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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, September 11, 2008

Mina G. Dreimiller

Mina G. Dreimiller, a homemaker, from Valatie, N.Y., died on Monday, Sept. 8. 2008, in Reistertown, Md. She was 95.

Born in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland on Sept. 3, 1913, she was the daughter of the late Caspar and Mina (Holder) Gertsch.

She is survived by her son, Michael J. Dreimiller, and his wife, Lynnetta, of Reisterstown, Md.; her sister, Elsie Samascott of Kinderhook, N.Y.; two grandchildren, Kevin J. Dreimiller of Great Barrington, Mass., and Ryan M. Dreimiller and his wife, Jennifer, of Waitsfield, Vt.; and a great-granddaughter, Alessandra Dreimiller; and several nieces and nephews.

Her husband, Joseph M. Dreimiller, died before her as did her sister, Edith Keene.

Funeral services were held Wednesday at the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home in Valatie with the service conducted by Vicar Dan Cohn. Interment was in the Kinderhook Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Salvation Army, 40 South Third Street, Hudson, NY  12534.

Roman S. Lapinski

Roman S. Lapinski, a spirited man who was grounded by his Polish roots, died on Monday, Sept. 8, 2008.  He was 86.

Born in Queens to a couple recently emigrated from Poland, Mr. Lapinski didn’t learn to speak English until he went to school, said his oldest daughter, Christine Weller.  He grew up with three older siblings and four cousins in a cramped Brooklyn apartment while his mother cleaned houses and his father worked as the night foreman in a graveyard, Ms. Weller said. 

Mr. Lapinski was the first in his family to go to college.  “I think he was just driven,” she said of her father.

After graduating from St. John’s University in Brooklyn, Mr. Lapinski joined the Army Air Corps, serving as a second lieutenant navigator on B-29 airplanes that flew missions over Japan and the South Pacific in the final year of World War II, wrote his family in a tribute.

“He wanted to be in the air,” said Ms. Weller, not slogging through the mud.  Mr. Lapinski flew nine bombing missions and two prisoner-of-war missions, she said. “They were long, they were cold, they were exhausting,” she said, recalling his stories of the missions.

He was proud of his military service, she said, and felt that he was protecting his country.  His crew stayed intact, Ms. Weller said.  “They all went together, they all came back together.”

When Mr. Lapinski came home from the war, Blanche Bronislas Lipko, a girl he had known in the fife and bugle corps, had grown up. 

“She became a woman when I went away to the Army,” Ms. Weller remembered her father saying.  The couple married in 1947 and raised four children together.

“He was the breadwinner,” she said.  Starting out as an investigator for the New York State Liquor Authority, Mr. Lapinski worked his way up to become deputy commissioner — a role that he served from 1959 until his retirement in 1983.  He also served as a director and then the chair of the board of the Atlas Savings and Loan Association in Brooklyn.

“He was a good Republican,” said Ms. Weller.  He “got appointed through [Governor Nelson A.] Rockefeller.”  The whole family had the privilege of meeting the then-governor, she recalled.

“He read the newspaper cover to cover every day,” Ms. Weller said, and Mr. Lapinski always read the Daily News because, he’d say, “he always liked to hear the other side.”

A dedicated fan of his hometown teams — the Giants and the Mets — Mr. Lapinski would play dollar bets with any taker, his daughter said.  “That dollar is worth a million dollars to me,” he’d say after a win.

“He just loved life,” Ms. Weller said.  He was the center of any party she said, and marched with his family in the New York City Pulaski Day parade, of which he had been the grand marshal.  Mr. Lapinski was involved with many organizations in the Polish community and was named Citizen of the Year by the Polish American World in 1979.

“He taught us all to live life every day and love every minute of it,” Ms. Weller said.  She repeated her father’s words to the chaplain on his last day, “I love my life.  I love my family.”


Mr. Lapinski is survived by his four children and their spouses: Christine Weller and her husband, David; Mary Voytus and her husband, Walter; Ann Barker and her husband, Fred; and Joseph Lapinski and Daryl Bart.  He is also survived by his eight grandchildren, Adam, Sophia Joseph, Tanya, Jesse, Andrew, Sujin, Nathan, and Allison, and his great-grandchild, Aveyah Weller.  He is also survived by his special friend, Peggy Sklenar, his sister, Jean Roberts, and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and extended family members.

His wife of 35 years, Blanche, died before him, as did his brother, John, and sister, Helen Grzegorek.

A funeral will be held on Friday, Sept. 12, at 10 a.m. at St. John’s-St. Ann’s Church of Albany and calling hours will be on Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the William J. Rockefeller Funeral Home, 165 Columbia Turnpike, Rensselaer.  Interment will be in the Calvary Cemetery, 4902 Laurel Hill Boulevard, Flushing, N.Y. on Saturday, Sept. 13 at 11 a.m. with a luncheon to follow.

