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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, November 29, 2007

Vivian Hubal Baldovin

GUILDERLAND — Vivian Hubal Baldovin of Guilderland, a devoted mother, died peacefully Nov. 12, 2007 after a seven-month battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 85.

Born in New York City, she was the daughter of the late Anton and Ruzena Hubal, Czech immigrants. "Vivian was very proud of her Czech heritage," her family wrote in a tribute. "She was married twice, to the late Fred (Fiori) Baldovin and the late Irwin Wax. Vivian often remarked half-seriously that it was better to have a dog than a husband."

She worked at times as a secretary but devoted much of her life to raising her children and helping to raise grandchildren. A beautiful woman in her youth, she was once crowned Miss Subway, her face gracing subway car billboards in New York City. Later, she had a short career as a model for The New York Times.

"Although she had limited college experience, she was well-learned, an avid reader and had a sharp and witty mind until her death," her family wrote. "A smart real estate buyer, she acquired homes in Douglaston and Belle Harbor, N.Y., and Naples, Fla. She was particularly interested in world politics and loved opera. She taught her children the need for education and a strong work ethic, for which they are most grateful."

Until cancer took its toll, she was physically very active, looking many years younger than her actual age. At the age of 40, she took up water- and snow-skiing; at the age of 50, bicycling; and at 70 she tried wind surfing.

Her greatest sorrow, along with the death of her parents, was the loss of her only sibling, Ernest Hubal, a young Navy sailor who died in combat during World War II.

"Her great joy and passion in life were her dogs, having owned at least one throughout her whole life," her family wrote. "Her favorite was a dachshund named Willie who died earlier this year."

She is survived by her children, Thomas Baldovin of Delmar, Dr. Donald Baldovin and Janet Baldovin of New York City, Barbara Del Medico of Florida, and eight grandchildren.

A service will be held for her Dec. 1, 2007 at 2 p.m. at the Hamilton Union Presbyterian Church, 2291 Western Ave., Guilderland.

Memorial contributions may be made to Tiny Paws Wet Noses Rescue, 1040 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880.

Gloria Ann Deleskiewicz worked four different jobs to support her daughter and still kept her sense of humor, said her daughter, Cindy Lee Grout.

She died on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2007, at Epsom Manor in Epsom, N.H. She was 71.

Despite the hard times she lived through, Mrs. Deleskiewicz was a generous woman who especially loved holidays with her daughter and enjoyed activities with her grandchildren, said Ms. Grout.

"She’d do anything for anybody. She was very kind-hearted," said Ms. Grout, adding, "People took advantage of her a lot."

Born in Albany, she was the daughter of Robert and Florence Wells, née Forest. She raised her daughter on GI Road in Altamont.

"After my parents divorced, it was just my mother and I," said Ms. Grout. "The boys went to live with my father. We lived with my Grammy," she said of her grandmother, Florence Cowan Flemming.

"My mother worked three or four jobs. At night, she worked at the Corners Tavern; that’s where she met my stepfather," said Ms. Grout. Mrs. Deleskiewicz also worked at the Guilderland Center Nursing Home and at a warehouse distribution center on Depot Road.

"She was extremely hard-working," said her daughter.

Her job at the K-Mart in Colonie turned into a career. After she moved to New Jersey, Mrs. Deleskiewicz worked for over 20 years as a department manager for a K-Mart there.

"She loved her work but had to take an early retirement because of Alzheimer’s," said Ms. Grout.

Her mother’s years in Altamont were her happiest, said Ms. Grout.

"She played bingo with my Grammy," Ms. Grout recalled. She played in the bowling league and was active in the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts in Altamont.

"She loved to fish," said her daughter. "She’d fish in Warner’s Lake. We had a camp for a whole summer there. She’d wake up. First thing, she’d have coffee, a cigarette, and her fishing pole."

