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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, December 6, 2007

Richard K. Betlejeski

ALTAMONT — Richard K. Betlejeski, an ever dependable man, died on Dec. 1, 2007. He was 91.

Raised on a dairy farm, Mr. Betlejeski ended up as a golf-course superintendent after his wife steered him toward the sport. He became a member of the Northeast Golf Course Superintendents Association, with which he visited many area courses.

"I encouraged him to play golf; there was a league," said Mrs. Betlejeski, his wife of 54 years. "I thought he needed an activity."

He and his brother, Dr. Z. John Betlejeski, built a French’s Hollow Fairways near their parents’ farm. Mr. and Mrs. Betlejeski built themselves a house there as well.

"We were proud of it," Mrs. Betlejeski said of the couple’s brick home.

They started building the house as newlyweds, she said, in their first few years of marriage. On their honeymoon, the pair drove west, to Colorado in a Chevy convertible, she said.

One of their favorite pastimes was going for rides, said Mrs. Betlejeski. They’d drive to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center or the Lake George Opera to take in a show. They ventured as far as New Orleans a few times, she said, where they would walk the streets of the French quarter.

"He did all the driving all the time," she said. "He was a good husband."

Mr. Betlejeski was also a good neighbor. He was a volunteer fireman at the Guilderland Center Fire Department for years, she said; he drove one of the trucks. He was also a member of the Guilderland Elks Lodge and a communicant of St. Lucy’s Church in Altamont.

"He was right there when anybody needed help," said Mrs. Betlejeski.


Mr. Betlejeski is survived by his wife, Marion Giniecki Betlejeski; four nieces, Janet and Mary Betlejeski of Altamont, Lisa Vainosky of Ft. Johnson, N.Y., and Diane Enzinna of Ballston Lake; three nephews, Dr. Richard Vaum of Tuscaloosa, Ala., Christopher Vaum of Winston, Conn., and Timothy Vaum of Florida; three sisters-in-law, Louise Betlejeski and Jean Betlejeski, both of Altamont, and Theresa Vaum of Tuscaloosa, Ala.; and one brother-in-law, Howard Vaum of Tuscaloosa, Ala.

His two brothers, Dr. Z. John Betlejeski and Raymond J. Betlejeski, died before him, as did his nephew, Howard (Skip) Vaum Jr.

A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated tomorrow, Dec. 7, at 11 a.m. at St. Lucy’s Church on Grand Street in Altamont. There will be no calling hours. Burial will be in St. Adalbert’s Cemetery in Rotterdam. Arrangements are by the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Schenectady City Mission, Post Office Box 760, Schenectady, NY 12301 or to the Food Pantry at St. Lucy’s Church, Post Office Box 678, Altamont, NY 12009.

— Saranac Hale Spencer

Harold W. Hayden

GUILDERLAND — Harold W. Hayden, a carpenter and World War II veteran, died peacefully on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007, at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany. He was 85.

He served with the United States Marine Corps during World War II, seeing action at Guadalcanal.

He worked as a carpenter for several different firms, most recently with Davis Acoustical in Troy.

His loving wife of 54 years, Marion C. Hayden, died before him.

His is survived by his daughter, Carol Regels; his son, Harold Hayden Jr.; one brother, Jack Hayden of Boca Raton, Fla.; one sister, Shirley Hayden of Englewood, Fla.; six grandchildren, Kimberly Bianca, Kathleen Plant, Janene Hayden, Shane Hayden, Meghan Hayden and Joshua Hayden; and four great-grandchildren, Ashley Plant, Nicholas Plant, John Michaelides, and Michaela Bianca.

Two brothers died before him — Francis Hayden and Edward Hayden who was killed in World War II.

Private funeral services will be held at the convenience of the family. Arrangements are by Fredendall Funeral Home of Altamont.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Ronald McDonald House, 139 South Lake Ave., Albany, NY 12208.

Helen Shoro Marion

ALTAMONT — Helen Shoro Marion was a working mother in an era when that was rare; in her later years, she was a tireless community volunteer.

"She’d come home at 5 or 5:30, hang her coat on the rack, and then put on her apron to start cooking dinner," said her daughter, Ruth Marion. "Not a lot of families at that time had both parents working. She and my Dad took care of everything."

