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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, May 22, 2008

Peter A. Rucinski

ALATAMONT — Peter Rucinski Jr., a good-hearted man who kept rhythm in his soul, died on Wednesday, May 7, 2008.  He was 77.

Growing up near the border of Schenectady and Albany counties, Mr. Rucinski was the son of a General Electric worker and a homemaker — the late Peter and Helen Stankiewicz Rucinski.  He worked on a neighbor’s farm, doing chores and tending the garden, said his wife, Beatrice Rucinski.

“He liked anything with his hands in the dirt,” she said of her husband, who kept a garden at their home.

As a boy, Mr. Rucinski had a job delivering papers, she said, and he’d use the money to go see movies, always keeping a tune as he walked home again.  “They’d hear him singing up the road,” Mrs. Rucinski said of her husband’s family.

“His brother used to call up in Wells,” she said of music in the family and how Mr. Rucinski got started square dancing.  She, too, did quite a bit of dancing in her youth, at kitchen hops during World War II, and the couple spent many a night dancing to country music, she said.

The pair met when friends of theirs set them up on a blind date and were married less than a year later, she said.  Before he wed, Mr. Rucinski served in the Navy, which sent him to Casablanca during the Korean War, his wife said.  He was a life member of American Legion Post 977 in Altamont and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5294 in Guilderland.

After they were married, the couple lived in Connecticut for a couple of years and then moved to the Capital Region, where Mr. Rucinski worked as a carpenter.  “We moved wherever the job was,” Mrs. Rucinski said.  Mr. Rucinski was a 50-year member of Local 106 Operating Engineers.

“He was good to me,” said Mrs. Rucinski.  He was a “very good husband.”

In February of 1977, they moved the family to Altamont so their hearing-impaired daughter could get the education she needed, Mrs. Rucinski said.

In their retirement, the couple traveled the globe, from Australia to Alaska, and Newfoundland to Ireland, and also followed the music closer to home.

“We followed different bands,” Mrs. Rucinski said.  In fact, she said, they once followed a band for three days — from West Lawrence, to Cobleskill, to Auburn.  “We danced every week, if there was a dance,” she said.  “He was a terrific dancer.”


Mr. Rucinski is survived by his beloved wife of 55 years, Beatrice Bennett Rucinski; his son Daniel Rucinski and his wife, Kathy, of Altamont; and his daughter, Sandra VanAuker, of Rochester.  He is also survived by his siblings, Bernard Rucinski and his wife, Virginia, of Clifton Park, and Frances Adams, and by his sister-in-law, Doris Rucinski, of Colonie.  His grandchildren, Aaron, Joseph, Keri, David, and Michael VanAuker of Rochester, and Kara and Katrina Rucinski of Altamont, also survive him, as well as several nieces and nephews. 

His brother, John Rucinski Sr., died before him.

A funeral was held on Monday, May 12, at New Comer Cannon Funeral Home in Colonie.  A Mass of Christian burial was then held at St. Lucy’s Church in Altamont with interment in Memory’s Garden.  Memorial contributions may be made to Our Lady of Mercy Life Center, 2 Mercycare Lane, Guilderland, NY  12084.

— Saranac Hale Spencer

Charles Raymond Sadue

ALTAMONT — Charles Sadue, always the jolly jokester, died on Sunday, May11, 2008.  He was 79.

Mr. Sadue grew up surrounded by women in a Bronx home.  He was born in the Bronx on Nov. 9, 1928, the son of the late Thoddeus Sadue and Katherine O’Rourke.  He was raised by his mother and grandmother, living with his aunt and two sisters, wrote his daughter, Kathryn McDermott.  As a teenager, he served ice cream on Coney Island, she said, and later graduated from Cardinal Hayes High School.

Before he began working for the New York State Department of Health, Mr. Sadue spent time near Lake George, where he camped with friends, his daughter said.

“In his early years, Charlie enjoyed camping, fishing, and betting on the occasional horse race,” his family wrote in a tribute.

After he married his wife, Kathryn Sadue, the couple moved to Altamont, where they raised four daughters and Mr. Sadue passed on the sweet tooth that he developed on Coney Island.  “He would bring his children to Helen Becker’s for the penny candy,” Mrs. McDermott remembered.

Mr. Sadue frequented many of the bygone village establishments, like the A&P and Armstrong’s Dairy, his daughter said.  After he retired in 1984, he worked with friends at Ketchum’s gas station and convenience store.

He was “the life of a party,” Mr. Sadue’s family wrote in a tribute, “with his great sense of humor.”


Mr. Sadue is survived by his daughters: Eileen M. Eglin of Scotia; Noreen E. Sadue of Plattsburgh; Kathryn A. McDermott and her husband, Michael, of Colonie; and Mary Ann B. Sadue of Frederick, Md.  He is also survived by his granddaughters, Jessica L. and Erica E. Eglin; his great-grandson, Mason R. Burke, and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.  He was also the dear friend of Wade and Monica Bush and will be missed by his beloved dog, Dakota.

