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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, November 15, 2007

William L. Childs

NEW SCOTLAND - William L. Childs battled cancer for 35 years and never complained, said his wife. He died on Nov. 9, 2007 in his New Salem Road home, surrounded by his family. He was 83.

"He was a fighter," said his wife, Winifred Childs. "He never complained in all those 35 years," she said of the many different kinds of cancer he fought. "He waited till all the children were here. He wanted to be at home and I wanted that, too."

Mr. Childs had at-home hospice care for just one day, she said. He had been a hospice volunteer for many years. "He volunteered for hospice and loved doing it. He did terminal vigils," said Mrs. Childs. Families he had helped with his Community Hospice work stayed in touch with him, she said.

A World War II combat veteran, Mr. Childs devoted himself to his family and to community service.

"He was a people person," said his wife. "He was very involved in the community and just loved helping people."

Mr. Childs joined the Kiwanis Club of New Scotland in 1957 and was an active member until his death. Twice he served as the club's president, in 1961 and again in 2004-05. Mrs. Childs cited Little League as an example of his involvement. Their son played Little League baseball and now their grandson does.

"My husband used to order all the things, and label all the balls and bats," she said of the Kiwanis-supported league in New Scotland. "We had just hotdogs at the first picnic," she said of what has become a large annual event. "He got everybody else involved. He just loved kids and the community."

Mr. Childs made deep and long-lasting commitments to his community. He served on the New Scotland Planning Board for 17 years and he was a member of the Voorheesville First United Methodist Church for 50 years.

Because Mr. Childs was, as his wife said, "a people person," he was successful in his work. He was self-employed for 30 years, dealing in durable goods for schools. He also worked for New York State for 11 years.

"He sold to schools and universities," Mrs. Childs said of her husband's business. He sold sports and gymnastic equipment as well as furniture for science labs and home-ec classrooms, she said.

"He used to say, 'You have to know your customers' names. They like to hear it,'" recalled Mrs. Childs. "He was just a real nice guy," she said, noting they still get Christmas cards from school superintendents and principals her husband dealt with years ago.

"He made friends wherever he went, and I don't mean that in a bragging way," she said. "It's just the truth."

Many of those Mr. Childs had helped over the years supported him and his family during his illness. "You can't believe the people who have come over to the house," said his wife.

The family, in a tribute, expressed "their heartfelt thanks to all their friends and neighbors who sent cards, brought meals, or just called to say 'hello' during Bill's illness." They went on, giving "a special thank-you to those who drove him to doctors' appointments and to the staff at St. Peter's Hospital, Dr. Hillinger and his staff at New York Oncology Hematology, the Community Hospice of Albany, and the First United Methodist Church." The family concluded, "Your prayers and support have meant so much."

Mr. Childs was born in Cuba, N.Y. on Oct. 14, 1924, the son of the late John A. and Clarissa Lacy Childs. His father worked as a builder and his mother was a home-economics teacher. Mr. Childs was a graduate of Cuba Central School.

"He was 18 when he went into the service," said his wife. "He was a very patriotic person."

Mr. Childs served in the Pacific Theater for 27 months during World War II, participating in the Papua (New Guinea) and Luzon campaigns. And he was with the Army of Occupation of Japan from September to December of 1945.

"He didn't talk about it much," said Mrs. Childs of his years fighting in the war. "He saw a lot of things. He wasn't behind a desk; he was right on the field."

After the war, Mr. Childs graduated from Syracuse University, in 1950. He had previously attended Triple Cities College.

He met Winifred Harrison when the two worked for the same company in western New York. They married on June 4, 1955 and moved to Voorheesville in 1957.

"We had a good marriage," said Mrs. Childs of their 52-year union. "And we have wonderful children that are so supportive," she said of their son, Matthew, and their daughters, Ellen and Susan.

"When you're married that long," she said in a philosophical tone, "you face your share of trials and tribulations. Either your love grows stronger or you don't make it. Our love grew stronger. We were so close."