Mrs. Marion died on Nov. 30, 2007, the day before her 90th birthday, at the Hospice Inn at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany, surrounded by her children and her sister.

Born in Albany, she was the daughter of the late Clifford and Ruth Bashaw Shoro, originally from Brandon, Vt.

Her parents moved to Albany so her father could attend Albany Business College, after which he worked for the state’s Department of Health, said her sister, Eileen McKenney. Their mother was a homemaker until her son, Richard, died at age 9; she did office work after that to get out of the house and keep busy, said Mrs. McKenney.

The family often gathered together to play games — ranging from pick-up sticks to Monopoly. "Our father bought the first Monopoly game on the market," said Mrs. McKenney.

Music was also a large part of Shoro family life. "Grandma played the piano by ear," said Ruth Marion; she was able to come home from church on Sunday and duplicate the hymns she’d heard. "Grandpa played the violin."

Mrs. Marion had a life-long love of music, especially classical music and opera. "She had hundreds of audio cassette tapes," said her daughter.

She also enjoyed reading and poetry. She would copy her favorite poems — often about romantic love or nature — into blank books. "I have five volumes of poems she loved," said Ms. Marion. John Keats and Edna St. Vincent Millay were two of her favorite poets.

She was forced to skip seventh grade because her school was overcrowded and the top few students were moved ahead. The transition was difficult. "She was the shortest in her class and no longer at the top," said her daughter. She graduated from the former Vincentian Institute in Albany at 16 and went on to the Collegiate Center, an adjunct of the University at Albany, where she studied business and secretarial science, her daughter said.

Mrs. Marion became an executive secretary, first to the director of the former Cerebral Palsy Treatment Center, and later for Peter Alland of the Guilderland School District.

"She loved it," said Ms. Marion of her mother’s secretarial work. "She was extremely well organized and very pleasant to deal with."

"She was a perfectionist," said her sister.

Mrs. Marion began working for Peter Alland in 1961 when the high school was running split sessions as a junior high was built next to it in Guilderland Center. She stayed with Mr. Alland as he became curriculum director, then assistant superintendent, and then superintendent. She retired in 1980. "I always said he was the best boss in the district," Mrs. Marion said at the time of Mr. Alland’s retirement, and he returned the affection.

"She always called him Mr. Alland, after all those years," said her daughter.

Although a dedicated worker, Mrs. Marion’s primary focus was always her family, her daughter said. "She was devoted to her family," said Ms. Marion, "and she always knew what we were doing — even when we didn’t want her to," she said, explaining she grew up "in the beatnik and hippie era."

"And she was very accepting when she did find out," added Mrs. McKenney.

She met her husband, Albert C. Marion, a manager with Grand Union, after the Shoro family moved to Altamont in 1947. "She was a good partner in the marriage," said their daughter. Mr. Marion died in 1992.

The Marions enjoyed family camping trips to the Adirondacks, and Mr. and Mrs. Marion made several cross-country trips, took a tour of Europe, and lived part-time in Florida for several years.

In her later years, Mrs. Marion was active in a wide variety of community organizations.

"She was very, very involved in the church," said her daughter. "She was spiritual and definitely interested in and supportive of St. Lucy’s."

Mrs. Marion was an active member of the Altamont Senior Citizens, briefly writing a weekly column about the seniors for The Enterprise until her sister took over the job. She volunteered for Meals on Wheels, Community Caregivers, the Altamont Fire Department Auxiliary, Equinox, RSVP, and the Altamont Museum.

Volunteering, said Ms. Marion, "is part of our family heritage." She also said, "For Mom, it was a way to keep busy. She had no use for just sitting around, doing nothing."

"If someone needed help, you did it," said Mrs. McKenney of the family’s philosophy.

Mrs. Marion and Mrs. McKenney have, together, delivered meals to the elderly in the Hilltowns and knit caps for babies in the hospital.

Of Mrs. Marion’s museum work, her sister said, "People would donate things without a lot of information, and she would do the research and make the connections."

"She was really focused on identifying people in photos, providing information about the past, with an emphasis on families," said her daughter.

