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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, October 18, 2007

OBITUARY NOTICES — October 18, 2007

Edward Cole

Edward Cole, who loved bowling, hunting, and sitting on the dock watching boats, died unexpectedly on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2007 in Tennessee, where he lived. He was 72.

"He was a happy-go-lucky person," said his cousin, Kenneth Cole. "He would give the shirt off of his back for anybody."

Mr. Cole was born in Schoharie County on Jan. 21, 1935 to the late Charles H. Cole and Dora Grosbeck Cole.

He lived for most of his life in Clarksville, but spent the past four years in Tennessee, living with his cousin, Lisa Capps, and her husband, Calvin Capps.

"Lisa and Calvin were the apple of his eye," said Kenneth Cole.

Mr. Cole worked as a sub-foreman at the Albany County highway department in Voorheesville for 37 years.

He and his wife, Elizabeth Cole, were married in 1986, said Mrs. Cole. "The first 16 years of our marriage were very nice," she said. "We enjoyed fishing. We had a beautiful camp in Lost Valley. We cleared three-and-a-half acres ourselves. He was an avid gardener," she said of Mr. Cole.

In 2000, the Coles parted ways, she said, and then Mr. Cole moved to Tennessee.

"He was like a step-dad to me," said Kenneth Cole. Mr. Cole would always refer to his companion, Hazel Cole, Kenneth Cole's mother, as Haz, he said. One of his favorite things to say was, "Isn't that right, Haz"" said Kenneth Cole. "He cared deeply about my mom," he added.

"He was a character," he said, adding that Mr. Cole laughed a lot, and enjoyed joking around.

The loves of Mr. Cole's life, were Kenneth Cole's nieces, Miranda and Kayla, he said. "He was always calling them special names," he said.

Mr. Cole had a special tree at his home in Tennessee that he often sat under, said Kenneth Cole, who recalled how his sister and her husband thought it was "adorable."

Mr. Cole and Kenneth Cole would often sit together and have coffee, Kenneth Cole said, adding that he is going to miss most, simply, "the way he was."

"We will always love you and are very grateful for what you have done for us over the years," Kenneth Cole concluded on behalf of himself and his sister and her husband.


Mr. Cole is survived by his two sisters, Alice Anthony, of Albany; and Debby Storm, of Clarksville; a brother, Gene Cole, of Altamont; his wife, Elizabeth Cole, of Amsterdam; a son from a previous marriage, Edward Cole Jr., of Albany; and his cousins, Kenneth Cole, of Waterford; and Lisa Capps, and her husband, Calvin, of Dresden, Tenn.

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

Mr. Cole's daughter, Faith Cole; and his brothers, Charles Cole Jr., William Cole, Howard Cole, and Donald Cole, all died before him. His companion, Hazel Cole, also died before him.

At his wish, Mr. Cole was cremated, and a memorial service will be held at the convenience of his family. Words of sympathy may be sent to Kenneth Cole, 70 Saratoga Ave., Waterford, NY 12188.

Memorial contributions may be made to The American Lung Association, 61 Broadway, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10006.

— Rachel Dutil

Martin W. Leonard

EAST BERNE — Martin W. Leonard was a compassionate man who loved outdoor adventures, which he shared with his family.

He died on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2007, three days after his 78th birthday.

"He was very compassionate to those less fortunate and spent many Thanksgivings delivering dinners for Equinox," said his daughter, Denise Murray.

"He spent Thanksgiving with us but found the time during the day to deliver the meals, too," said his son, Martin P. Leonard. He knew the Albany city streets well from his days as a dairy route salesman, delivering ice cream to local stores and hospitals.

His son and daughter also have vivid memories of Mr. Leonard's athletic pursuits. He climbed Mount Marcy in the Adirondacks, New York State's highest peak, many times, his children said. "He'd take the whole family up," said his son. "We started in the '60's with wicker pack baskets and eventually we got nylon backpacks," he said.

Mr. Leonard was also a strong swimmer. He would swim in Warner's Lake every day in season.

"He was an icon," said Mrs. Murray. "A lot of people used to watch him swim."

"Years ago, he worked out with the first lady that swam Lake George," said Mr. Leonard; she, too, took regular swims at Warner's Lake in the Helderbergs.

"He kept us active, sleigh riding, hiking, camping on Cape Cod," Mrs. Murray said of the Leonard children.

Mr. Leonard also skied and golfed. And he pitched horseshoes and bowled in leagues here and in Florida, where he moved in his later years to care for his mother.

Born in Albany on Oct. 4, 1929, he was the only child of Martin D. Leonard, an Albany police sergeant, and Bertha A. (Hand) Leonard. His mother worked at the Watervliet arsenal during the war and met her husband while working in an Albany bakery.

As a child, Mr. Leonard spent his summers in Clarksville on the dairy farm owned by his great-uncle and great-aunt, Harold and Ethel Leonard.

"It was one of the largest farms in Albany County," said Martin P. Leonard. "Dad said they milked 50 head and they had fruit trees, pigs, and chickens."

The farm experience of his youth set Mr. Leonard's career course. "He was in the dairy industry for 35 years," said his son. He worked first for the Normanskill Dairy and then, after it closed, for Pride of Utica.

He began as a milker, his son said. "Then he worked at the dairy, manufacturing ice cream." Mr. Leonard later worked as a route salesman, delivering ice cream to all the stores and hospitals in the Capital District, his children said.

