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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, November 8, 2007

Erika W. England

BERNE — Erika W. England, died Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007, at her home in Berne. She was 87.

Born in Germany, she moved to this country as a child. Thirty years ago, she moved to the area with her late husband, George. One of their passions was growing flowers at their home in Berne.

She is survived by many loving family members and her numerous pets.

A service was held at the Fredendall Funeral Home on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2007.

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

Harold E. Lendrum

BERNE - Later in his life, Harold E. Lendrum's mission was to preserve farmland, said his son, Kenneth Lendrum.

Mr. Lendrum, a Berne farmer and environmentalist, died on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2007, at the Albany Medical Center Hospital.

He was 78.

A direct descendent of Hilltown settlers, Mr. Lendrum's ancestors came through Schoharie to settle in Berne and owned an ax factory.

He was once asked where he was from.

"I'm American," he answered.

"What nationality are you"" he was asked.

"We're from Berne," he said.

A lifelong Berne resident, Mr. Lendrum was born on the farm that his family settled over 200 years ago. Until his death, he was still working on the farm. He died after being kicked by a cow he had brought to auction.

One of Mr. Lendrum's favorite sayings was, "Plant a tree and drink your milk."

As well as running the family's farm, Mr. Lendrum drove for Roadway Express, and earned the Million-Mile Safe Driver Award. He retired in 1992.

His eldest son, Kenneth Lendrum, said his father's life was about a love story.

Mr. Lendrum married his high-school sweetheart, Arlene Carl, the only girl he ever dated. In high school, they had both been in their school's production of South Pacific, Kenneth Lendrum said. The couple had six children.

Arlene Carl Lendrum died in 1996.

"They were a wonderful family," said Phyllis Anderson, who lives in the Lendrum's tenant house. "Just a beautiful family. Integrity. Caring. You can't even describe them."

Jean Conklin, owner of the Hungerford Market in Altamont, called Mr. Lendrum "one in a million."

"He was just a genuinely great person," said Mrs. Conklin, who lives in the Hilltowns.

Mrs. Conklin met Mr. Lendrum when she ran the Berne Store in the hamlet. Mr. Lendrum always came in for Thursday-night dinners, Mrs. Conklin said. She was able to visit with him each week, she said, if she was lucky. Her husband, who is one of 10 children, remembers milking cows at the Lendrum Farm, said Mrs. Conklin.

Mr. Lendrum was "always there" - to lend a hand and to give a smile - and she feels very fortunate to have known him, said Mrs. Conklin.

Between 600 and 700 people came to pay their respects on Monday at Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont, said Mrs. Anderson. There were "so many people, so broken up," she said.

Family man

Mr. and Mrs. Lendrum worked together on community projects.

Mr. Lendrum's attitude was, "Let's roll up our sleeves and do it," said his son, Kenneth Lendrum. He didn't do things so that he would be recognized but "because it was the right thing to do," he said.

His father built the shelves for the original Berne library, "originally just a little podunk building with donated books," which is now gone, he said.

Mr. Lendrum's wife, Arlene, "was very well-known," Mrs. Anderson said. She "got the historical society and the library going," and was also a member of the Berne-Knox-Westerlo School Board for 27 years. She also helped form the Hilltowns Players, currently celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Mrs. Anderson called Mr. Lendrum "such a wonderful man - unbelievable."

"He remembered everything," she said. Mr. Lendrum remembered all details, such as the names of people on a deed that dates back to 1849.

Kenneth Lendrum traced the family's roots; one of his mother's descendents was born in Plymouth, Mass. in 1673. The Lendrums are direct descendents of the Weidmans.

He described the family's relationships.

After he and his five siblings married, their spouses weren't thought of as being from outside of the family and there were no labels such as father-in-law. To Kenneth Lendrum's wife, his father was "Dad." Also in the family, Kenneth Lendrum said, "There's never been any doubt about what's right and wrong.

"We're all family"It's a very strong group of people," Kenneth Lendrum said.

Mr. Lendrum's grandchildren are "truly spectacular" and, when they grow older, they're going to be terrific people, and it all started with his mother and father, Kenneth Lendrum said.

When Arlene Lendrum died, Mrs. Anderson said, Mr. Lendrum became a grandmother and grandfather to his grandchildren.

More than a handful of men looked up to Mr. Lendrum as their own father, said Kenneth Lendrum.

One is Jeff Emmerich, whose father died of a heart attack when he was young, around the age of 12; he later married Mr. Lendrum's granddaughter, Katie. After Mr. Emmerich's father died, Mr. Lendrum's daughter, Jill Norray, began bringing him around the Lendrums' home.

"He was absorbed into the family. He was one of the guys," Kenneth Lendrum said.

