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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, April 2, 2009

Harold J. Houck

CLARKSVILLE — Harold J. Houck Jr. worked hard to provide for his family.

“My grandson said he lived the American Dream,” said his wife, Micheline Houck. “He really did.”

Mr. Houck died on March 28, 2009 at St. Peter’s Hospice Inn in Albany. He was 75.

The oldest of Harold and Christina Houck’s nine children, Mr. Houck was raised in Clarksville and went to work early. As a boy, he worked part time at the Udell farm, Mrs. Houck said, and then he peddled milk throughout his high school years.

Also during those years, Mr. Houck met his wife.

“He was my cousin’s boyfriend and I met him at her house,” Mrs. Houck chuckled. She spent the next several months ducking into classrooms around school when Mr. Houck had almost caught up with her, “because I didn’t want to steal my cousin’s boyfriend,” she said. Finally, Mrs. Houck said, in 1951, “He asked me to go to a dance and I agreed.”

A few years later, in 1953, Mr. Houck was drafted in to the United States Army.

“We were married just before he went over,” Mrs. Houck said of her husband’s 17 months in Germany. He drove the Jeep for his company commander and liked seeing Germany, but missed home, she said.

When Mr. Houck came back, he followed his father’s lead and went into the trucking business.

“Trucking and his family was his life,” Mrs. Houck said.

He loved interstate trucking, she said, but, after he had a bad accident, the couple decided that he should stay closer to home and their five children. So Mr. Houck went to work at Callanan Industries, where he still got to drive.

In the winter, he drove snowmobiles for fun near the camp that he and his wife built in the Adirondacks. During the summers there, he liked to go fishing, Mrs. Houck said, and would often catch northern pike.

“He was hard working,” Mrs. Houck concluded of her husband. “He was proud of his family, proud of his country. I think I could have asked for the moon and he would have given it to me if he could.”


Mr. Houck is survived by his wife of 56 years, Micheline “Mimi” Houck, and by his children: Kim Blanchard and her husband, Jeff; Laurie Lettrick and her husband, David; Jacquie Reardon; Nanette Seaburg and her husband, Skip; and Nicholas Houck and his wife, Tammy. He is also survived by his grandchildren: Shawn Corbett; Danielle and Griffin Blanchard; Joshua Lettrick; Nichole Everson; Kevin and Laura Reardon; Gregory, Rebecca, and Jessica Seaburg; Jeffrey and Ian Burnham; and Brooke Houck. He is also survived by his four great-grandchildren: Ely Reedy; Addy Mae and River Everson; and Violette Lettrick; and by seven siblings and many nieces and nephews.

His brother, Roger Houck, died before him.

A funeral service was held on March 31 at the Clarksville Reformed Church, with arrangements by the Fredendall Funeral Home of Altamont, and interment in the Onesquethaw Union Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Clarksville Community Church, Church Hall, Route 443, Clarksville, NY 12041 or to the Onesquethaw Ambulance Squad, Post Office Box 327, Clarksville, NY 12041.

Saranac Hale Spencer

Dorothy A. Robinson

ALBANY — Dorothy A. Robinson, a homemaker and waitress, died peacefully with her family at her side on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at the Albany Medical Center Hospital following a long illness. She was 82.

Born in East Berne, she was the daughter of the late John and Mary Stemple Haluska. Her family had a dairy farm there for many years. She worked as a waitress most of her life, and was a homemaker to her husband and children.

Her husband, Edward Robinson, died before her.

She is survived by two sons, Edward Robinson and his wife, Marion, of Guilderland, and Matthew A. Robinson of Albany; three daughters, Lorraine Sangiorgi and her husband, Benny, of Voorheesville, Julie Turner and her husband, Jeff, of Clarksville, and Amy Ghovanloo and her husband, Keyvan, of Voorheesville; three granddaughters, Marlanna Nichols and her husband, Dave, of Fayetteville, N.C., Ariane Field and her husband, Michael, of Latham, and Kali Votraw of Voorheesville; one great-grandson, Michael Field; a brother, Frank Haluska, of Loudonville; two sisters, Martha Gary of East Berne and Emily Chase of East Berne; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Three brothers — Joseph, John, and Charles died before her as did two sisters, Elsie Megas and Helen Crooks.

