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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, January 31, 2008

Bruce C. Cargill

Bruce C. Cargill, a race-car driver and master mechanic who grew up in Guilderland, died on Jan. 25, 2008 in Orlando, Fla. where he lived. He was 71.

"A connoisseur of fine food and fast cars, raced with Mohawk-Hudson SCCA Sports Club Car of America and IMSA Internnational Motor Sports Association in everything from Jaguars and MGs to Formula Fords and Formula Bs. But it was in a Dodge Colt that he’ll be remembered for blowing the doors off," said his family in a tribute.

The stunned staff and racing team of Car and Driver magazine in their first-ever Showroom Stock Sedan Challenge in 1973 at his home track, Lime Rock Park.

"When he wasn’t racing, Bruce spent his career as a master mechanic for the Brotherhood of Operating Engineers, selling Lotus sports cars, or slinging drinks at his gin mill, Racer’s Place," his family said. "In 1980, Bruce moved to Orlando, where he helped build many of the area’s most famous attractions before his retirement."

He was a 32nd-degree Scottish Rite Mason out of Noah Lodge 754 and was an active Shriner in Orlando. He was Past Exhaulted Ruler and charter member of Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge 2694, which he helped found in South Orlando. An avid outdoorsman, he was a longtime member of the Voorheesville Rod and Gun Club.

His parents, Frank and Letitia Cargill, died before him as did his brothers, William, Harvey, and Douglas.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara Kellner Clark Cargill; and his daughters, Denise Cargill of Lexington Park, Md. and Holly Cargill-Cramer and her husband, Buddy, of Voorheesville.

Survivors also include his dear sister-in-law, Rose Cargill; nieces Joanne Patri and Cynthis Cogan; nephew Steven Cargill; and former wife, Elaine Cowles.

He is also survived by James Hensel, whom his family described as "his best friend, right arm and chief mechanic."

Interment will be private and at the convenience of the family. "Friends and loved ones," his family said, "can honor Bruce’s memory with a raised glass, a hearty laugh, and if they wish, a contribution to the charity of their choice."

Ethel Hohenstein

Ethel Hohenstein, whose husband ran the Maple Avenue Market in Altamont a half-century ago, died on Jan. 28, 2008, in New Bern, N.C., where she lived. She was 94.

"Ethel enjoyed books, crossword puzzles, and loved to crochet for family and friends," her family wrote in a tribute.

She was born on July 28, 1913 in Glen, NY. She worked for Marston & Seamon Jewelers in downtown Albany, was an accomplished seamstress, and later worked for the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles for18 years.

Her husband, Willard F. Hohenstein, died before her. Her daughter Janet Suzanne died shortly after birth.

Mrs. Hohenstein is survived by her son, P. Gene Hohenstein of Hertford, N.C.; her daughter, Barbara H. Yerbury and her husband, Charles, of New Bern, N.C.; six grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren; and a favorite niece, Dr. Jeanette Lamb, of Louisa, Va.

A private memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family. Arrangements are by the Wilkerson Funeral Home of Greenville, N.C.

Mildred Mooney

ALTAMONT — Mildred Mooney, a woman of many talents and mother of three, died on Jan. 26, 2008. She was 73.

Born to Worthington and Mildred (Van Buren) Cody, Mrs. Mooney grew up in Albany where she enjoyed school, roller skating and ice skating, and swimming. She graduated from Albany High School and married her high-school sweetheart, the late Francis Mooney, in 1953 at the age of 18.

The couple moved to Virginia, where her husband was stationed in the Army and Mrs. Mooney worked as a legal secretary. A year after they were wed, Mrs. Mooney gave birth to their first daughter and moved back to the Albany area to be nearer to her family, while her husband was stationed in Goose Bay, Labrador.

"She never would go too far from her mother," said Mrs. Mooney’s elder daughter, Deborah Roberts. Both of her parents centered their lives on family, Mrs. Roberts said, and they reveled in big family dinners.