In later years, Mrs. Deleskiewicz taught her grandchildren to fish and to bowl. She was devoted to her grandchildren. "She took two weeks off after each grandchild was born and traveled to be there and take care of them," said Ms. Grout, who really appreciated the help when each of her children was born.

"My Mom was just always there for me," said Ms. Grout. "No matter how bad things got, my Mom would always make you laugh."

Ms. Grout cared for her mother for five years as she suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. "Then I had to put her in a home," she said. "She hated the disease but still kept her humor," said Ms. Grout, giving an example:

"I always used to tell her, ‘Gotta love me; I’m the baby.’" In her later years, Mrs. Deleskiewicz would turn it around and say to her daughter, "Gotta love me. I’m the baby. I’m the one in diapers now."

"She was a constant flirt," said her daughter, noting she would flirt with an attendant at the nursing home.

Ms. Grout lives in Florida and it was hard for her to be away from her mother as her illness progressed. "I was talking to my mother when she passed away. I said, ‘Grammy’s up there, waiting for you....’" Ms. Grout said the same of Mrs. Deleskiewicz’s grandson, Robert John Bradshaw IV. "He’s up in heaven with Mom right now and she’s having a ball with him," she said.

Her mother’s last wish, she said, was to have her ashes scattered from Thacher Park. "She wants to be set free over Altamont, where Grammy was. Her whole life was Altamont...That was the happiest time of her life."

She concluded, through tears, "One thing I’ll always hold on to are the memories she gave me. No one will ever replace that."


Mrs. Deleskiewicz is survived by two sons, Robert John Bradshaw III, of Altamont, and Michael Allen Bradshaw, of Somersworth, N.H.; and one daughter, Cindy Lee Grout, and her husband, Steve, of North Fort Myers, Fla.

She is also survived by 11 grandchildren, Samuel Leto, of South Carolina; Dawn Marie Bradshaw, of Massachusetts; Michael Bradshaw Jr., of Iowa; Sarahmarie Cervais, of New Hampshire; Mary Kathryn Bradshaw, of Iowa; David Losh, of New Hampshire; Michael Robert Shiek, of Massachusetts; Benjamin Christopher Bradshaw, of Iowa; Rose Ward, of Ohio; Crystal and Angel Ward, both of North Carolina; and four great-grandchildren.

Her mother, Florence Cowan Flemming, died before her as did one grandson, Robert J. Bradshaw IV.

Services were private. Arrangements were by the Hennett Funeral Home in Concord, N.H.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Greater New Hampshire Chapter, 10 Ferry Street, Suite 427B, Concord, NH 03307.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

Stephen L. Fritz Sr.

RENSSELAERVILLE — Stephen L. Fritz Sr., an avid outdoorsman and longtime General Electric manager, died unexpectedly at his Rensselaerville home on Nov. 22, 2007. He was 59.

He was born in Albany on Dec. 25, 1947, the son of the late Joseph C. and Ruth C. (Spielmann) Fritz.

He was a Greenville High School graduate, Class of 1965, a graduate of Paul Smith’s College in 1967, and he also had attended the University of West Virginia.

He had been a quality-control manager at GE in Selkirk for over 25 years.

He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and trapping. Mr. Fritz also enjoyed college football and was a University of West Virginia football fan.

He is survived by a daughter, Wendy Lanaro, and her husband, Joseph, of Niskayuna; a son, Stephen L. Fritz and his wife, Jenny, of Rensselaerville; three grandchildren, Amanda and Andrew Mnich, and Ryan Fritz; and two step-grandchildren, Alexandra and Christian Lanara.

He is also survived by a brother, Joseph C. Fritz, and his wife, Janet; two nieces, Jennifer Fritz and Janeen Spencer; a nephew, Jeffrey Fritz; his former wife, Rose Picardi; special friends Rebecca and Raeleen Shufelt; also his extended family, lifelong friends, and caregivers.

His sister Judith Anne Fritz died before him.

A funeral service was held on Nov. 28 at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Rensselaerville. Arrangements are by the Cunningham Funeral Home in Greenville. Interment was in the Rensselaerville Cemetery.