She described her mother as a very humble, cheerful person with a good sense of humor who was always optimistic. "She hoped for the best and always had a ready smile," said Ms. Marion.

"Oh, that smile," chimed in Mrs. McKenney.

"Our family has known a lot of loss," she went on. "We lost our brother to an accident when he was 9 years old. Our sister lost a young husband in the Air Force during World War II...Helen lost a daughter in April of 1988. Four months later, I lost my son and my sister lost her husband."

Her family dealt with these tragedies by following this philosophy, exemplified by Helen Marion: "You dealt with what you had to deal with and enjoyed the rest of it," said Mrs. McKenney.

The two sisters were nine years apart, but, said Mrs. McKenney, "the gap closed" as they aged.

"It wasn’t like I was the pain-in-the-neck kid sister anymore," she said. "We would get to talking about something and we’d be laughing so hard we were crying, practically wetting our pants."

She concluded of life, "There is so much sadness, you have to enjoy the good times."


Helen Shoro Marion is survived by her sister, Eileen McKenney, of Altamont, and by her children: John Marion and his wife, Gabrielle Canino, of Fishkill, N.Y., Ruth Marion of Bozeman, Mont., and Peter Marion of Worcester, Mass.

A daughter, Eileen Marion Gilbertson, died in 1988.

Mrs. Marion is also survived by grandchildren Cain Marion of Albany, Abra Marion of Slingerlands, Sylvia Doane of San Jose, Calif., Jessica Soza of Sebastopol, Calif., and Erin Gilbertson of Minneapolis, Minn.; and great-granddaughters Alyssa Marion, Cassidy Mulligan, and Morgan Mulligan of Slingerlands; as well as many nieces and nephews, and grandnieces and grandnephews.

Her brother, Richard Shoro, and her sister Marion Shoro Teeter died before her.

The family would like to thank all of the medical professionals who cared for Mrs. Marion, especially Hedy Migden, M.D.; Dan Mead, P.A.; and Elaine Pollack Martin, R.N.

A memorial mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, at St. Lucy’s Church in Altamont. Interment will take place at St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands, at the convenience of the family. Arrangements are by Fredendall Funeral Home of Altamont.

Memorial contributions may be made to Altamont Senior Citizens, Post Office Box 245, Altamont, NY 12009.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

Patricia A. (Campion) Tracy

NEW SCOTLAND — Patricia A. (Campion) Tracy — a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother — died Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007, at her New Scotland home surrounded by her loving family. She was 60.

Born in Queens, N.Y., she was the daughter of the late Jeremiah and Mary (Smith) Campion. She was a graduate of St. Michael’s High School in Manhattan and earned both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in elementary and special education at The College of Saint Rose. Mrs. Tracy was the director of special education for the Greenville Central School District, retiring in 2002 to become a grandma.

She was a Communicant of St. Matthew’s Church in Voorheesville where she also served as a catechist and volunteered in the food pantry.

"She was an active participant in all of the activities of first, her children, and then her grandchildren; her granddaughter was recently honored for having read 1,000 books at the tender age of 5," her family wrote in a tribute, noting that Mrs. Tracy was known for having a "kid friendly" home.

She is survived by her husband of 32 years, John H. Tracy, her children Patricia A. McCarty and her husband, Paul, of Medford, Mass., Jacqueline M. Lendrum and her husband, Alan, of Berne, Kelly A. Lendrum and her husband, David, of Westerlo, and John Jeremy "JJ" Tracy of Charlotte, N.C.; and her grandchildren, Elizabeth K. Lendrum and Elise O. Lendrum.

She is also survived by her sister, Mary C. Campion of Flushing, N.Y.; sister-in-law, Mary M. Valente, of Wynantskill; her niece, Linda A. Graffitti, and her husband, Robert, of Katonah, N.Y., and her nephew, Frank Neglia, of the Poconos.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Monday in St. Matthew’s Church in Voorheesville. Arrangements are by Daniel Keenan Funeral Home of Albany. Interment was in St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Matthew’s Church, 25 Mountainview St., Voorheesville, NY 12186 or to the Hilltop Hoppers, Canoe/Kayak, care of Jill Norray, 741 Pleasant Valley Rd., Berne, NY 12023.

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