Mrs. Mooney was hostess for all of the big holidays, and, said Mrs. Roberts, "She loved to do Sunday dinners." She was a cook and a seamstress, said her daughter. "Young parents; three kids; she made a lot of clothes," Mrs. Roberts said of her mother, who sewed clothes for her children through high school, including a prom dress.

"We were the hit of the school," said Sherry Ciupek of the clothes Mrs. Mooney made. She is the Mooneys’ second daughter, and she has kept her mother’s sewing tradition alive and well, having made prom dresses for two of her own daughters.

While she was raising her children, Mrs. Mooney held various jobs, including working as an aid at the Berne-Knox-Westerlo school, where her children were students. Many of the BKW students called her Mom. Family and friends had other nicknames for her — Babe or Doots.

After her children had grown, Mrs. Mooney learned to play the organ and began a career selling the instruments.

"She was proud of her Hilton years," said Mrs. Roberts of her mother’s time selling organs.

"Those were her best years," added Mrs. Ciupek.

The Mooneys moved off the Hill to build their dream house in Altamont in 1973.

Each year at the Altamont Fair, Mrs. Mooney would sell organs from a caboose parked on the fairgrounds and she eventually worked her way up to being a traveling salesperson, her daughters said.

After her big holiday dinners, Mrs. Mooney would often play favorite old songs for her family. She was a stern, but loving mother, her daughters said.

"She’d make you learn to stand on your own two feet," Mrs. Roberts said.

Most of all, her daughters said, Mrs. Mooney loved her husband, devoted herself to her children, and played the organ beautifully.


Mrs. Mooney is survived by her three children: Deborah Roberts and her husband, Jim; Sherry Ciupek and her husband, John; and Alan Mooney and his wife, Marilyn. She is also survived by her sister, Jean Zacharkevics and her husband, Mario, and by four grandchildren; Erin, Amy, and Allison Ciupek and Sean Mooney, and by aunts, nieces, nephews, and cousins. Her husband, Francis James Mooney, died in 1992.

A funeral service was held at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont on Wednesday and burial was in Memory’s Garden, in Albany. Memorial contributions may be made to Community Hospice, 445 New Karner Rd., Albany NY, 12205 or to Alzheimer’s Association, 85 Watervliet Ave., Albany NY, 12206.

— Saranac Hale Spencer

Ethel Schell Paul

KNOX — Ethel Schell Paul was a lucky woman who believed in the simple life, said her son-in-law, George Saddlemire.
Mrs. Paul died on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2008, at her home on the Altamont Hill. She was 108.

"She lived in three centuries. It sounds pretty weird when you say it," said Mr. Saddlemire.

Born on July 9, 1899 in West Berne, Mrs. Paul lived in Altamont and Albany before moving to the Altamont Hill, where she lived for the past 71 years. She was a member of the Altamont Reformed Church.

"Through the years, she faithfully donated to numerous worthy causes," said her family in a tribute. They also described her as living "quietly and usefully, leaving her family many memories with much gratitude."

After her husband, Charles W. Paul, died, Mrs. Paul worked for the New York State Department of Labor for 19 years, "a job," her family said, "she was very thankful and pleased with." She retired in 1969.

"Her family was her life," said Mr. Saddlemire. Mrs. Paul had three children. Her family gathered in 2007 to celebrate her 108th birthday.

Mr. Saddlemire recalled five generations of Mrs. Paul’s family, including her mother and grandfather, meeting to take a photograph, and Mrs. Paul’s grandfather talking about seeing Abraham Lincoln’s body after he was assassinated.

His fondest memories of his mother-in-law are mostly of her food. "Outstanding cook and baker," he said. "That was a nice thing about her. Any time you met her, she was always the same. You knew you were going to have a pleasant experience."