A mass will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. Friday morning, April 3rd at St. Matthew’s Church on Mountainview Street in Voorheesville. Calling hours today, April 2, from 4 to 6:20 p.m. at the Reilly & Son Funeral Home in Voorheesville.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society or the American Heart Association in lieu of flowers.

Sandra G. Schwager

NEW SCOTLAND — Sandra G. Schwager, an eternally giving woman, died on March 24, 2009 in Leesburg, Fla. She was 74.

As a teenager growing up in New Salem, Mrs. Schwager got a job at Saunder’s ice cream parlor, near the Tollgate and spent her first paycheck on an inflatable swimming pool for her little sister, Susan Kidder. She also bought a brand new lipstick for herself, which Ms. Kidder promptly used to color her bedspread and dresser, she remembered with a laugh.

“It was like I had two sets of parents,” Ms. Kidder said, since her sister was 15 years older and her brother was 12 years older. “My sister spoiled me rotten,” she said.

Their real parents were Norman and Lilian Kidder.

One of Mrs. Schwager’s enduring qualities throughout her life was her penchant for song and dance. When she babysat Ms. Kidder, Elvis Presley was sweeping the nation and she would sing across the kitchen and dance with her sister. “She was a great lady — lots of fun,” Ms. Kidder said.

Mrs. Schwager always sang in a church choir, her sister said, including the Dutch Reformed Church in New Salem.

“As long as she could sing, she sang,” said Ms. Kidder.

Following the family’s tradition in the medical field, after she graduated from Voorheesville’s high school in 1953, Mrs. Schwager graduated from the Memorial Hospital nursing program in 1956 as a licensed practical nurse and went on to spend over 20 years working in Dr. Dominick Mele’s pediatric office and more than 10 years at the Carver Community Clinic.

“She loved it, she really loved it,” Ms. Kidder said of her sister’s work. “She’s kind hearted. She’s giving,” she concluded.

“When I was 10, her first baby was born,” Ms. Kidder said. “I thought I was given a baby.” Mrs. Schwager always made sure that her three children had what they wanted, even when she had nothing for herself, Ms. Kidder said, adding, “She was a wonderful mother.”

Later in life, a friend of Ms. Kidder began taking nursing classes at the Junior College of Albany, where Hal Schwager, Mrs. Schwager’s former anatomy and physiology professor, was teaching.

“She and I sort of connived,” Ms. Kidder said of herself and her friend, who invited Mr. Schwager for a bite to eat after class at a restaurant where Ms. Kidder was eating with her sister. “I said, ‘Do you remember this girl?,’” she recalled, “and that was it.”

They talked for hours, Ms. Kidder said, and “from there on, they were never apart.”


Mrs. Schwager’s husband, Harold, died before her.

Mrs. Schwager is survived by her son, Daniel Ross, of Pattersonville, N.Y., granddaughters Christine, Julie, Shelby, and Danielle; her two daughters, Kathleen Egan and her husband, Michael, of Amsterdam, N.Y., granddaughters Katie, Kayla, and grandson Patrick; and Kellie Wotherspoon and her husband, Dale, of Rotterdam Junction, N.Y., grandson Bryan and granddaughter Rachel.

She is also survived by her brother, Alan “Chuck” Kidder, of Leesburg, Fla. and her sister, Susan Kidder, of New Salem.

A memorial service for family and friends will be held on Friday, April 3, at 5 p.m. at the Woestina Reformed Church, 1397 Main St., Rotterdam Junction, approximately one mile west of town. A Celebration of Life will follow at the Knotty Pine Restaurant, 1216 Main St., Rotterdam Junction.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Arthritis Association.

— Saranac Hale Spencer

Ruby Mae Bunzey Simon

ROTTERDAM — Ruby Mae Bunzey Simon, a wife and secretary, died on Tuesday, March 24, at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady. She was 88.

She was born in Berne.

She worked for the General Electric Company as a secretary for 28 years before retiring.

She was the wife of the late Stephan Simon.

She is survived by two sisters, Emma Stevens of Knox and Betty Perue of Leesburg, Fla.; a brother, Ralph Bunzey of Georgia and several nieces and nephews.

Five of her brothers and sisters, died before her — Ford Bunzey Jr., Kenneth Bunzey, Eva Mae Anderson, Ollie Rowe, and Mildred Labonwicz.

A funeral service was held on Wednesday at the Daly Funeral Home in Schenectady. Interment is in Woodlawn Cemetery in Berne.

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