When he brought the delivery truck home, he gave his kids the damaged products as treats. "The ice-cream sandwiches that were squashed tasted just as good as the sold ones," said his son, smiling at the memory.


Martin W. Leonard is survived by his children, Kathleen Leonard and Thomas Lannie; Denise Murray and her husband, John; Martin P. Leonard; and Kelly Albright and her husband, Christopher. His daughter-in-law, Rebecca Leonard, Martin P. Leonard's wife, died before him.

He is also survived by his seven grandchildren - Derek and Adam Murray; Bridget and Dylan Leonard; and Aaron, Trevan, and Brittany Albright.

His son, Keith E. Leonard, died in 2004. And the children's mother, Ruth Heilman Leonard, died in 2005.

Services will be private at Mr. Leonard's request.

Memorial contributions may be made to Equinox - Thanksgiving, 95 Central Ave., Albany, NY 12205.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

Emerson Van Patten Jr.

ALTAMONT - Emerson Van Patten Jr., a hard-working man known to his friends as Van, died in his childhood home on Oct. 15, 2007. He was 89.

He was born on Aug. 14, 1918 to the late Emerson and Mabel (Horner) Van Patten.

When Mr. Van Patten was 2, his father and grandfather bought a farm together in rural Guilderland. It became a home that would shape his character and draw him back, with his wife, to raise a family of his own.

He worked hard on the farm, the only son with two sisters, said his wife of 61 years, Elizabeth Van Patten.

The couple met when both were stationed in San Francisco while serving in the Army during World War II. She was a teletype operator, whose mother didn't like the idea of her daughter joining the Army.

"I'll do exactly what I do at Western Union," she told her fretting mother.

When the war was over, Mr. Van Patten was sent to the Federal Building to work on coding, she said, and he was put in her class to learn how to do it.

"I've got to leave and go home," he told her after he had been discharged. "Maybe we can get married sometime."

The pair travelled to Reno, Nev. where they were wed in May of 1946.

"Then we went home on a bus. Three days. It was horrible," said Mrs. Van Patten, with only a bare touch of amusement.

They moved into his family's home, where they would raise six children and keep anywhere from one to 20 Shetland ponies.

Mr. Van Patten pursued a career in the automobile business that spanned over half a century; after retiring he remained active in the business with two of his sons.

"The kids all liked ponies," said Mrs. Van Patten. The Van Pattens went to an auction in Connecticut to buy their first pony, she said from the family farm, "but most were born here."

The Van Pattens would help their children show the ponies at local fairs and joined a pony club. Then, said Mrs. Van Patten, "They outgrew the ponies. My husband didn't, but the kids did."


Mr. Van Patten is survived by Elizabeth Ivers Van Patten, his wife of 61 years, and their children: Linda Sornberger and her husband, Lee; Emerson Van Patten III; Jeffrey Van Patten, Jill Van Patten; Jan Van Patten and his wife, Gail; Christopher Van Patten and his wife, Carlene; Lisa Clark and her husband, Patrick. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren, Kelly, Kacey, Brandon, Kourtney, Korinne, Kyle, Carlie, Erin, Caitlin, and Jack; and two great-grandchildren, Owen and Aidan, as well as numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and in-laws.

His parents, Emerson and Mabel (Horner) Van Patten, died before him as did his sisters, Ruth Lawlor and Olive Van Patten.

Services will be held today, Thursday, Oct. 18, at 11 a.m. at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont with burial in Prospect Hill Cemetery in Guilderland.

Memorial donations may be made to the Regional Food Bank, 956 Albany-Shaker Rd., Latham, NY 12110.

— Saranac Hale Spencer

Lucy Pierson Welsh

Lucy Pierson Welsh, a dietician and long-time Guilderland resident, died on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2007, in Fredericksburg, Va., where she lived. She was 92.

She was born on Feb. 12, 1925 at Chestnut Valley in Corbin, Va., the daughter of the late Victor and Jennie Yerby Pierson.

She graduated from Fredericksburg city schools and was a 1937 graduate of Mary Washington College. She completed a dietetic internship at Westchester County Hospital in New York. She was on the dietetic staff of the Veterans Administration Hospital in Albany, the dietitian for the Schalmont Central Schools in Schenectady. She was also a member of the American Dietetic Association and American School Food Service Association.

After living at Fuller’s for 33 years, Mrs. Welsh returned to Fredericksburg in 1979. She was a parishioner of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church.

She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, of the Old Helleburg Chapter, and a charter member of the Guilderland Historical Society. Her interest was in local and family history.

She was a former parishioner of St. Madeleine Sophie’s Roman Catholic Church and active in the Albany County 4-H.

Her husband John J. Welsh, former Guilderland town justice, died before her as did her son Victor P. Welsh, and brothers, V. Randolph Pierson and John W. Pierson.

She is survived by her two sons, Dr. John L. Welsh and his wife, Pam, of Keezeltown, Va., Thomas Y. Welsh and his wife, Judy, of Corbin, Va.; her daughter-in-law, Marjorie Welsh of Spotsylvania, Va.; a niece, Jane Pierson Benner of Pennsylvania; a nephew of Florida; 11 grandchildren, including Yonna Welsh Palmer of Altamont, and 12 great-grandchildren.

A graveside service will be held on Monday at 10 a.m. at Prospect Hill Cemetery, Guilderland. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Community Hospice of Schenectady, 1411 Union St. Schenectady, NY 12308 or St. Madeleine Sophie’s Church, 3510 Carman Rd., Schenectady, NY 12303.

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