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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 28, 2008

Jon Daniel Saint-Amour

ALTAMONT — Jon Daniel Saint-Amour, known as Dan, a dedicated music teacher and family man, died on Monday, Feb. 11, 2008, of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 65.

Born in Buffalo on Feb. 21, 1942, he received a bachelor of arts degree with a major in piano from Indiana University, and later, an education degree from The College of Saint Rose.

He then taught for three years in Berlin, N.Y. He continued his teaching career at New Lebanon High School. For 34 years, he taught the students seventh- and eighth-grade general music, junior-high and senior-high choir, guitar, piano, music appreciation, and music theory.

"He gave up any free periods in the day, and often, on the weekend, to make sure that his students received extra tutelage in pieces they might be working on for a concert, the New York State School Music Association or all-county competitions, auditions, or upcoming garage-band debuts," his family wrote in a tribute.

"He cheerfully offered his many talents to the drama club, variety show, and many other extracurricular groups needing an accompanist, rehearsal, access to instruments or amplifiers, or a room to rehearse," his family said.

"Dan also coached the swim team for many years, focusing on keeping extensive records of each swimmer’s best times in previous matches, so she or he could try to achieve personal bests," his family wrote. "He also taught a fair amount of New Lebanon’s children how to swim, including his own.

"Through all of Dan’s responsibilities, he made sure to expose his own children to a rich and varied world of artistic opportunities. Dan enjoyed listening to music, playing the piano, guitar, recorder and harmonica, gardening, reading, hiking, and spending time with his family."

His family concluded, "He was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather."


He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Susan Saint-Amour; his children, Jon Paul St. Amour of Oakland, Calif., and Julie St. Amour Glass of Altamont; his grandchildren, Alexander and Rosemary; his brother, Noel Saint-Amour of Hendersonville, N.C.; and several nieces, nephews, and grand-nieces and grand-nephews.

A memorial service will take place later, in the spring. Arrangements are by the Richard J. Ryan Funeral Home in Galway, N.Y.

Memorial contributions may be made to either the Neurosciences Research Center of Albany Medical Center at 47 New Scotland Road, S Building, MC65, Albany, NY 12208; or to the Alzheimer’s Association, 85 Watervliet Ave., Albany, NY 12206-2083.

Joseph C. Kochian

LATHAM — Joseph C. Kochian, a dedicated worker and father, died in a car accident on Feb. 21, 2008. He was 45.

Born in Troy to Elizabeth and the late Charles Kochian, Mr. Kochian grew up to join the United States Air Force. Later, he became a clerk for the New York State Department of Labor.

"Joe was an avid and diehard Boston Red Sox fan," wrote his family in a tribute.

Family trips to Maine were a high point for Mr. Kochian. His eyes lit up when his co-worker, Dina Ross, told him she would be taking her family to the Pine Tree State for vacation, she wrote in a memorial message. He told her about some of his favorite places — the Norseman Resort, Paras Pizza, and Mike’s clam shack, wrote Ms. Ross.

One of his favorite things to do in Maine was to eat out, said his son, Andrew, who shared his father’s taste for seafood.

"As much as he enjoyed discussing Maine and the Red Sox, in talking with Joe, one could see his real love and utmost importance was none other than his wife and children," wrote Ms. Ross.

Andrew spoke of his father with great admiration and understanding. "He was a hard worker," said Andrew. And "he always wanted to support his kids."

Mr. Kochian is survived by his mother Elizabeth A. (Gow) Kochian, of Latham, and by his children, Gina E. and Andrew J. Kochian and their mother, Rayann Kochian. He is also survived by three sisters: Lisa E. Kochian, Tina Metne, and Dawn Currier; and by his aunt and uncle, Michael and Clara Maloney.

A service was held on Monday at the Dufresne & Cavanaugh Funeral Home in Latham and interment will be in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Watervliet.

A memorial message may be left for the Kochian family by visiting www.dufresneandcavanaugh.com.

— Saranac Hale Spencer

Eleanor C. Loucks

TROY — Eleanor C. Loucks, who lived for many years in Feura Bush, devoted her life to her family, church, and the community, said her family in a tribute.