Mr. Childs was a very involved father, said his wife. "He took our son on canoe trips and was always at the games. He coached for many years," she said. "With our daughters, it was the same thing."

Mrs. Childs concluded of her husband, "He was a good friend to everybody."


He is survived by his wife, Winifred, of Voorheesville; his three children, Ellen Childs of Watertown, N.Y., Matthew Childs of Voorheesville, and Susan Burns and her husband, Gary, of Bovina Center, N.Y.; his grandchildren, Josh, Jesse, Ellie, Alex, Betsy, Zach, Nick, Luke, Sarah, and Julia; his sister, Ina C. Wilson, of Cuba, N.Y.; and several nieces and nephews.

His sister, Mary Caswell, and his brother, Robert Childs, both died before him.

A funeral service will be held today (Thursday) at 10 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Voorheesville at 68 Maple Road. Burial will follow at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in New Salem. Arrangements are by Reilly & Son Funeral Home in Voorheesville.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Voorheesville United Methodist Church Memorial Fund, 68 Maple Road, Voorheesville, NY 12186, or to the Kiwanis Club of New Scotland.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

Arthur E. Hatch

NEW SCOTLAND — Arthur E. Hatch, an excellent archer, avid outdoorsman, and World War II veteran, died on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2007, of Alzheimer's disease. He was 89.

"I wouldn't have traded him for any other dad in the world," said his daughter, Barbara Hatch Vink.

Mr. Hatch was born in Canton, Ohio in 1918. He was the son of the late Arthur H. and Etta Hatch, of McMinnville, Tenn.

During World War II, Mr. Hatch served in the United States Air Force, and was stationed in Iceland.

He met his wife, Marion Emily Baker, at a church group at the Trinity Methodist Church in the early 1940s, and they were married in 1945, said Ms. Vink.

Mr. Hatch was a "good ole' southern boy from Tennessee" and he never let us forget it," said his daughter. "He was always bundled up," she remembered.

"My mother knit him sweaters," said Ms. Vink. He would often sit in his home on Koontz Road with a blanket wrapped around his shoulders and up over his head, she said. He always said, "If you're cold, it's because you're not wearing your hat," Ms. Vink said.

"He was quite an interesting character," she said.

Mr. Hatch loved to hunt and spend time outdoors, said his daughter. "He was an excellent archer," she said. He first taught his three daughters how to shoot a bow and arrow, and then taught his grandchildren, she said.

He was a founder and president of the Rakowana Archers, and was an active archer until his health declined and he moved into a nursing home, said Ms. Vink. Mr. Hatch won a gold medal in archery at the New York State Senior Games.

He was also a founding member of the Bethlehem Community Church in Delmar. He was a past commander of American Legion Post 1493, and was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Boyd Hilton Chapter and the Voorheesville Horseshoe League.

Mr. Hatch was very proud of his Southern heritage and his Native American background, Ms. Vink said. After he learned that he had Cherokee Indian ancestors, he studied about the Trail of Tears, and tried to trace his family roots, she said.

She recalled a sweatshirt that he often wore that had a Native American emblem and the words, "Chief Hatch."

Mr. Hatch and his wife, who recently celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary, moved to New Scotland in 1954, and built a house on Koontz Road.

Mr. Hatch's mother and brother soon followed suit, said Ms. Vink.

He worked as a lithographer for General Electric in Schenectady, and, after he retired, Mr. Hatch sold real estate. "He never wanted to slow down," said his daughter. He enjoyed being out, interacting with and meeting people, she said.

"It feels like the foundation of the earth moves," said Ms. Vink of her father's death. "As long as your dad's alive, there's always a safety net" When he's gone, it's a really scary feeling."


Mr. Hatch is survived by his wife, Marion Emily Baker, of Albany: his daughters, Barbara Hatch Vink and Lauren Meacham, and her husband, Donald, all of Voorheesville; and Cheryl D. Hatch, of Altamont.

