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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, October 25, 2007

Helen Donato

VOORHEESVILLE — Helen Donato, who took joy in many things, but most of all her family, died on Oct. 22, 2007. She was 73.

Born to Kenneth and Evelyn Brown in the winter of 1934, Mrs. Donato grew up to be a mother of 11.

"Her greatest joy was her family," Mrs. Donato’s family wrote in a tribute.

She loved going to the Renaissance Festival in Sterling, N.Y., and taking rides through Vermont. She also loved going to garage sales, her family said, where she added to her collection of cookie jars, M&Ms and Coca Cola memorabilia, and telephones, among other things.

Mrs. Donato is survived by nine children: Vicki Hayford and her husband, Gene, of Michigan; Bonnie Cameron and her husband, Tom, of Nassau; Angel Donato of Broadalbin; Christine Donato of Greenville; Michael Donato of Averill Park; Cindy Donato of Indiana; Kenny Donato of California; Tammy Harrington and her husband, Bill, of Florida; and Maria Jenkins and her husband, Kevin, of South Carolina. Two of her sons, Daniel and Frank Donato Jr., died before her, as did her husband, Frank D. Donato Sr.

Mrs. Donato is survived by her siblings: Mary Donato and her husband, Joe, of Voorheesville; Catherine Ferguson of Sloansville; Beverly Sprague of Voorheesville; Kenneth Oddy and his wife, Peggy, of Florida; John Oddy and his wife, Barbara, of Colonie; Elizabeth Kennealy of Altamont; Robert Oddy and his wife, Peachy, of Voorheesville; and Sueann Robertson and her husband, Brian, of Voorheesville. Her brother, Joseph Oddy, of Buffalo died before her.

Mrs. Donato is also survived by 34 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held tomorrow, Oct. 26, at 6 p.m. at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont.

Denise Hatton

BERNE — Denise Hatton, a librarian with a sense of fun, was "undoubtedly the most tolerant and forgiving person that I have ever known," said her husband, Terry Hatton, in a tribute. Mrs. Hatton died on Friday, Oct. 19, 2007, after a 30-year struggle with multiple sclerosis.

She was 57.

Mrs. Hatton grew up Denise O’Brien in Milford, Conn., and attended Lauralton Hall High School. She graduated from Merrimack College in Massachusetts. She then worked as a librarian at the magnificent Winn Memorial Library in Woburn, Mass., designed by prominent architect Henry Hobson Richardson, her husband said, "until I persuaded her to marry me."

Now a retired engineer, Mr. Hatton met Denise O’Brien while he was a patron of the library. He showed up every so often to check out a book, and "he happened to bump into a cute blonde," he said.

"She was a very pretty woman, and a very intelligent one as well," said Mr. Hatton.

"Denise had only lived on ‘The Hill’ for four years, but had already made many, many friends with her gentle nature and obvious love for the beautiful Berne countryside," Mr. Hatton wrote.

Mrs. Hatton was active in fund-raising with the Friends of the Berne Library. She earned her radio amateur license with the call sign KC2QIZ, and is now a Silent Key. Mrs. Hatton was also a member of the Berne Book Club.

She was surprisingly keen on woodworking and, from her wheelchair, built a coffee table, Mr. Hatton said. She was also keen on baseball, Mr. Hatton said.

Mrs. Hatton was responsible for a prank letter to the Enterprise editor last year, which suggested that the Foxenkill Tavern, a local eatery, was haunted:

"I was driving past the old Foxenkill Tavern in West Berne on Tuesday, and I had to stand on the brakes as a very large black cat sauntered across the road, and disappeared into the woods. It got me thinking — Of course, this is Halloween, isn’t it" Grownups don’t pay much attention to Halloween, but a large black cat as well"

"Spooky stories abound in the Helderbergs and the Catskills: headless horsemen galloping silently in all directions, ancient little men secretly drinking ale in the wooded hollows that lie betwixt the mountains that define this bosky region, the spirits of Henry Hudson’s sailors playing at bowls. The old tavern, deserted and silent as it is today, is a perfect refuge for some tormented soul that cannot yet escape its earthly chains!

"I feel great anxiety for the unwary visitor, perhaps a beer salesman, perhaps a cleaning person, who is caught alone on these premises as the last twilight fades and the full moon disappears as giant black shadows cross the sky".

"By the way, it was a dark and stormy night."

"Denise had a wonderful sense of fun," Mr. Hatton wrote. "She will be sorely missed."

Some years ago, Mr. Hatton said, he had met Michael Dukakis, the former presidential candidate and former governor of Massachusetts, who is just "five foot and a little bit." His wife, he said, had a natural gift and was like Dukakis in that, by simply entering a room, she could change the atmosphere. She could project a sense that she wasn’t judging anyone, which put others at ease and allowed them to be themselves.

"It’s a gift," Mr. Hatton said. "I don’t have it."


Memorial contributions may be made to St. Peter’s Hospital Foundation for "Becky’s House," The Rebecca Sloan Tyrell Mercy Lodge, 319 South Manning Blvd., Albany, NY 12214.

Calling hours will be held on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont.

— Tyler Schuling

Dr. Gerald "Jerry" Perlow

GUILDERLAND — Dr. Gerald Perlow, a community dentist known for his caring and generosity to his patients, died on Sept. 28, 2007. He was 64.

Dr. Perlow was born in New York City and was a graduate of Temple University School of Dentistry. He lived and practiced in Guilderland for many years. Enjoying fishing, flying radio-controlled airplanes, driving his Corvettes, he also "was an avid collector of everything," his family said in a tribute.

"Jerry will be missed by all who truly knew and loved him," his family said. "He would always go the ‘extra mile’ for anyone."

Dr. Perlow is survived by his wife, Bonnie Rosenberger Perlow; his daughters, Maggie and Elizabeth Gregory; his stepson, Dennis Gregory, of New York City; his stepdaughter, Tracy Gregory, of Troy; and his grandson, Michael Smith.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, Post Office Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718, or to the Guilderland Police Benevolent Association, Post Office Box 583, Guilderland, NY 12084.

Memorial Service — Hugh Moore

Hugh Moore, 52, of Rotterdam, died on Sept. 22, 2007. The Moore family and B. Rossi invite friends to share in the celebration of his life on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 11 a.m. at the American Legion Hall in Voorheesville. A reception will follow.

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