.D.; and her brother Dennis Cloukey and his wife, Michelle, of Sherman, Maine.

Services will be private at the convenience of the family. Arrangements are by Fredendall Funeral Home of Altamont.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society, 3 Oakland Ave., Menands, NY 12204.

Charles R. Miltner

KNOX — Charles R. Miltner, a veteran wounded in World War II who worked as a bus inspector, died Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2007, at his daughter’s home in Knox. He was 87.

Born in Jacksonville, Fl., he was the son of the late Martin and Mary Miltner.

He served in the Army during World War II and received a Purple Heart.

A former member of the Fort Hunter Volunteer Fire Department, Mr. Miltner worked for the Public Service Commission as a bus inspector, retiring in 1975.

His wife, Eleanor M. Miltner, died in 1995.

Mr. Miltner is survived by four sons: Martin Miltner and his wife, Leni, of Columbus, Ga.; Charles Miltner and his wife, Janice, of Huntersville, N.C.; Terry Miltner and his wife, Karen, of Scotia; and Gary Miltner and his wife, Lisa, of Ballston Spa. He is also survived by his two daughters, Carol Dexter and her fiancé and caregiver, Richard Tubbs, of Knox, and Linda Dexter and her husband, Richard, of Knox.

He is also survived by his sister, Edna Ovitt and her husband, William, of Florida, as well as 19 grandchildren and 17 great-gradnchildren and his wonderful friends, Barbara VanAuken, George Heath, and Rosie and Ed Tyman.

A funeral service will be held on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Fredendall Funeral Home, in Altamont. Calling hours will be held from 12 noon until the funeral service begins. Burial with military honors will be in Knox Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, NCICFUL, Post Office Box 102454, Atlanta, GA 30368-2454.

Elizabeth R. Plauth

ALTAMONT — Elizabeth R. Plauth, a free-spirited woman with a magnetic personality, died on Aug. 15, 2007. She was 97.

An only child, Mrs. Plauth was born to Eugene G. Riester and Elizabeth Bossong Riester in a German neighborhood in Brooklyn. The years she spent there during World War I weren’t easy, said Mrs. Plauth’s daughter, Joan Kappel.

In grade school, Mrs. Kappel said, the teacher wouldn’t give her mother the high marks she had earned until her two uncles came to class with their United States Navy uniforms on. "After that," Mrs. Kappel said, "my mother never got a bad grade."

She went on to become a teacher herself, graduating from the Jamaica Training School for Teachers in 1929. Years later, Mrs. Plauth would amuse friends with stories of teaching in Queens. "She asked a student to use ‘climate’ in a sentence," her daughter remembered; the boy answered, "‘Before you come down a mountain, you first have to climb it.’"

After she and her husband, the late Ralph E. Plauth, moved upstate, Mrs. Plauth kept up her teaching by tutoring children.

"She moved up to this part of the country so she’d have enough room around her so she wouldn’t have to smell somebody else’s sauerkraut," said Mrs. Kappel. The couple, who met in Queens, first moved to Elsmere, Mrs. Kappel said of her parents. While there, she said, "My father got me two rabbits" And, rabbits being rabbits, they did what they are known for."

Once the Plauths started breeding rabbits, they moved to a wide-open farm on the outskirts of Altamont, where they began also raising mice and rats as lab animals, said Mrs. Kappel. Mrs. Plauth was an officer in the family business, Blue Spruce Farms, Inc.

As with the rabbits, Mrs. Kappel got her parents started on raising horses. She got an old quarter horse, blind in one eye, and, soon enough, her parents were raising Morgan horses; they had as many as 22 at one point. Mrs. Plauth then got involved with the New York State Morgan Horse Society, much as she put herself into the Girl Scouts and 4-H when her four daughters were active in those organizations.

Airedale terriers roamed the farm as well, a testament to Mr. Plauth’s childhood, said Mrs. Kappel.

As a young woman Mrs. Plauth was the adventurous sort, her daughter said. She would go boating from a cabin kept by a relative, but she once forgot her dog, which swam out after her. It was drawn to her good nature, no doubt, not unlike the many close friends she made since moving to Altamont in 1949.

"Betty," her family wrote in a tribute, "was an extraordinary optimist, whose enthusiasm and enjoyment of life led to many lifelong friendships."


Mrs. Plauth’s husband, Ralph E., whom she married in 1936, died in 1982.

She is survived by four daughters: Joan Kappel and her husband, Hans, of Altamont; Virginia Pieck and her husband, John, of Altamont; Lorraine W. Plauth of Voorheesville; and Jeanne B. Plauth of Sprakers.

She is also survived by 13 grandchildren: Alison Kappel Gatterson; Jennifer Kappel Cornell and her husband, Dave; and Mark, Kristen, Steve, Star, Michael, Stephanie, Christopher, Andrea, Rashima, Derrell, and Terrina Pieck. Jarrell Gatterson and Nicole Cornell and several other great-grandchildren survive her also.

Mrs. Plauth requested that her body be donated to the Anatomical Gift Program of Albany Medical College. There will be a private family memorial service at a later date with arrangements by the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont.

Memorial contributions may be made to Freedom Guide Dogs, 1210 Hardscrabble Rd., Cassville, NY 13318.

— Saranac Hale Spencer

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