He is also survived by his grandchildren: Lauren, Michael, and Joshua Vink; Heather LeVeille and Courtney Tedesco; and his great-grandchildren: Joshua, Zachary, and Tristan Welton; Maddix and Lily Anna Vink; and Ryan and Emily LeVeille.

Funeral services were private and arrangements were by Reilly & Son Funeral Home in Voorheesville. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, 85 Watervliet Ave., Albany, NY 12206.

— Rachel Dutil

Muriel Johnson

SCHENECTADY - Muriel "Sally" Johnson, who was active at her church in Berne and in local chapters of the Order of the Eastern Star, died Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2007, at the Kingsway Arms Nursing Centre in Schenectady.

She was 89.

Born Muriel Sutton in Freehold, Mrs. Johnson lived most of her life in Berne. She was a member of the First Reformed Church of Berne, where, over the years, she served in many capacities. Mrs. Johnson played the organ and piano and also taught Sunday school classes.

She worked for many years as a secretary for an insurance company in Schoharie, and, before that, for the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.

Her husband, Donald Snyder, died in 1988. In 1995, she married Lyle Johnson. Mrs. and Mr. Johnson lived in Florida until Mr. Johnson died in 1999. Mrs. Johnson then became a resident at Kingsway, where, until about a year before her death, she taught a Bible class.

A longtime member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Mrs. Johnson had the honor of serving as Worthy Matron of the Uhai Chapter in Berne and the Onesquethaw Chapter in Delmar. Mrs. Johnson also served as District Deputy Grand Matron of the First Albany, Rensselaer, and Schenectady district in 1983.


Mrs. Johnson is survived by four grandchildren, Stephen Furman; Shelly Young; Gordon Furman, and his wife, Robin; and Tammy Stempel, and her husband, Greg. She is also survived by many great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Her daughter, Patricia, died before her.

Funeral services will be held on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont. Relatives and friends may call on Friday before the services from 5 to 7 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First Reformed Church of Berne, 1663 Helderberg Trail, Berne NY 12023.

— Tyler Schuling

Karen L. Lare

GUILDERLAND CENTER - Karen L. Lare, a poet and corporate trainer, died on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2007, after a brief battle with breast cancer. She was 60.

Ms. Lare graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science from The College of Saint Rose in 1988.

She wrote a book of poetry, entitled The Prophet of the Future is in the Past, which was published in 2005.

She was the president of the American Society of Trainers and Developers-New York Metro Chapter and was also president of the Harlem Dowling-West Side Center for Children and Family Services, a not-for-profit child welfare agency. Ms. Lare owned her own consulting firm, KL Consultants.

Ms. Lare is survived by her two sons, Matthew G. Lare of Montclair, N.J., and Joshua Lare, and his wife, Cristen, of Guilderland Center. She is also survived by several relatives in Ohio.

A funeral service was held on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont.

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

Margaret M. Jan-Tausch

Margaret Jan-Tausch, known to her friends and family as "Maggie," died on Nov. 11 at a hospice in Ohio.

"Maggie celebrated her 90th birthday with children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren on Sept. 7, 2007," her family wrote in a tribute.

Born in New Jersey, she and her husband, Joseph W. Jan-Tausch, were summer "Hill folk" until 1969 when they transitioned to permanent residents. They lived on Elm Drive in East Berne. Her husband died in 1978, at which time she moved to Worthington, Ohio.

A mass of Christian burial will be held at 10 a.m. at St. Lucy's Roman Catholic Church in Altamonton Friday, Nov. 16. She will be interred next to her husband of 41 years in Woodlawn Cemetery in Berne.

She is survived by three daughters, Joan Mullen of Berne, Patricia Brinham and her husband, Ted, of Torquay, England, and Gretchen Ickert and her husband, Heinz, of Worthington, Ohio; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements are by Schoedinger Funeral Services in Ohio and Fredendall Funeral Services in Altamont.

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