"Jeff was always at the farm and Katie was always with Mom and Dad," he said. "They're a perfect fit."

Mr. Lendrum "never lived more than a mile from where he was born," said Kenneth Lendrum.

For a few years, Mr. Lendrum and his wife went to Florida in February. But he would have rather stayed near his grandchildren. Mr. Lendrum loved Alaska.

"He liked to travel, but he really liked his grandkids," said Kenneth Lendrum.

A farmer and environmentalist

When Kenneth Lendrum went away to college, the family, living on about 98 acres, sold some of their cows. Then, as his younger brother, Alan, grew into his teens, the family bought more cows and more farming equipment. Now, the Lendrums farm about 900 acres.

Every time a Hilltown farm or property was for sale or homeowners were retiring to Florida, his father and brother, Alan, bought the land, said Kenneth Lendrum.

At a time when many farms are dying, the Lendrums have two businesses, and his brother is starting on another phase of the farm.

"It's really a cool operation," said Kenneth Lendrum. "They make the best hay you would want to feed your pet horse." His father and brother, he said, were experts.

A few years ago, he said, when there was a wet spring, the only hay that did not grow mold was his brother's. In cases where the hay is not as good to feed to pet horses, the Lendrums feed it to their 200 cows.

"The secret is to work seven days a week for 52 weeks a year, and you do it because you love it," said Kenneth Lendrum.

In the 1950s, "times were pretty rough," said Kenneth Lendrum, so his father and his father's brother worked loading tractor trailers in the night. His father then drove for Western Express, now known as Roadway Express, for nearly 30 years. When he retired in 1992 from truck-driving, Mr. Lendrum went back to being a farmer full-time.

While it is now the "in thing to be green," Kenneth Lendrum said, his father, "was a green environmentalist from the day he was born."

"They only would take what they needed from the earth, and no more," he said.

The reason Mr. Lendrum and his son Alan bought so much land is because they didn't want the Hilltowns to be developed as it has been in Guilderland, he said.

"It was incredibly important to him," said his son.

Kenneth Lendrum called his father's involvement with the Berne Conservation Board "a perfect fit." He cared about wetlands, trees, and green space, said Kenneth Lendrum, and he understood and liked people.

"I don't think he ever met a person he didn't like"He was always glad to see you," Kenneth Lendrum said.

"We absolutely thought the world of him," he said. "He had purpose from the day he was born, and he married the girl he loved."

He called his father a "solid pillar-of-the-earth person that you could build a community around."


Mr. Lendrum is survived by his children, Kenneth Lendrum, of Glens Falls; Denise Swezey of Berne; Alan Lendrum of Berne; Jill Norray of Berne; Annette Landry of Guilderland; and Anita Bunzey of Voorheesville. He is also survived by his 11 grandchildren, David, Jared, Eric, and Elizabeth Lendrum; Katrina Emmerich; Ashley, Tyler, and Alyssa Landry; Maclin and Kristen Norray; and Sarah Bunzey. He is also survived by two great-grandchildren, Lauren Emmerich and Elise Lendrum; his sister, Marjorie Shultes, of Berne; and many nieces and nephews.

His brother, Frederick Lendrum and sister, Helen VanNess, died before him.

A funeral service was held Monday at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Berne. Arrangements are by the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont.

Burial was in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Berne.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Arlene B. Lendrum Scholarship Fund at Berne-Knox-Westerlo Schools, 1738 Helderberg Trail, Berne, NY 12023, Attention: Ellen Grasek or to the American Cancer Society, NCICFUL, Post Office Box 102454, Atlanta, GA 30368-2454; or to St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1732 Helderberg Trail, Berne, NY 12023.

— Tyler Schuling

Helen L. Wideman

BERNE — Helen L. Wideman, a dedicated mother and a bookkeeper, died on Friday, Nov. 2, 2007.

She was 85.

"She really loved her family," said her daughter, Louise Cook.

Born and raised in New Scotland, Mrs. Wideman graduated from Bethlehem High School.

During World War II, she worked at the Voorheesville Army Depot. In the late 1950s, she began working for the Berne-Knox-Westerlo School District as a bookkeeper, and worked there until her retirement in the early 1980s.

After retiring, Mrs. Wideman and her husband, Vincent, traveled extensively throughout the United States in their recreational vehicle.

While traveling in their RV, Louise Cook said, her parents "hit almost every state."

Vincent Wideman died in 2002.

Louise Cook recalled the family’s trips on the weekends. Her father, she said, worked for a plumbing and heating contractor, and often had to travel. She and her three brothers and mother would then meet him wherever he was and camp near lakes.