Donations may be made to Community Hospice of Albany County, 445 New Karner Rd., Albany, NY  12205 or to the Disabled American Veterans, Post Office Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH  45250-0301.

— Saranac Hale Spencer

Roy O. Pahl

GUILDERLAND — A family man, Roy O. Pahl worked as a bus driver and mechanic for the Guilderland schools.

“He enjoyed being a bus driver,” said his wife, Alberta Pahl. “But he liked kids too much to yell at them all the time. So he decided he’d rather fix the buses.”

Mr. Pahl died unexpectedly on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2008, at his home on Fuller Station Road in Guilderland. He was 84.

The son of the late Emil W. Pahl Sr. and Gladys Pahl, he was born on June 4, 1924 in East Glenville, N.Y. He graduated from Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School and then joined the United States Army. He served from 1943 to 1946 and a period of that time he was stationed in England. He was a member of American Legion Post 1091.

In 1947, with his brother and father, he built the home on Fuller Station Road that he lived in the rest of his life. He married his beloved wife, Alberta McNicol Pahl, on Sept. 1, 1951.

They were married for 57 years and raised four children — two daughters and two sons. “He was a great husband,” said Mrs. Pahl. “He was always worried about us and did things for us.” He kept a garden and grew both flowers and vegetables for his family.

He really enjoyed spending time with their children, Mrs. Pahl said. “I don’t think we ever had a vacation without the kids.” The family enjoyed camping trips together, she said. Mr. Pahl had a wood lot in Saratoga County where he liked fishing and hunting with his brother, she said.

Mr. Pahl was outgoing, his wife said. “We never went any place that we didn’t meet someone he knew,” she said. “The first time I went beyond the edge of New York State, he met someone he knew in New Jersey.”

Later, when the couple went to visit their son, stationed in Germany, she said, “He met someone there he had been to school with.”

“Everyone liked him,” she concluded.


Besides his wife, Alberta Pahl of Guilderland, he is survived by his brother, Emil W. Pahl Jr., of Guilderland; two daughters, Crystal Pahl, of Guilderland, Suzane Shireman, of Jacksonville, Ill.; and two sons, Roy O. Pahl Jr. of East Berne, and Daniel Pahl of Tripoli, Iowa.

He is also survived by five grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, and many special friends.

His sister, Leah Pahl Ormsby, died before him.

A funeral was held on Saturday and memorial contributions may be made to a charity of one’s choice.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

Ethel Rapp

BERNE — A devoted wife and mother, Ethel Rapp was known for her sugar cookies.

On Monday, Sept. 1, 2008, she died at her residence in South Berne. She was 94.

“She was a very plain woman, very dedicated to her family,” said her son, Richard Rapp.

Mrs. Rapp worked in the cafeteria of Berne-Knox-Westerlo Elementary School. She loved playing dominos and shopping around at garage sales. She was the oldest living member of the South Berne Congregational Church, and helped form the church’s Wednesday Seniors group.

“She certainly knew how to bake and cook, but everybody loved those sugar cookies,” her son said. “There was a cookbook put out here one time, and, of course, a lot of people talked her into putting her sugar cookie recipe in the cookbook,” he said.

The daughter of the late John and Gladys (Shaver) Manchester, Mrs. Rapp was born on March 8, 1914, in Schoharie, N.Y., where she lived until she married her late husband. Their son, Richard, recalls stories of how his mother, a Schoharie High School graduate, met his father, the late Herman Rapp.

“They met when my father took his sisters to go to high school,” he said. “This was back when my mother was going to school, many years ago. Out here, there was no high school. My father had two sisters that went out to Schoharie to finish 11th and 12th grade, and they were in the same class as my mother. One thing led to another, and that’s how they got acquainted.”

The two were married on November 25, 1936. Their marriage lasted 55 years, ending with her husband’s death.


Ethel Rapp is survived by her sons: Richard and his wife, Patricia; and Robert and his wife, Rachael. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Debora Stalker and her husband, Brian; Randy Rapp and his wife, Beth; Susan Ragone and her husband, Larry; James Rapp and his wife, Carol Ann, and great-grandchildren: Larry Ragone Jr. and his wife, Andrea; David Stalker; Amanda Stalker; Renee Rapp; Jessee Rapp; William “Billy” Rapp; Randy Rapp Jr. She is survived by her sister, Helen Sisson, and several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews as well.

Her grandsons, Jeff Rapp and Joel Rapp, died before her, as did her brother, Albert “Ike” Manchester.

A memorial service will be held at the South Berne Congregational Church on Sunday, Oct. 5, at 2 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the South Berne Congregational Church, 101 Church Road, Berne, N.Y. 12023.

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