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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, June 12, 2008

Grace W. Brown

VOORHEESVILLE – Grace Brown was described by nearly everyone as a sweet person; she was kind and thoughtful, treasured by her friends, and above all, loved her family. She died on Dec. 29, 2007, at St. Peter’s Nursing and Rehab Center in Albany; she was 95.

Mrs. Brown was born Feb. 3, 1912, in Cedarville, N.Y., the second youngest of the six children of John and Edna Wellenstein.  She and her husband, Charles, grew up on farms a few miles from one another, and, after eloping, they began their marriage on Memorial Day in 1933.  They shared a life together for more than 69 years.

Mrs. Brown had earned a teaching degree from Potsdam Normal School the year before, and worked while her husband completed his degree in forestry from Syracuse University.

Grace and Charles lived in Missouri, and also Maine before moving to Slingerlands.  In 1949, they settled in the country between Altamont and Voorheesville. 

“For the next five-and-a-half years, while Charles built their house, Grace made a home in their garage for their family of four – plus assorted pets and wildlife,” her daughter, Sylvia Aust, wrote in a tribute. “She shared her husband’s love for the outdoors, and they took their children camping almost every summer.”

In addition to being a homemaker, Mrs. Brown was also a substitute teacher for 17 years in the Voorheesville Elementary School.  She most enjoyed “the little ones,” and preferred the very early grades.

“Reading was a lifelong pleasure, and Grace shared this passion with her son and daughter from their earliest ages,” her daughter said.  She was an avid birdwatcher, and knew most of the local and migrating birds by sight and song.  She was in her element during the spring migration of the warblers. 

“They both were birdwatchers,” said Ms. Aust.  “Dad worked for the conservation department, so he was very interested in the out-of-doors, and they shared that common interest.”

Every year, and well into her 90s, Mrs. Brown planted and tended her beloved flower garden.

She did a great deal of sewing for her family over the years.  In addition, she was skilled at a variety of needlework, including embroidery, crocheting, and quilting.  Active in the Home Bureau years ago, one winter she produced home-sewn leather gloves from deer hide for the entire family. 

She was a member of a local women’s bridge group for over 50 years, and made a kept countless friends.  For many years she participated in the activities of the Women’s Society of Christian Service of the Voorheesville Methodist Church.

Following Mr. Brown’s retirement, the Browns took several trips in their small camper, driving as far as California, Nova Scotia, and Florida.  They became interested in genealogy, and, after many years of research, travel, and correspondence, they were able to put together their family histories.  They also wrote up their childhood memories for their children.


Charles Brown died in 2003, and their son, Larry, in 2005.  Grace Brown is survived by her daughter, Sylvia Aust; daughter-in-law, Judy Brown; and three grandchildren, Laura and Brian Aust, and Lewis Brown.  She was buried next to her husband in a small country cemetery in Cedarville, N.Y.,near their childhood homes.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Voorheesville Public Library, 51 School Rd., Voorheesville, NY 12186; or to St. Peter’s Nursing and Rehab Center, 301 Hackett Blvd., Albany, NY 12208

Richard I. Schanz Sr.

SCHENECTADY — Richard I. Schanz Sr., who worked as a truck driver for the Albany County highway department, died on Thursday, June 5, 2008, at the Dutch Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Centre in Rotterdam.  He was 69.

Mr. Schanz is survived by two sons, Peter Schanz of Berne, and William Schanz; a sister, Shirley Landauer, of Knox; a brother, David P. Schanz, of Berne; and several grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. 

His son, Richard Ivan Schanz Jr., died before him as did his sister, Dolores L. Christian. 

A mass of Christian burial was celebrated on Tuesday at St. Bernadette’s Church in Berne.  Interment was in the South Berne Rural Cemetery.  The Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont made the arrangements. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the Community Hospice of Schenectady, 1411 Union St., Schenectady, N.Y. 12308. 

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