"We were always around water," said Louise Cook. The family went to Florida each Christmas, and, when they had a boat, they would take it out to islands and have picnics.

Louise Cook said that, while her mother worked at Berne-Knox-Westerlo, those who had to visit the principal’s office had to report to her.

"So we didn’t get in trouble very often," Louise Cook said.

Though she could not see very well, Mrs. Wideman really enjoyed reading The Altamont Enterprise. She loved to read, and she loved crossword puzzles.

Mrs. Wideman was paralyzed for the last 20 years of her life and spent her last year-and-a-half in a nursing home. She continually smiled and "had a very positive attitude right up to the very end," said Louise Cook.

"She was just a wonderful person," she said. "She was known by a lot of people."


Mrs. Wideman is survived by her daughter, Louise Cook, of Rotterdam; her two sons, Robert Wideman, of Eagleville, Pa., and Timothy Wideman, of Berne; nine grandchildren, James Cook, Todd Cook, Michael Wideman, Michelle Wideman, Care Michaud-Wideman, Jeremy Wideman, Christopher Wideman, Jake Wideman, and Drew Keane; and seven great-grandchildren.

Her parents, Francis and Ethelyn Lodge, died before her, as did her son, Ernest Wideman.

A funeral service was held on Tuesday. Arrangements are by the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont. Burial was in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Berne.

— Tyler Schuling

James Zimmerman

THOMPSON’S LAKE – James Zimmerman, a loving family man who enjoyed boating and always lived near the water, died unexpectedly on Friday, Nov. 2, 2007, at Albany Medical Center. He was 58.

Mr. Zimmerman was a "kind, caring man," said his brother, John Zimmerman. "He would give anyone the shirt off his back," he said.

He grew up in Grand Haven, Mich., the son of the late John C. Zimmerman and of Harriet (Verle) Goodnight.

Following high school, Mr. Zimmerman joined the United States Navy; he served from 1967 to 1971.

In 1972, he moved to the Capital District, where he married Kathy Knapp, and started working for Knapp Construction, building homes.

He went on to attend the Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, Okla. He graduated in a field that served him well throughout his life.

In 1975, he returned to the Capital District and began his career with Page Airways at the Albany Airport. He then worked for New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as an aircraft mechanic. In 1988, he was promoted to chief of aircraft maintenance.

Recently, Mr. Zimmerman was working for the New York State Police as the aircraft maintenance supervisor.

He was a founding member and a past president of the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA). He was also a federal aviation administration safety counselor, and was the past president of the Thompson’s Lake Association.

He had been living on Thompson’s Lake for about 20 years, said Kathy Whipple, his ex-wife.

"He was a responsible guy," she said. "He loved to rebuild things."

Mr. Zimmerman was preparing for his retirement in March, she said. He had bought a 55-foot boat and planned to travel on it, visiting his mother in Florida during the winter months, said Ms. Whipple.

"He had a great love for the water," said John Zimmerman. "He always made a point of living on the water," he said.

Mr. Zimmerman would invite his family to come to Thompson’s Lake, and everyone would enjoy boating and swimming, said his brother. "He loved to see us happy on the water," he said.

Mr. Zimmerman also loved animals and "always had a pet," said Ms. Whipple.

"He was very loyal, and would always help his friends," she said.

"He cared about his friends and he loved his family," said his brother. He worked long days, just to help others, and never complained, said John Zimmerman.

"He was a fantastic man," he said.


Mr. Zimmerman is survived by his son, Kristopher Zimmerman, of Clifton Park; his mother, Harriet (Verle) Goodnight, of Jacksonville, Fla.; his brother, John Zimmerman, of Waldorf, Md.; and a close companion, Marilyn Stone, of Clifton Park.

He is also survived by Kathy Knapp Whipple, Jane Knapp, Emerson W. Knapp Jr., Cindy Smith, Hank Knapp, and John Knapp.

He is also survived by many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins in the Zimmerman and Boon families, among them are: Elizabeth Hughey of Santa Barbara, Calif.; Dorothy Dart of Clovis, N.M.; Arie Boon, and his wife, Joanne, and Nancy Boon, of Grand Haven, Mich.; John and Erik Zimmerman; and Sarah and Rachel Hoelman.

Mr. Zimmerman’s father, John C. Zimmerman, his sister, Jane Marie Zimmerman, and his uncle, Peter Boon Jr. died before him.

A funeral service was held at the Albany Church of Christ in Albany on Wednesday. Arrangements were by the New Comer-Cannon Funeral Home in Colonie.

Interment will be private and at the convenience of the family.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Mohawk and Hudson Humane Society, Oakland Ave., Menands, NY 12204; or to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 120 Wall St., 19th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10005.

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