She was from a very strong, long line of ancestors who were involved in education and religion and trace back to England, said her daughter, Kathleen Canary.

Mrs. Loucks died on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008, after a long illness. She was 87.

Born in Middleburgh on Dec. 4, 1920, she was the daughter of the late Stanley Clarence Cornell and Edith Mary (Wing) Cornell. She graduated from Ravena High School and the Cobleskill School of Agriculture and Home Economics, where she received her degree in food service.

She then attended Albany Business College and worked as a secretary before marrying John S. Loucks Jr. in 1945. The couple was married for 61 years when Mr. Loucks died on April 8, 2007. Together, they had raised three children — Kathleen, John, and Paul.

"Eleanor always placed other people’s needs ahead of her own, but occasionally found time to enjoy antique collecting, bird watching, needlework, and solving crossword puzzles," said her family.

They described her as "a loving mother and caring homemaker who enjoyed hosting family gatherings."

"Being the daughter of a school teacher, she stressed the value of education," said her family. "She demonstrated the finest in human qualities, including compassion, selflessness, honesty, and humor."

Mrs. Loucks’s mother taught at the Feura Bush school, said Kathleen Canary. While her father knew mathematics, Ms. Canary said, her mother was an avid reader who was well-versed in the classics. "She was well-read and had a great vocabulary."

The family has many memories of her in the kitchen, helping her children with their book reports, she said, describing her mother as "very patient."

Throughout her life, Mrs. Loucks was very active in the Jerusalem Reformed Church, and served, at various times, as a Sunday-school teacher, a treasurer, and as a pianist. She also baked and took reservations for many church suppers.

The family bought her an organ, which shared space with her husband’s office, said Ms. Canary.

Her mother made a lot of the clothes she wore when she was younger, and she became very good at cross-stitching, said Ms. Canary. Members of the family have cross-stitched pieces she made that they will remember her by, she said.

She collected flow blue china and copper lustre pictures and attended many antiques shows and farmers’ markets with her daughter and daughters-in-law.

"She was frugal," said her daughter. "As much as she loved antiques, she didn’t really like [something] unless it was a bargain."

The patience Mrs. Loucks showed with others "translated down to her grandkids," said Ms. Canary, adding that her mother could teach her grandchildren simple games and could talk to them.

"And I think that’s nice," she said, "that they found her so approachable."

"Her remarkable character was evident even during her struggle with Alzheimer’s," said her family. "She was a great example and inspiration to her family and will be dearly missed."


Eleanor C. Loucks is survived by her children, Kathleen Canary of Clifton Park; John Loucks IV and his wife, Marla, of Austin, Texas; and Paul Loucks and his wife, Barbara, of Guilderland. She is also survived by five grandchildren, Bret, Michael, Jennifer, Megan, and John V, and by three great-grandchildren, Dylan, Scout, and Tanner.

Her parents, Stanley Clarence Cornell and Edith Mary (Wing) Cornell, died before her as did her brother, Philip Rodney Cornell, and her husband, John S. Loucks Jr.

There will be no calling hours. Memorial services at Jerusalem Reformed Church and interment services at Jerusalem Cemetery will be announced in the spring. The Applebee Funeral Home in Delmar is making the arrangements.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Elizabeth Malone Employee Appreciation Fund, care of Eddy Memorial Geriatric Center, 2256 Burdett Ave., Troy, NY 12180.

— Tyler Schuling

John R. Newell

WESTERLO — John R. Newell, known to his friends, as Dick, lived in Westerlo and worked as a farmer and laborer. He died on Feb.24, in the Livingston Hills Nursing and Rehab Center in Livingston, N.Y. He was 93.

Mr. Newell was born in Mattituck, N.Y. on Jan.13, 1915, son of the late George and Nancy (Boucher) Newell.

He was a farmer and a laborer with the New York State Department of Transportation in Voorheesville, until his retirement.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Dorothy (Clickman) Newell; two sons, John Newell of Medusa, and Edward Newell and his wife, Elaine, of Greenville; and a daughter, Gloria Brown, and her husband, Richard, of Greenville; seven grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren. His sister, Sylvia Woessner, died before him as did his two brothers, George (Pete) Newell and Bob Newell.