Mrs. Paul grew up on a farm and did her fair share of chores, said Mr. Saddlemire. She always had a lovely vegetable garden and did a lot of canning. Material things, he said, were not important to her.

"She was very kind, very considerate, soft-spoken," said Mr. Saddlemire. "A very mild-mannered person."

Mrs. Paul was "a home body," he said. She once went to Florida with her daughter, Jane Paul, he said.

Jane Paul and George Saddlemire’s wife, Ina, were identical twins, he said. "They were always beautifully dressed and she made most of their clothes. They would have matching clothes," he said.

"She was a great seamstress. Everything she wanted to do, she did well," he said. "Gardening, cooking, dress-making. I don’t know how she found time to do all the things she did," he said. "Amazing lady."


Mrs. Paul is survived by her children, Donald Paul and Jane Paul, of Knox, and son-in-law, George Saddlemire, of Altamont. She is also survived by her grandson, Thomas Saddlemire, of Atlanta, Ga.; great-grandson Craig Saddlemire of Lewiston, Maine; and many nieces and nephews.

Her daughter, Ina Saddlemire, died before her as did her sister, Beulah Brown, and brothers Clifford and Howard Schell.

A graveside service will be held at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Berne in the spring at the convenience of the family. The Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont made the arrangements.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Community Hospice, 445 New Karner Rd., Albany, NY 12205.

— Tyler Schuling

Frank P. Schoonmaker

DARBY, PA — Frank P. Schoonmaker, a Knox native who worked as a mechanic for the state, died on Monday, Jan. 21, 2008. He was 85.

Born in Knox, Mr. Schoonmaker was the son of the late Frederick and Lucy Schoonmaker.

Before retiring, he worked for the State of New York as an auto mechanic. He was an avid bowler.


Mr. Schoonmaker is survived by his children, Beverly Fletcher of Cobleskill, Robert Schoonmaker of Catskill, and Fred Schoonmaker of Cairo; and his grandchildren, Angela Hoose of Leeds, Elaine Schoonmaker of Coxsackie, Kim Diamond of Cherry Town, Karen Waters of Morris, Dawn Brown of North Carolina, Lisa Gregory of Schenevus, Brian Schoonmaker of Cobleskill, Daniel Schoonmaker of Cobleskill, Kevin Schoonmaker in the service, Robert Fletcher Jr. of Catskill, and Raymond Fletcher of Catskill. He is also survived by 14 great-grandsons.

His brothers, John and Harvey, died before him as did his sister, Ellen, and granddaughter, Kelly Ann Schoonmaker.

A funeral service was held on Sunday. The Babcock Funeral Home in Ravena made the arrangements. Burial will be in the spring at the Knox Cemetery.

Richard W. Slatcher

KNOX — Richard W. Slatcher, an outdoorsman who worked as a vending-machine mechanic, died at his home in Knox on Friday, Jan. 25, 2008, after a long battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He was 68.

Mr. Slatcher was "definitely a family person — probably the glue — for a long time," said his daughter, Kathleen Sherman.

Born in Schenectady, Mr. Slatcher was the son of the late Warren and Marjorie Schilling Slatcher. A lifelong area resident, he worked for Canteen Food and Vending in Schenectady as a vending machine mechanic for over 25 years. He was a member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. He retired in January of 1998.

"We moved to Knox in 1972," said his daughter, "and he built the house himself."

"Richard was an avid fisherman who loved Paradox Lake and also enjoyed hunting," said his family in a tribute.

Mr. Slatcher hunted in the Adirondacks at Jones Hill, just north of Schroon Lake village.

"Paradox Lake was a huge part of his life," said his daughter. Her father’s father, she said, built a cabin on the lake in the Adirondacks. "My kids are the fourth generation up there."


