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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, January 1, 2009

Charles G. Huether

EAST BERNE — Charles G. Huether died Monday, Dec. 22, 2008 at the Hospice Inn at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany. He was 80.

He is survived by his wife of over 54 years, Madeline Huether and by his four sons, Charles Jr., James, Francis, and Steven. His son Timothy died before him.

Arrangements are by the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont, which had calling hours on Dec. 26, 2008.

Dr. Jean Anthony Rissacher

VOORHEESVILLE — Dr. Jean Anthony Rissacher died on Thursday, Dec. 18, 2008, surrounded by his family. He was 81.

Dr. Rissacher was born in Hempstead on Long Island. He was the son of the late Joseph and Jeanne Rissacher. The family moved to Altamont and lived across from the LaSalette Seminary.

He was a graduate of Altamont High School, where he was captain of the football team. The team’s trophy is still displayed at Guilderland High School.

Dr. Rissacher served in the aviation division of the United States Navy during World War II, and he was stationed in Hawaii. He also played for the Navy as first baseman and pitcher for the semi-professional baseball team, the Yankee Klippers. He kept his love of baseball throughout his life.

 He attended the Palmer School of Chiropractic in Iowa, and then opened an office in Albany, where he practiced for more than 40 years.

“He was one of the first — one of the best,” said his daughter, Nancy Rissacher.

Dr. Rissacher took great pleasure in the outdoors and had a special way with animals, often taking in strays and wild animals that were hurt and nursing them to health.


Dr. Jean Anthony Rissacher is survived by his daughter, Nancy Rissacher; his daughter, Linda Ashline, and her husband, Glenn; his son, Joe Rissacher; his daughter, Lori Charash, and her husband, Bill; his daughter, Chris Terry, and her husband, Jim; his son, Jim Rissacher; his son, Dan Rissacher, and his wife, Patty; and Jan Rissacher.

Dr. Rissacher is also survived by his grandchildren, Glenn, Marie, Michael, Sarah, J.T., Jonathan, Joe, Philip, Brian, Leah, Rachel, David, Joseph, and Xavier. He is survived by his brother, Bob Rissacher; his sister, Mary Anne Markowski, and her husband, Mark; and many nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Monday, Dec. 22, 2008 at St. Lucy’s Church, Grand Street, Altamont. Interment was in Fairview Cemetery. Arrangements were made by Fredendall Funeral Home of Altamont. Memorial contributions may be made to the Mohawk & Hudson River Humane Society, 3 Oakland Ave., Menands, NY, 12204.

— Jo E. Prout

William D. Welburn

GUILDERLAND — William D. Welburn, a man who related to people and took joy in their company, died on Dec. 20, 2008 at St. Peter’s Hospital. He was 73.

He served on the Guilderland Town Board for seven years, because, his wife said, he cared about people.

Growing up in Troy, Mr. Welburn spend his days at the corner grocery store where the neighborhood kids would gather, said his wife, Harriet Jane (Favor) Welburn. The son of the late Ney and Emile (Thompson) Welburn, Mr. Welburn was a faithful dog owner who “fondly remembered many happy years with his childhood dog, Major,” wrote his family in a tribute.

Mr. Welburn went on to love five more dogs — Gus, Holly, Casey, Charlie, and Happy.

After graduating from Troy High School, Mr. Welburn served in the United States Air Force from 1956 to 1959, during which time he was stationed in Texas, Germany, and Turkey. While abroad, he did a lot of traveling on his leave days, his wife said — Mr. Welburn saw the World’s Fair in Brussels. He worked closely with German civilians when he was there, Mrs. Welburn said, and he became so close to one family that they came to America for a visit in the 1960s. Mr. Welburn stayed in touch with them until recently, she said.

Mr. Welburn met his wife when both were students at Russell Sage College’s evening division. He was studying psychology, Mrs. Welburn said, probably because he was “interested in finding out what made people tick.”

After getting his degree, Mr. Welburn moved from the state’s Department of Social Welfare, where he had been a clerk, to the Department of Civil Service, Municipal Services Division, where he helped municipalities with their Civil Service related questions for 35 years. “He loved his work,” Mrs. Welburn said.

He was part of his own local government as well, serving as a member of the Guilderland Town Board from 1986 to 1993. “He really enjoyed people,” his wife said of his motivation. The town was going though a period of growth, with construction in much of the town, she said, and “he enjoyed seeing it come together.”

Mr. Welburn later served on the town’s Industrial Development Agency and the Guilderland Public Library Board and he was a member of the Western Turnpike Kiwanis Club.

Following retirement, Mr. Welburn enjoyed traveling with his wife — the couple went to Blue Mountain Lake, national parks, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Europe. Often, they would include Mr. Welburn’s sister, Gloria, and their mutual friend, Sandra.

An avid hunter, Mr. Welburn was a member of the Woodlawn Sportsman’s Club and the National Rifle Association. He ran a business called Lone Pine Ltd., which sold accessories to hunters, Mrs. Welburn said. They would work the weekend hunting shows, she said, where he relished meeting people and talking about their hunting experiences.

He did a lot of deer and turkey hunting, his wife said, and he especially liked hunting with his good friend Mike Beaver — they’d go on hunting trips as far as New Brunswick, the Adirondacks, the Catskill Mountains, and Newfoundland, where Mr. Welburn got a moose.