Service and interment are at the convenience of the family; all arrangements are under the direction of the Cunningham Funeral Home in Greenville.

Mary Zuk

BERNE — Mary Zuk, who was active in her community — with the local school, churches, and farms — was the ambassador of her family, said her son, Alan Zuk.

Mrs. Zuk died on Friday, Feb. 22, 2008, at the Guilderland Center Nursing Home. She was 86.

Mrs. Zuk graduated from Washington Irving High School in Manhattan and worked as a secretary in an insurance office in downtown Manhattan for several years. In January of 1942, she married her husband, Paul Zuk, while he was on leave from military service.

She traveled extensively with her husband during his military training in the United States.

"They were kind of, I would say, almost like opposites early on in that my mother grew up, primarily, in New York City, and my father was born in the town of Berne," said Alan Zuk. "They hit it off, and, unfortunately, World War II got started, and my dad was drafted into the military as were many, many, many, people. And, as the story goes, while he was on leave, they were married and he was sent to the Philippines to do his military obligation for the duration of World War II."

The couple returned to New York City in 1944 and moved to Berne in 1948, where they purchased the former Austin Shultes farm in 1949.

"There is a location at the intersection of High Point Road and Bradt Hollow Road that is known as Zuk’s Corners. That is where his parents had a small farm, and that is where he did his early childhood and attended Middleburgh High School," Alan Zuk said of his father.

After World War II, Paul Zuk was working as an auto mechanic for a taxicab company in New York City. The opportunity came along to purchase the Austin Shultes Farm around 1950, said Alan Zuk.

"He purchased it in partnership with another gentleman. And the farmhouse was a two-family house. Around 1957 or so, my father bought out the other half of the partnership and continued to operate it by himself with our family," he said. "My mother was, of course, by his side all the time until they sold the farm in 1975. My mother was with him every day, alongside him, doing the farm chores," he said.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Zuk grew up during The Great Depression.

"I think the goal was to make a success of their farm, and, by virtue of the fact that they grew up during The Great Depression, they knew how to conserve — conserve everything— dollars, get by with less than what we would expect to be creature comforts now, just to get through it all," said Alan Zuk.

As his father had a farm background and his mother grew up with a very industrious family as well, they were no strangers to hard work, said Alan Zuk. "It was very natural for them to work hard."

Mrs. Zuk’s hobby was her children, he said. Alan Zuk called his mother "the ambassador of the family."

"I think her interests were us — the kids," he said.

Mrs. Zuk was active in the Beaverdam and Berne Reformed churches and was a member of the guild.
She was a Sunday-school teacher as well as a Sunday-school superintendent and made sure that her children did well in their high school studies, Alan Zuk said.

"She was interested in the Farm Bureau — the success of that organization," he said. Mrs. Zuk served at the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Voorheesville as an advisor to people who would call in with questions about growing plants, Alan Zuk said. She was also involved with the local historical society, the Berne-Knox-Westerlo School Board, and the Parent-Teacher Association.

In her later years, Mr. Zuk said, "She had very severe arthritis. And she, obviously, was in pain because of the arthritis — the joint pain — but she rarely complained, rarely complained about that," he said. "That’s probably the one thing that I’ll remember most about her, that she never complained."


Mary Zuk is survived by her children, Alan Zuk, and his wife, Mildred, of Berne; Joan Pearson, and her husband, Jonathan, of Glenville; and Marilyn Warner, and her husband, Dennis, of Amhers, NHt; and by her four grandchildren, Stephanie and Laura Zuk; Jonathan Pearson, and his wife, Sara; and Christopher Pearson. She is also survived by her brother, John Kozar, of Rockville, Md.; and several nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews in the Washington, D.C. area.

Her husband, Paul Zuk, died before her as did her brother, Michael Kozar.

A funeral service was held on Tuesday at the First Reformed Church of Berne. The Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont made the arrangements.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First Reformed Church of Berne, Berne, NY 12023; or to the Helderberg Ambulance Squad, Post Office Box 54, East Berne, NY 12059.

— Tyler Schuling

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