His wife, Kathryn Sadue, died before him, as did his sisters, Maureen Lerck and Arlene Horst.

Calling hours will be from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 24, at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont and Mr. Sadue will be remembered in Sunday morning’s liturgy at 8:30 a.m. at St. Lucy’s Church, also in Altamont.

Memorial contributions may be made to Visiting Nurses of Albany, 35 Colvin Ave., Albany, NY  12206.

— Saranac Hale Spencer

Carol Szatkowski

ALTAMONT — Carol (Cowan) Szatkowski, a devoted mother and nurse, died Thursday, May 15, 2008, at the Hospice Inn at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany. She was 57.

A graduate of Guilderland High School, she received her nursing degree from Maria College. She worked for many years at Bellevue Woman’s Hospital after which she took time off to be with her boys.  She also worked for the family business at Western Turnpike Golf Course. She attended and graduated from the Aesthetics Institute.

In 2006, she walked in a marathon to benefit stroke research in Vermont, which she proudly did in memory of her father.

Her family wrote in a tribute: “When asked the question, ‘What made Carol happiest?’ the answer would no doubt be her boys. She supported all their endeavors and adventures. She embraced every request for new pets. She never seemed to mind all the car parts, torn pool liners, muddy shoes, or the constant stream of friends in and out of the house.

“She  would just give a shrug and a smile when she heard the burst of exploding potatoes from the backyard. From the bleachers, she rooted for her boys’ hockey teams. Whatever they were doing, no matter what they were doing, would make her happy.

“Carol’s love of animals was obvious. In the days before her precious boys were born, she would load a horse into a trailer and head to a show or the track on the weekends, decorating the borrowed stall to resemble the homiest of rooms.

“In addition to the horses, dogs, and cats, too numerous to mention by name, Carol would and did care for every creature imaginable. Injured birds, pigs (both pot-bellied and huge),  a hedgehog, orphaned squirrels, rabbits, ponies, donkeys, ducks, goats, a temperamental sheep, fish, ferrets, frogs, turtles, chickens, mice, and a hamster were all comforted and cared for by Carol at one time or another.

“She treated every new “pet” addition to our family as one would the birth of a child, bringing every new dog a gift and a hug. If she couldn’t personally care for an animal, she’d send a donation to the many charities that filled her mailbox.

“Carol loved the outdoors. Visiting her camp on Long Lake with her boys was her favorite place to enjoy nature. She enjoyed trips to Maine and the sight of the loons. In recent years, Carol also ventured to parts of the Caribbean with her family, making everyone laugh at her insistence on visiting a bird ‘sanctuary’ that had no birds.

“She enjoyed trips to Disney World and Myrtle Beach. In April, Carol took her final vacation with her family to St. Pete’s Beach. On her good days, she zoomed around the zoo and Busch Gardens on her rented scooter, taking her time to admire the Clydesdales and orangutans.

“Before her illness, Carol was a caregiver to Dave and Fran Cowan, spending afternoons at the Home Front Café and taking the couple for drives in an effort to help her friend, Lisa Cowan. 

“Carol was saddened in the past tow years by the  loss of her father, Arthur Szatkowski, and shortly after, the loss of her mother, Frances Szatkowski. Carol’s short-legged, canine companion, Maxine, also passed late last year.

“The hardest part of her battle was fought from her family room on Settles Hill Road surrounded by her family and friends, watching the birds against the backdrop of the breathtaking view that was her home.

Carol is survived by her boys, Zachary, Christopher, and Matthew Cowan; by her loving sister Catherine Szatkowski, who was by her side throughout her journey of life. Cathie was Carol’s best friend;  she was there for her faithfully for all the ups and downs in life, right through to her final days. She also leaves behind her Aunt Lorraine who thought of her as a daughter.

“The loss of Carol will also leave an empty space in the heart of Connie Pierre. Her nieces, Jade (Angelo) and Alexandra (Fagan) will always remember the special times they shared with their aunt; her ‘nephew-in-law,’ Michael (Angelo), the one who made sure Carol was never ‘lost’;  her great-nephews John, Michael, and Nicholas Angelo are grateful for the time they spent with her.

“She will be greatly missed by all who knew her, especially her dear friends, Jane “Mitch” Harrington, Mary Breitenstein, and Debbie “Swamper” Sager.

“Carol’s family would like to thank Dr. Cora Bonatsas of Northeast Oncology Hematology and staff, Dr. Duncan Savage of St. Peter’s Radiology Oncology and staff, and all of the wonderful people of Community Hospice, especially Susanna, Becky, Adrienne, Bill, Lisa and Leslie.”


A mass of Christian burial was celebrated Monday at the Church of Christ the King on Sumpter Avenue in Guilderland.

Carol Szatkowski was unable to achieve her dream of a trip to Alaska, therefore, in honor of her dream, memorial contributions in her name may be made to Alaska Wildlife Alliance, PO Box 202022, Anchorage, AK 99520 www.akwildlife.org.

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