“He enjoyed being out in the woods as much as he did hunting,” Mrs. Welburn said, “the comradeship of being out in the woods with other people hunting.”


Mr. Welburn is survived by his wife of 45 years, Harriet Jane (Favor) Welburn of Guilderland, and his siblings, Gloria Tauth of Hot Springs, Ark., and Neyette Hibbs of Rotterdam. He is also survived by three nieces, four nephews, four grandnieces, and eight grandnephews.

A memorial service will be held at noon on Thursday, Jan.8, at New Comer-Cannon Funeral Home, 343 New Karner Rd., Colonie. Calling hours will be held before the service from 10 a.m. to noon at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Guilderland Animal Shelter, care of Guilderland Town Hall, Post Office Box 339, Guilderland, NY 12084. A message for the family may be left at www.NewcomerAlbany.com.

— Saranac Hale Spencer

Robert E. Wright

A devoted father and husband, Robert E. Wright worked for 33 years as building maintenance supervisor for the New York State Thruway Authority.

“He was exceptionally good with his hands and with his mind, with tools,” said his son Garth Wright. But, beyond that, he was a role model to his two sons. “My brother described him as the most moral person he has ever known,” said Garth Wright of his brother, Derek.

Robert E. Wright died on Dec. 25, 2008. He was 72.

“Our dad taught us how to act, not by preaching or punishing, but by doing for others, smiling when he was happy, being stern when we were wrong, and sharing the joys of our successes,” his two sons wrote in a tribute. “He listened to our words and observed our actions. He spoke when we needed guidance, support, or to be put in our place.”

They went on, “One of his rules in life was that you don’t have to like it, you just have to do it. From this, we learned that doing the right thing, regardless of how challenging it was, is the best course of action.”

Mr. Wright was born on Feb. 19, 1936 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the son of Howard and Celia Wright.

He would come with his family to the Helderbergs every summer and spend the school year in Florida.

“When he was a freshman in high school, he decided to stay in Berne,” said his son, Garth Wright. He stayed with his grandmother, Christina Miller. “I’m sure they took care of each other,” said his son.

At about the same time, he worked as a farm hand on the Miller family farm in East Berne. That is where he met Carolyn Miller, who would one day become his wife. She was just 10 at the time and he was 16, said their son.

After he graduated from Berne-Knox Central School in 1955, Mr. Wright joined the Army and served until 1958. He was stationed in Verdun, France. “He bought a car, he had an international license,” said his son. “He traveled around in his free time and saw Europe.”

Mr. Wright kept his love of driving. He was an avid stock car fan and snowmobiler.

“He and Mom went to NASCAR races,” said his son. “He was at Daytona the day Dale Earnhardt Sr. died.”

Mr. Wright enjoyed snowmobiling with his sons. “We could ride right in our backyard,” said Garth Wright. “We took a trip every year to Indian Lake where we’d go 50 to 100 miles a day.”

He was also active in other sports with his boys. “He was our Little League Baseball coach,” said his son. The boys played several different sports. “He went to every game and practice,” said his son.

Although Mr. Wright had a demanding job — “He was responsible for all of the Thruway’s buildings and equipment at the service areas,” said his son — his work schedule allowed for lots of family time.

“He was home every day at 4 p.m. and we ate dinner together as a family at 5 p.m.,” said his son.

“Dad set the bar high, not for acquiring physical possessions, but for working hard, enjoying life, and giving to others,” his sons wrote in their tribute.

Their parents had a happy marriage, Garth Wright said; it lasted 46 years, ending only with Mr. Wright’s death. “My dad was patient,” said Garth Wright. “My mom thought she was in charge but my dad was in charge the whole time….He had calm strength. If it was important, he took a stand and made it so.”

Low-key and modest, Mr. Wright had a great sense of humor, his son said. “He loved to laugh. He loved to go to funny movies,” his son said. “My mother always said she had to dress nicely when they went to the movies because he laughed so hard that everyone would look at them.”

Garth Wright concluded of his father, “He was patient, loving, understanding, and faithful. He was a provider.”

“Dad helped us to surround ourselves with loved ones who continue to bring out the best in us,” Garth and Derek Wright said in their tribute. “We pledge to continue to make him proud and to honor his life. We will rely on each other for the guidance that we used to get from him. We thank our dad for making us who we are today.”


Robert E. Wright is survived by his wife of 46 years, Carolyn Miller Wright; two sons, Derek Wright and his wife, Debbie, of Elgin, Ill., and Garth Wright and his partner, Brian Davis, of San Francisco, Calif.; his brother, George Wright, and his wife, Judith, of Berne; and his sister Barbara Eriksen of Berne; and many nieces and nephews.

His parents, Howard and Celia Wright, died before him as did his grandmother, Christina Miller.

A funeral service was held on Sunday, Dec. 28, at 4 p.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Berne, where he had been a member. Arrangements were made by Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont. Burial will be in the spring in Woodlawn Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Trinity United Methodist Church, Post Office Box 8, Coeymans Hollow, NY 12046 or to the American Cancer Society, 260 Osborne Road, Albany, NY 12211.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

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