Luella Benson West

CENTRAL BRIDGE — Luella Benson West lived for her grandchildren and was loved by many people, said her daughter, Joan West Stoddard.

Mrs. West died on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2007, at the Baptist Health Nursing Home in Scotia, where she had lived for two years.

She was 99.

Born on Aug. 27, 1908 in Howes Cave to Charles and Minerva Bassett Benson, Mrs. West lived in Schoharie County her whole life.

She attended the Old Central Bridge School and graduated from the former Cobleskill High School. In 1924, Mrs. West graduated from Cobleskill College, now a part of the state university system, where she played on the women’s basketball team.

"When she got in college, she tried out for the basketball team, and made the first string," said Mrs. Stoddard.

After she graduated, Mrs. West’s first job was as a waitress in a boarding house in Altamont, and, during World War II, she worked at the General Electric Company in Schenectady. For much of her life, she was a bookkeeper, said Mrs. Stoddard, and she worked for E.A. Howard and Company.

On Sept. 10, 1927, she married Donald S. West. They were married for 48 years, until Mr. West died on Nov. 12, 1975.

For many years, the Wests lived in Central Bridge, and, from 1957 to 1975, Mrs. West helped her husband operate Don West’s Service Station.

"Father was always a mechanic," said Mrs. Stoddard.

Her father’s father owned a gas station in Middleburgh, and, later in his life, Mr. West opened his own station.

Mrs. West was active in her community.

She was a member of the Bethany Evangelical Lutheran Church and its ladies auxiliary. She was also a member and treasurer of the Central Bridge Civic Association and a member of the Central Bridge Fireman’s Association and the former Cobleskill Eastern Star.

She remained active until later in life and enjoyed walking, bicycling, sewing, knitting, crocheting, and tatting, said her daughter.

Though her eyesight worsened slightly, she was knitting until she was 90 years old, and, Mrs. Stoddard said, at 99, her mother didn’t need a cane or a walker.

"We’re fortunate she had a beautiful life and wasn’t often sick," she said.

Mrs. West’s family was her life and she meant everything to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Mrs Stoddard said.

"She was truly an angel."


Mrs. West is survived by her two daughters, Betty West Remmers, of Gallupville; and Joan West Stoddard, and her husband, Harvey of Middleburgh; eight grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews. Her two brothers, Charles Benson and Louis Benson, as well as her grandson, Donald Stoddard, and son-in-law, John Remmers, died before her.

A funeral service was held Nov. 19 at the Bethany Evangelical Lutheran Church in Central Bridge. Arrangements are by the Langan Funeral Home in Schoharie.

Memorial contributions may be made to Baptist Health Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 297 North Ballston Ave., Scotia, NY 12023; or to the Bethany Evangelical Lutheran Church, Post Office Box 273, Central Bridge, NY 12035.

— Tyler Schuling

Robert Briggs Whipple

KNOX — Robert Briggs Whipple — a farmer devoted to his land, his family, and his town — died on Friday, Nov. 23, 2007, at Albany Medical Center of complications following surgery. He was 77.

Mr. Whipple was a determined man with a gravelly voice but a courtly manner. He is described as a "gentleman" by a political adversary, Alexander Gordon, who says he always put the good of the public first.

"He had a broad presence in the community," said the longtime Knox Supervisor, Michael Hammond. "He was a hard-working individual. He really applied himself to reach his goals."

"Farming was his avocation," said his daughter, Deborah Degan.

"We were partners on the farm for the last seven years," said his son, Brian. "We were best friends also."

Mr. Whipple was always expanding and improving his Knox farm. "He just recently achieved one of his dreams, a 50-year-long dream, building a vegetable shed," said Brian Whipple of the Malachi Farms vegetable stand. "We hope to keep that going as well as the maple syrup and everything that he did. We’ll try to keep it going the way he would have liked it."

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

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