Mr. Slatcher is survived by his children, Kathleen Sherman, and her companion, Robert Delaney; Ruth Anne Burby, and her husband, Michael; and Richard W. Slatcher Jr., and his wife, Bonnie; his grandchildren, Kevin, Meaghan, Christopher, Matthew, Elise, Eric, Everett, and Erin; and his brother, James R. Slatcher, and his wife, Lynnette. He is also survived by several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A funeral service was held Wednesday at the New Comer-Cannon Family Funeral Home in Colonie. Interment was in the Evergreen Memorial Park.

Memorial contributions may be made to Community Hospice of Schenectady, 1411 Union St., Schenectady, NY 12308. To leave a message for the family online, visit www.newcomerfamily.com.

— Tyler Schuling

Joan Doris Wilkinson

BERNE — Joan Doris Wilkinson was a collector — of spoons and owls, of books and lighthouses.

She died on Jan. 24, 2008 at St. Peter’s Hospice Inn in Albany. She was 76.

Mrs. Wilkinson loved to travel to lighthouses and, with the help of her two daughters, she visited many, said her elder daughter, JoAnne Brady. "She loved the ocean and would ‘stick her toes in’ whenever she could," said Mrs. Brady, echoing a favorite family phrase. This past summer, Mrs. Wilkinson and her two daughters spent a week at Cape Cod.

She also loved to knit and, over the years, she donated many hats and scarves that she had made to the Christmas at Sea program, run by the Seamen’s Church, which gives Christmas gifts to mariners.

She was born Joan Doris Lacher on Oct. 12, 1931 in Astoria, N.Y. She graduated from Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan on Dec. 7, 1953 as a registered nurse.

Her husband-to-be, Joseph Wilkinson, who lived in Edward Park in New York City, had a good friend whose girlfriend was in nursing and the couple met through him, said Mrs. Brady. They married in 1956.

A decade later, that same good friend had moved upstate and convinced the young family to do the same. Joan, Joseph, and JoAnne Wilkinson moved to Berne in 1966. Their daughter Jody was born in 1969.

Moving to the country was "a huge adjustment" for her mother, said Mrs. Brady. "She didn’t drive; she learned quickly," said her daughter.

Mrs. Wilkinson worked for several years at the Berne store and later at the Knox store. In 1990, she started working at the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, retiring in 2000.

Mrs. Wilkinson was an avid reader and recently donated her collection of books to the Berne Library Fund. Her favorite books were historical romances, said her daughter.

She collected a wide variety of things, besides books. Some of her collectibles had been passed down through family, but many she acquired herself, said Mrs. Brady. "She’d like to go to estate sales," said her daughter. Recalling the old Fox Creek Auction Arena run by Doug Cater, she went on, "We’d bid on 50-cent boxes at Cater’s."

While many of her mother’s possessions may not have qualified as "antiques," Mrs. Brady said, they were older and interesting things that filled her house. For example, in her kitchen, Mrs. Wilkinson kept a collection of graters.

"She had owls and spoons from all over," said her daughter.

Mrs. Wilkinson was a long-time member of La Mini Scala, a miniature enthusiast club.

She was also a member of the Hilltown Seniors and enjoyed many trips with them. And she attended the senior days at the South Berne Church.

While Mrs. Wilkinson was a shy person who "kept to herself," said her daughter, "In the last few years, she made a lot of friends in the Seniors and really enjoyed them."


She is survived by her daughters, JoAnne Brady and her husband, Frank, of East Berne, and Jody Wilkinson and her husband, Scott Vickery, of South Mills, N.C.; by her brother, Fred Lacher, and his wife, Lorette, of Albuquerque, N.M. and their children, Patrick, Hillary, and Geoff; by her cousins, Herbert Schmaler and his wife, Barbara, and Gerry Kelly; and by her close friend, Helen Proper, of Berne.

Her parents, Johanna Bunte and Frederick Lacher, died before her as did her husband, Joseph Wilkinson.

A memorial service was held on Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont.

Memorial contributions may be made to Community Hospice of Albany (St. Peter’s Inn), 445 Karner Rd., Albany, NY 12205.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

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